1. Soldiers in The Army Of God:
At the opposite end of the political spectrum comes another HBO documentary about zealots committed to living their politics at any cost. In Soldiers In The Army Of God, Marc Levin and Daphne Pinkerson explore the radical fringe of the anti-abortion movement, specifically a shadowy group called “Army Of God.” As the filmmakers delve into the world of anti-abortion extremism, they uncover a lot of lost souls for whom the movement provides an invaluable outlet for channeling their frustrations. It’s unsettling how far people will go when they’re convinced they’re executing God’s will: The eerie calm on Paul Hill’s face as he awaits execution for murdering an abortion provider is far more disturbing than anything found in most horror films. The filmmakers survey this sect with queasy sociological fascination, but tip their ideological hand with an ominous score straight out of a B-grade horror movie. Such tabloid tactics aren’t needed—the subjects themselves are sufficiently terrifying.
Abortion is a lightning rod in America; religious people oppose it, while Planned Parenthood fights for the right of women to choose. Quite often the heated debate has erupted in spectacular acts of hatred, and Soldiers in the Army of God takes an inside look at the most violent faction of abortion demonstrators in the country. The members of the Army of God are willing to resort to terrorist tactics. Fire bombs, shootings, grenades, and physically threatening protests are the method to their stand against “baby killers.” This documentary is a hard look at their motivations, methods, and rationalizations. No matter where you fall on the abortion issue, this is a fascinating peek behind the curtain of a group of people who will resort to any means to stop abortion. The subject material is upsetting no matter how you look at it.
What makes Soldiers in the Army of God so compelling is the film’s ability to distance itself and not judge anyone involved in the movement. These days documentary film makers like Michael Moore have been cranking out work that makes them and their own opinion the focus of a film. As entertaining as this showmanship is, it undermines the true nature of documentary which is meant to merely observe and allow the audience to draw its own conclusions. Soldiers in the Army of God was produced as part of HBO’s America Undercover series, and it lets the subjects speak for themselves. You get unadulterated opinions from both sides of the debate. It’s fair and balanced in a way all good documentaries should be.
It shocks me people would consider murder an acceptable solution to murder. It’s very Old Testament “an eye for an eye” style justice. Yet Soldiers in the Army of God shows how these individuals feel they are engaged in a civil war where they seek to right the wrongs and stop the killing. The filmmakers allow both sides to talk directly to the camera about what all of this means to them. The abortionists come off as more level headed naturally, but surprisingly the antiabortionists come off as intelligent well spoken people too. I don’t agree with violence as an answer, but they do make a convincing argument.
2. Rain Without Thunder:
Rain Without Thunder (Tax Pictures) is a cautionary tale set in America in the year 2042. Abortion has been made illegal by constitutional amendment. Zealous pro-lifers have developed creative ways to combat what they regard as an insidious crime. “The Unborn Child Kidnapping Act” is a law designed to stem the tide of women leaving the country to obtain abortions. And the Catholic church has taken a new tact in its anti-abortion crusade by raising the “Messiah question.” The screenplay by writer and director Gary Bennett is thought-provoking. He has assembled a top-drawer cast including Betty Buckley, Linda Hunt, Jeff Daniels, Austin Pendleton, and others to enact this morality play about fetal politics.
from James Berardinelli:
The year is 2042; the country is the United States of America. Alison Goldring (Ali Thomas) and her mother, Beverly (Betty Buckley), have been convicted of fetal murder under the new “Unborn Child Kidnapping Act”. Since abortions are no longer legal in the United States, Alison, accompanied by Beverly, travelled to Sweeden to obtain one. However, the new law provides that women who leave the country for the express purpose of having an abortion can be tried and convicted as if they had illegally obtained one inside the United States.
Rain Without Thunder concludes with the following quotation by Frederick Douglass: “If there is no struggle, there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom and yet avoid confrontation, are people who want crops without plowing up the ground; they want rain without thunder and lightning; they want the ocean without the roar of its waters.” In a few sentences, this statement expresses the message that the producers of this movie are attempting to convey — that, for the United States to continue to evolve, those of us who value our freedom must fight against those who would repress them.
