Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Quick Hits 4-27-2010 [Jay Watts]

Here are a couple of quick links I wanted to share. I may come back and try to comment more on a couple of aspects of these articles, but I am hopelessly behind right now on other posts I wanted to write and some needed study so this is probably the best I can do.

First is an article by Marisa Meltzer at The Slate on abortion doulas that I found particularly disturbing. Doulas generally work to serve an expectant mother as she approaches delivery, through delivery, and even afterward with recovery. The inspiration for pursuing the abortion doula project was that these people felt compelled to be a part of the entire pregnancy process. An excerpt from the article:

Abortion doula services were unheard of until three years ago, when pro-choice activists within the birth community decided that they should serve the full spectrum of pregnancy choices, whether it's birth, adoption, or abortion. Mary Mahoney and Lauren Mitchell created New York City's Doula Project, a volunteer-based service that provides free doula services to women in New York City. They work with pregnant women who can't afford doulas, expectant birth-mothers at a pro-choice adoption agency, and provide abortion doula services in Manhattan and Brooklyn.


Abortion is the unnatural and violent end to pregnancy and not “a part” of pregnancy at all. It is a separate act. That it requires the precondition of a pregnant woman and the presence of an unborn child in order to have a human life to kill does not make abortion part of pregnancy. It just makes pregnancy necessary for this immoral act. This further confusion of two radically different decisions, to carry your child to birth or to have an abortion, as if they were somehow both natural occurrences that flow from pregnancy is dangerously misleading. That doulas are now serving both capacities seems a twisted and grim reminder of how morally confused our society has already become.

From that article, here is a link to an interesting piece at The Daily Beast by Stephen Farber about abortion in film especially its presence in a new Ben Stiller film Greenberg. I do not agree with Mr. Farber's analysis as a whole as to why abortion is largely absent from mainstream films (it is no great mystery, movies are made to make profit and abortion is not usually a profitable subject), but the article gives interesting insight on abortion in film.

One thing I truly appreciate is the recognition that Dirty Dancing is a movie that champions legal abortion. A fact that has always been so obvious to me that I have been stunned at the beloved standing that this movie still maintains with many of my friends and others my age. In fact, the film's creator acknowledges openly in this article that the movie was made to support Roe v. Wade at a time that she and others feared the landmark Supreme Court decision might be overturned.

Mr. Farber amazingly implies that the relative absence of abortion in films contributed to the majority of Americans identifying themselves as pro-life in last May's Gallup poll. The reasoning seems to be if we just saw more movies where women get abortions and it is "no big deal" we would all finally stop worrying about the humanity of the unborn and look at abortion as the “no big deal” that it really is. After all, we oppose abortion because we just don't see enough of it on TV and movies, right? What nonsense.

1 comment:

  1. Regarding Farber: This article is exhibit #4284938 that it's all about the narrative--namely, a narrative that perpetuates the lies about abortion. Also, his last line is so ironic: "It’s encouraging that in cautious times, a few filmmakers are again willing to confront this highly charged theme and take the flak that comes their way." If the most he can come up with to associate with 'flak' is denunciation by the Catholic Church, I'd love to hear what he thinks of pro-abortion attacks on things like the Tebow ad.

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