Your post on abortion and Seinfeld got me thinking of the discussion we had in class on Tuesday regarding the amount of times abortion has been shown on primetime. Professor Harris mentioned that although over 40 million abortions have occurred in the United States over the past 40 years, only 9 have been broadcasted. Harris mentioned abortions taking place on Maud, All My Children, Degrassi High, Six Feet Under, Weeds, Degrassi the Next Generation, Private Practice and Friday Night Lights. However, I believe that in discussing abortion, one should rather look at the times abortion has been referenced within television and film. As mentioned in one of my previous posts (found here), the popular television series Sex & the City has an entire episode, entitled Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda devoted to abortion. Miranda, one of the four star characters, finds herself pregnant after a one night stand with her ex boyfriend Steve. When the girls meet for their weekly breakfast, Miranda tells them that she is pregnant and is definitely going to have an abortion. Miranda’s announcement opens discussion to how many abortions each woman has had. Charlotte, disgusted at Miranda that she even considering an abortion gets up and storms out. Sounding like they are talking of shoes, Carrie responds that she’s had one and Samantha has had two. The remainder of the episode is Miranda debating as to if she will have the baby. In the end, Miranda has a beautiful baby boy named Brady. The actors of Sex & the City have also been criticized for supporting Planned Parenthood and giving the proceeds of an auction to the organization.
A film that I immediately thought of when on the topic of abortion is Dirty Dancing. In the film, one of the lead dancers has an abortion in a back alley with what is described as ‘an old coat hanger’. This was my first interaction with abortion in my early teens. I didn’t really understand what was going on and until I was 15 and watched an abortion video in my grade 10 religion and morality class, I thought that the only place you could get an abortion was in a back alley with a dirty hanger. Seeing the abortion video and pictures of the process of abortion brought the entire class to tears. After this experience, it wasn’t the back alley and coat hanger that disgusted me, but rather that a little human being could be sucked through a vacuum and then disposed into a garbage bin out back. Over the past six years I have become more informed of abortions, including laws and procedures and the platforms for both pro-life and pro-choice organizations. However, that video from grade 10 has stayed engrained in my mind. I am not sure if I disagree with the tactic that my high school used or if in a way it benefited the class to see the reality of what is happening. I just know what I would do if I fell into a situation such as this one, and I believe that it is not up to any other individual to criticize a woman for the choice that she may decide.
- Kathleen :)