Told in a documentary-like fashion, Rain Without Thunder explores important and timely issues (few topics press more “hot buttons” than abortion), but, in the process, loses sight of the characters. The narrative style — interviewing the principals rather than actually showing events — dilutes the emotional impact. Words do not adequately replace actions, and this is like watching an extended episode of Sixty Minutes.
Rain Without Thunder is definitely an issues-oriented picture. Women’s rights, racial and sexual equality, the nature of freedom, and the politics of choice are all placed under the microscope. In most cases, some sort of argument is presented for both sides, although there’s never much doubt where the film maker’s sympathies lie. However, as interesting as some of Rain Without Thunder’s sequences are, without well-developed characters, the film’s impact is limited to the intellectual realm.
3. Finn’s Girl:
from Eye Weekly:
Brooke Johnson stars as Finn, an aging lesbian struggling to raise the daughter (Maya Ritter) of her recently deceased partner while working in an abortion clinic. Things get really craaaazy when she starts receiving death threats from local pro-lifers and has two police officers assigned to protect her. The concept has an undeniable movie-of-the-week feel, cramming in as many political hot potatoes as possible. (Biological engineering even makes an appearance.) However, the cast and co-directors Dominique Cardona and Laurie Colbert treat the melodramatic material with such gravity and realism that the film almost works.
4. Choices (1986 tv movie):
The film focuses on a 62-year-old judge who rethinks his opposition to abortion when he finds out both his 19-year-old daughter and 38-year-old wife are unwanted pregnant. When his daughter tries to contemplate an abortion without informing her boyfriend, he immediately expresses his disapproval. However, he later changes his mind when he finds out his wife is pregnant as well. The three of them are all forced to make important choices.
from an amazon.com user review:
Evan (George C. Scott) and Marisa granger (Jaqueline Bisset) are happily married dispite the fact he is thirty years older than his wife. Their lives are thrown into turmoil when Terry (Melissa Gilbert), Evans nineteen year old daughter from a previous marriage returns home and confides to Marisa she is pregnant. Terry does not want her father to know she plans to have an abortion. Soon Evan learns her situation and forbids the abortion. Meanwhile, quit unexpectedly, Marisa learns she is pregnant. Evan now shifts 180 degrees and forbids his wife to have the child.
5. If These Walls Could Talk:
If These Walls Could Talk is a 1996 made for television movie, broadcast on HBO. It follows the plights of three different women and their experiences with abortion. Each of the three stories takes place in the same house in three different years: 1952, 1974, and 1996. All three segments were co-written by Nancy Savoca. Savoca directed the first and second segment while Cher directed the third. […]
The 1952 segment deals with Claire Donnelly (Demi Moore), a widowed nurse living in suburban Chicago, who becomes pregnant by her brother-in-law and decides to undergo abortion in order not to hurt her late husband’s family. However, abortion at the time is strictly illegal. Donnelly eventually finds another nurse (CCH Pounder) who provides her the name of a woman who can find her someone who will perform the abortion. After a clandestine procedure she finally manages to abort but dies shortly afterwards due to hemorrhage.
The 1974 segment deals with Barbara Barrows (Sissy Spacek), a struggling and aging mother with four children and a policeman husband who works the night shift, who discovers she must welcome another addition to the family, despite having recently gone back to college. She considers abortion with the support of her teenage daughter (Hedy Burress) but ultimately chooses to keep the child.
The 1996 segment deals with Christine Cullen (Anne Heche), a college student who got pregnant by a married professor, decides on an abortion when he breaks up with her and only offers her money. She is operated on by Dr. Beth Thompson (Cher). However, the abortion takes place during a violent protest, and an abortion protester (Matthew Lillard) walks in on the operation and shoots Dr. Thompson.
6. Invasion of Privacy (1996)
from a user review at amazon.com:
This movie is about whether a woman should have complete rights over her body, uterus and life. The couple start out great, but then she realizes he has terrible dark and violent moods, thinks he may have even harmed an ex gf. She always forgives him and comes home one night, happy about being told she’s pregnant and bursting to share the news with him. He erupts at her before she has time to tell him her news, he rapes her and she cowers in fear from him. She breaks up with him and decides to get an abortion – only to find out that her psycho/cruel ex bf has alreayd contacted her Dr and mentions how happy they both are, eventho they are going thru some difficulties.
