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Can anyone recall any storyline in film / TV where a woman decides to have an abortion......

(86 Posts)
Greythorne Wed 19-Sep-12 21:53:48


A) changing her mind at the clinic doors as "she just can't do that"

B) receiving some (medically unlikely but dramatically "satisfactory") kind of divine retribution like infertility as a consequence?

I can't. And yet thousands of women make the decision to have an abortion every year and it is absolutely the right decision and they do not regret it.

funnypeculiar Wed 19-Sep-12 21:56:48

Martha in Silk (I think...?)

RandallPinkFloyd Wed 19-Sep-12 21:59:05

Dirty Dancing. Crappy back-street abortionist but all works out ok in the end. They make a point of her saying she can still have children.

Doesn't regret it, right decision all round.

LadyWidmerpool Wed 19-Sep-12 21:59:13

Michelle in EastEnders? I don't remember it very well. Lofty was very cross but I wouldn't call that divine retribution!

Greythorne Wed 19-Sep-12 22:00:58

Haven't seen Dirty Dancing. But have seen Silk and don't remember that. But I do remember it as a hugely unconventional film for women's roles. Must take another look.

tabulahrasa Wed 19-Sep-12 22:01:05

Christina in grey's anatomy - though her husband did sleep with someone else, that's not divine retribution though?

nailak Wed 19-Sep-12 22:01:23

lucy in eastenders

funnypeculiar Wed 19-Sep-12 22:02:37

Only thing I can google on Martha (the fabulous, fabulous, Martine Peake) is that she finds out she's pregnant, and books an abortion. Happens early in series, she continues to be a very impressive, cool barrister and kick Richard P-J's arse.

lighthousekeeping Wed 19-Sep-12 22:03:30

There was a film afew years back about four women from different generations having abortions. Cher was in it. I cant remember the name.

funnypeculiar Wed 19-Sep-12 22:04:37

I think Silk is hugely atypical of women on TV though - I think your basic point absolutely stands... Actually, I think generally abortion is just ignored/avoided as an issue

Devora Wed 19-Sep-12 22:05:13

Despite the fact that 1 in 3 women have an abortion, there is still this curious thing that it is only acceptable if the woman (a) has no real choice but to do it, (b) finds it terribly distressing, (c) grieves for years afterwards. Research tells us that safe legal abortion is actually psychologically beneficial for most women - certainly compared to the alternative - and most women don't suffer terribly grief and guilt. (I'm not denying that some do - I really struggled afterwards.)

I used to work in abortion clinics and was very struck by how the women coming in would nearly all say the same kind of things: that they didn't believe in abortion, but they had no real choice because they were too young/still at college/not in a stable relationship/didn't have a proper house/were tired and busy with the other children, that in any case they were using a condom but it broke... I'm not judging those women, I understand completely why they say that stuff, but of course they weren't truly anti-abortion, most of them DID have a choice, it is highly unlikely that condoms break at anything like the rate they collectively claimed. But they knew, acutely, that our society doesn't allow women to have guilt-free abortions.

OctopusPie Wed 19-Sep-12 22:06:10

Yes - Martha in Silk was the only example that came to my mind. I don't think it was mentioned in the second series at all was it?

joanofarchitrave Wed 19-Sep-12 22:09:32

Kristin (?) in Borgen.

joanofarchitrave Wed 19-Sep-12 22:10:59

Devora, have you ever used condoms for a long period of time? My experience was that they broke, slipped off during, got left behind afterwards, all kinds of stuff.

KRITIQ Wed 19-Sep-12 22:11:03

Lighthousekeeping, that was "If These Walls Could Talk." It's an excellent film and unapologetically pro-choice / pro-abortion.

But, both of the things mentioned in the OP happen in it, so it doesn't quite fit.

tribpot Wed 19-Sep-12 22:11:54

Yes, Christina in Grey's Anatomy as well. Her DH can't accept her rationale for doing it, but she isn't shown as morally bankrupt for going through with it.

The Miranda in Sex and the City storyline is much more common; she changes her mind at the last minute. Although the show does talk about the fact both Carrie and Samantha have had abortions in the past, which they don't regret.

RandallPinkFloyd Wed 19-Sep-12 22:16:40

Also SATC. The one where Miranda doesn't go through with it they find out Carrie had one when she was younger.

She talks about it being unpleasant rather than painful and is very comfortable that it was the right thing to do.

drjohnsonscat Wed 19-Sep-12 22:17:58

Agree with your point OP. The supposedly leftie Juno was actually deeply conservative in this respect. We need more women talking about the abortion they had and the fact that it was fine. This is probably most of the women I know. And it's not that the others are not fine - it's that they haven't had an abortion. Hundreds of thousands of women have an abortion every year and are fine. Why must we insist they are broken by it?

Obviously some have a difficult time and come to regret it but they are the only ones we ever hear about. I'd wager the majority just give thanks that they live in a society that gives them this choice and carry on with the direction of their lives.

Devora Wed 19-Sep-12 22:18:16

Of course there is a failure rate with all contraception, joan. I'm not saying all women with unwanted pregnancy are lying about that. But I am saying that plenty of women in that situation DO lie about it because they fear the consequences if they don't. I know I did.

RandallPinkFloyd Wed 19-Sep-12 22:20:06

X-post Tribpot!

Mooq Wed 19-Sep-12 22:22:35

There's Vera Drake. OK, back-street and all that, but the women didn't seem to regret the decision to do it.

The married woman in Alfie.

princelypurpleparrot Wed 19-Sep-12 22:24:56

Martha in Silk had a miscarriage, not an abortion, I think?

drjohnsonscat Wed 19-Sep-12 22:26:04

oh god, Alfie sad

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Wed 19-Sep-12 22:32:49

Excellent question greythorne. I do think SATC handled it well and my feeling is that Miranda had some natural questions given her fertility - it was not about "I can't do this morally" but "I have poor fertility, a busy life, no steady partner, am mid-thirties..this might be my best shot, I haven't really thought about kids before but now I've got to make the decision."

I could almost write Miranda's post!

Mooq Wed 19-Sep-12 22:35:34

Woman in High Fidelity
Katrin (was that her name?) in Naked
Amelie - I think?
The bloke in Saturday Night Fever kills himself because the woman wouldn't have an abortion - not sure if that's a good example though!
Woman in Dogma

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