It gets worse and worse from there… he kidnaps her and locks her in a secluded cabin until it’s too late for her to legally get an abortion. He kills and manipulates individuals and the judicial system – ultimately disgusting – but he gets his!
7. Story Of Women:
Marie Latour (Isabelle Huppert) wants to be a singer, but she is a woman struggling against poverty in war-torn France, with two children to feed and a husband away fighting. When a neighbor becomes pregnant, Marie performs an abortion and is rewarded for her services with a Victrola. It’s a small step from the Victrola to an income, and Marie finds that she likes to live comfortably and feed her children well. Her husband Paul (Francois Cluzet) returns and attempts to coerce her into being the type of wife he imagines he wants, but Marie insists on running things her way, and her husband is relegated to the role he imagined for her. She finds contentment in her power (merely the power to be herself and pursue her desires), but things are terribly out of balance in the world she was born into and eventually revenge is exacted. Claude Chabrol (Madame Bovary) has created a remarkably complex and poignant film about a very complex subject: the true story of the last woman to be executed in France by guillotine. An important film to see.
8. Leona’s Sister Gerri
The tragic and grisly photograph–a woman on a motel floor, dead after an illegal abortion–stirred a nation and inflamed a movement. Now, LEONA’S SISTER GERRI tells the powerful and thought-provoking story of the anonymous woman behind the image and how she became an extraordinary icon for the ever-controversial abortion issue. Through tears and laughter, Gerri Santoro’s tale of desperation in the days before legal abortion “unfolds in an intimate, unpretentious style” (The New York Times) as told by her family and friends.
9. I Had An Abortion
from an imdb.com user review:
An informative, thou a bit long, documentary of women’s experiences with abortion.
The “cast” is very intergenerational (several had illegal abortions, others had post Roe V. Wade abortions); come from different classes, races, and have different sexualities; and represent various spiritualities and religions. The women interviewed discuss their abortions and their feelings surrounding them; their children before and after their abortions; and often discuss their relationships with their own mothers. They also speak one how they feel about those who are anti-choice, from those that protested the clinic they had appointments at, to how people reacted to their abortions. Adoption, single motherhood, contraception, and chemical abortions (taking doctor-prescribed pills at home) are also discussed.
Some women work around abortion and other pro choice issues, others just share their abortion stories, and a few women were previously pro life- one still believes that abortion is taking a life. A great way to put faces on the abortion debate, as one in 3 women will have an abortion by the time she is 45. A very information film, everyone should try to see it!
10. The Abortion Diaries
In her new documentary, The Abortion Diaries, filmmaker Penny Lane does something quietly revolutionary. She invites 12 women over for dinner to talk about their abortions. Lane had an abortion four years ago, an experience that she describes as “horrifically isolating.” When she reluctantly began to confide in her friends, she realized that most women she knew “had abortions and had never told anyone.”
The Abortion Diaries ruptures that silence by going straight to the heart of the matter–women’s personal stories about their abortions.
11. Legal But Out of Reach: Six Women’s Abortion Stories
Description: Legal But Out of Reach intertwines the stories of six women and girls who seek abortions but do not have access to the necessary funds until they are helped by abortion funds (member organizations of the National Network of Abortion Funds.) The ‘characters’ range from a scared 11—year—old girl and her mother, to a 30—year—old single mother in hiding from an abusive husband. These stories, shot and edited in a straightforward documentary style, expose the many challenges faced by poor women who seek to end unwanted pregnancies, and the critical role that abortion funds play in states where Medicaid funding does not cover the cost of the procedure.
Client goal: National Network of Abortion Funds is a national organization that provides logistical and organizational backup to its member funds across the country. Legal But Out of Reach was commissioned to provide both the national office and the member funds with an ongoing fundraising tool for house parties and other organizational events; and to have an educational video to share with educators and activists seeking to raise awareness about economic barriers to access to abortion.
12. Jane: An Abortion Service
A documentary film reveals the story of a secret women-run collective that took matters into their own hands when abortion was illegal and created a safe underground network in the Chicago area.
13. Holy Terror
Documentary depicts the movements and attitudes and sometimes violent methods of the anti-abortion movement in the U.S., including an analysis of the alliance between the religious right and the political right.
14. Dear Dr. Spencer: Abortion in a Small Town (25 min. short)
From the 1920s until his death in 1969, Dr. Robert Douglas Spencer practiced medicine in a coal region of Pennsylvania. Dr. Spencer treated colds, set fractures, and provided basic medical care. He also performed more than 40,000 safe, illegal abortions.
After performing his first abortion in 1925 for a poor coal miner’s wife (almost 50 years before Roe v. Wade’s landmark decision), the doctor’s reputation spread. Soon he was receiving letters from women across the country asking for his help. The citizens of Ashland, Pennsylvania looked the other way as young women walked to and from his office, and even protected him each time the state police tried to shut down his practice. Dr. Spencer was arrested three times, but never convicted.
DEAR Dr. SPENCER begins with a selection of letters from thousands of women pleading for his help. They come from students, housewives, husbands and boyfriends, and they reveal with painful clarity the desperation their writers felt. The program includes interviews from those who remember Dr. Spencer, including Ashland residents (his wife, his lawyer, and many of his friends); women who traveled in search of his safe care; and a juror who served at one of his trials and helped to acquit him, even though she opposes abortion.
The film is narrated by actress Lili Taylor and features music by Bay Area mandolinist Mike Marshall. The film also includes an appearance by author and Beat poet Hettie Jones who wrote about her experience traveling to Dr. Spencer’s clinic in her 1990 memoir How I Became Hettie Jones.
15. I Witness: Shot Down in Pensacola
Once known for its pristine beaches and imposing naval base, Pensacola, Florida has become the center of the abortion debate with bombings, stalkings, and the murders of two clinic doctors and an escort. I WITNESS traces the dizzying escalation of violence in this Florida panhandle community. The documentary features “found” footage shot by clinic escorts, and interviews with religious and civic leaders struggling to provide a moral compass in a community torn by violence and religious fervor.
I WITNESS reveals what one religious activist calls “a case study in the effects of religious terrorism on a community.” Starting in 1984, the bombings, the murders, stalkings and continuing conflict at the clinics have forced this highly religious community to scrutinize both its convictions and responsibilities surrounding this difficult issue.
16. On Hostile Ground
A small number of healthcare professionals in this country have become targets in a civil war. They receive little public support for their work and face dedicated and unpredictable opponents. Their ranks are shrinking. On Hostile Ground enters the lives of three abortion providers to reveal the obstacles (practical, legal, and emotional) that they face everyday, and shows them struggle with the decision to perform this procedure. It allows providers who work on hostile ground to tell their stories by being themselves, without the help of a narrator. They reveal what their professional decision has done to their personal and family lives. While they each have their own stories, they are all driven more by personal experiences and spiritual beliefs than by political conviction. They each express anger, confusion, and resentment in their own way. By weaving together three very different character portraits, this documentary takes an unusual approach to a volatile social conflict, portraying abortion through the personal stories of those who are in mortal danger because they provide it.
17. Live Free Or Die
A portrait of a small town OB/GYN that explores the radical decline in the number of doctors performing abortions, as well as the impact of Catholic hospital mergers on the provision of abortion services. Aired as a POV special in 2000 with a town hall and Internet component that generated the most extensive on-line discussion in the history of POV programming. Human Rights Watch Film Festival entrant.
18. Silent Choices
Chicago-born filmmaker Faith Pennick was sent on a mission after a friend made a simple, straightforward comment. During an argument about the future of the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion in 1973, her friend declared to Pennick, “Abortion is a white woman’s issue, and black women have more important things to worry about.” “I was floored by her comment,” said Pennick, “but I understood where that statement came from. Anytime you see media reports about abortion, it’s the same handful of middle-class, middle-aged white women running pro-choice organizations that are interviewed. How do you relate to an issue if you don’t see yourself in it?”
Pennick’s response to her friend is the groundbreaking documentary, Silent Choices. The 60-minute film examines the controversial issue of abortion and how it impacts the lives of African American women. Depicting the juxtaposition of racial and reproductive politics, the film takes a viewer on a journey from the early 20th century to the present day and depicts how African Americans contributed to and were affected by abortion and family planning. From African Americans’ cautious involvement with Margaret Sanger during the early birth control movement to black nationalists and civil rights activists who staunchly opposed abortion and birth control– or stayed silent on the issue–Silent Choices unmasks the complexities of this extremely emotional issue among African Americans.
19. Not Yet Rain
Last April, Ipas released Not Yet Rain, a new film about unsafe abortion in Africa by Emmy Award-winning director Lisa Russell. Not Yet Rain follows women in Ethiopia who must fight for access to safe abortion care.
By showing women’s real experiences with abortion, coupled with a public health perspective, Ipas has created a tool that organizations and individuals here in the United States can use to break through the silence here and show how abortion is linked to many issues we care about – issues such as sexual violence, international family planning and human rights.
20. Like a Ship in the Night
Abortion is illegal in Ireland, North and South, potentially punishable by life imprisonment. And yet at least 8,000 Irish women a year travel to England for abortions. They make this journey in secret and return in silence, some of them never telling a soul. LIKE A SHIP IN THE NIGHT is a 30 minute documentary which follows a young painter, a working class mother of five, and a self-proclaimed country girl as they plan their secret journeys across the Irish sea.
ROSITA, an hour-long documentary by award-winning filmmakers Barbara Attie and Janet Goldwater, traces a young girl’s journey from innocent victim to unwitting victor. When a nine-year-old Nicaraguan girl becomes pregnant as a result of a rape, her parents — illiterate campesinos working in Costa Rica — seek a legal “therapeutic” abortion to save their only child’s life. Their quest pits them against the governments of Nicaragua and Costa Rica, the medical establishment, and the Catholic Church. When their story gains international media attention the repercussions ripple across Latin America and Europe.
22. Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness
Sociological over explanation, first for humorous then for poignant effect, on the topic of abortion. An unseen narrator explains, as if the viewer was from another galaxy, life on earth generally, and in the United States specifically, and relates the topic of reproduction, government and abortion to one particular family.
Through the use of film clips, news reports, and other elements, the story is told of the Adams family, a politician father, a caring mother, their daughter and her boyfriend, and how this topic becomes an important part of their lives. Included in the discussion is the history of the Constitution, a biology lesson of mammals, a geographic and sociological examination of the planet and a look at the rise of feminism in the USA.
23. Last Abortion Clinic (Frontline documentary)
“The Last Abortion Clinic” is set in Mississippi and looks at the legislation that has been passed curtailing access to abortion in the state. At the time of the movie’s creation, there was only one abortion clinic left in Mississippi. Anti-choice laws have gradually made it impossible for clinics to operate. First there was the legislation that required clinics to be registered as outpatient surgical centers. Then there was the 24-hour waiting period. Then there was the mandatory “counseling” script that providers had to give to patients before they could perform services. All of these laws have had a devastating effect on reproductive rights, and the bills’ sponsors are very clear about their intentions: they want to shut down the abortion clinics and test the “undue burden standard” in order to overturn Roe v. Wade
The “undue burden standard” was a result of the 1992 Supreme Court decision in Planned Parenthood v. Casey. The Supreme Court ruled in Casey that states could place restrictions on access to abortion so long as the restrictions did not pose an “undue burden” for women. Casey explicitly rejected the trimester framework that was established in Roe v. Wade and caused a new wave of legislation to test the limits of the undue burden standard. The Supreme Court was intentionally vague in defining the standard. And now the question for pro-choice advocates is how many women have to be effected before the Court says that the obstacles are an undue burden?
24. From the Back-Alleys to the Supreme Court & Beyond
a trilogy of documentaries:
a: WHEN ABORTION WAS ILLEGAL: Untold Stories (28 min.)
Compelling personal accounts reveal the physical, legal, and emotional consequences during the era when abortion was a crime in the United States. Doctors who risked imprisonment by providing illegal procedures, women who experienced back-alley abortions, and others who broke the law by helping women find safe care speak frankly, some for the first time.
b: FROM DANGER to DIGNITY: The Fight for Safe Abortion (57 min.)
After more than a century of back-alley tragedies, a national movement to decriminalize abortion took root. FROM DANGER TO DIGNITY combines rare archival footage with present-day interviews to weave together two parallel stories: the evolution of ‘underground’ networks which helped women find safe abortions outside the law and the intensive efforts of activists and legislators who broke the silence and changed the laws.
c: THE FRAGILE PROMISE of CHOICE: Abortion in the U.S. Today (57 min.)
The World Health Organization estimates that unsafe abortions cause more than 75,000 deaths annually, worldwide. GIRE, a major reproductive rights group in Mexico, estimates 1,000,000 abortions take place each year in Mexico and 1,500 women die from clandestine procedures. Socio-economic and legal constraints, even in nations where abortion is technically legal and available, including the United States, prevent millions of women from obtaining adequate medical care. Situations in the United States that this video addresses include the crises of access and affordability, the atmosphere of harassment and violence for doctors and clinic workers, the impact of growing state and local legislative restrictions for women seeking care, the complexity of religious issues, and the provider crisis.
25. From Danger To Dignity: The Fight For Safe Abortion
weaves together two parallel stories: the evolution of underground networks that helped women find safe abortions outside the law, and the intensive efforts by activists and legislators to decriminalize abortion through legislative and judicial channels. Even though most abortions were illegal in the United States before 1973, restrictive laws did not prevent abortions. However, the safety of an abortion depended on a woman’s financial situation and her connections. A handful of individuals – doctors, skilled midwives, and others – provided relatively safe, low-cost care. Some physicians performed abortions for their wealthy private patients, charging thousands of dollars. Most women who sought abortions risked their lives by going to practitioners who had no medical training. Hospital wards were filled with victims of unsafe abortions.
After more than a century of backless tragedies, a national movement toward safe, legal abortion began in the 1960s. The documentary FROM DANGER to DIGNITY combines rare archival footage with interviews that document the courageous efforts of those who fought to break the silence, change the laws and end the shame which surrounded abortion when it was a crime.
26. In a Just World: Abortion, Contraception, and World Religion
The issues surrounding a woman’s reproductive rights are international in scope. In many countries, a woman’s right to contraception and abortion is a religious issue, a legal issue, an ethical issue, and a social/cultural issue. In the United States it is also a major political issue. In A Just World addresses all of these issues in some way with a significant focus on the relationship between a woman’s reproductive rights and her religion. Specifically, the show includes discussion of Hinduism, Judaism, Islam, Christianity and Buddhism. The program is also multicultural and features women from around the world with a specific emphasis on the US, Ethiopia and Peru.
The documentary looks at the teachings of major world religions as they relate to contraception, abortion and family planning.
27. Voices of Choice: Physicians Who Provided Abortions Before Roe v. Wade
A video called Voices of Choice: Physicians Who Provided Abortions Before Roe v. Wade documents the courageous stories of illegal and legal abortion provision prior to 1973 as told by the physicians who provided these essential health services and those who worked on abortion reform
28. Motherless: A Legacy of Loss from Illegal Abortion
MOTHERLESS is a half-hour documentary which explores the tragedy of death from illegal abortions. Three women and one man, whose mothers died due to complications from abortion before its legalization, discuss the trauma of loving and then losing a mother at a young age. Two of their mothers died in 1929, one in 1950 and one as recently as 1960.
Social and historical context is provided by a physician who treated hundreds of women dying from septic abortions, and a medical historian familiar with the widespread nature and causes of this tragic phenomenon. They discuss the medical, legislative and social history of abortion from the late nineteenth century until 1973. MOTHERLESS offers a rare and deeply moving insight into the human tragedies behind the statistics. It captures the feelings of these survivors as they remember and mourn their mothers, four among the thousands who died.
29. Aborto Sin Pena (Abortion Without Shame)
Greg is presenting his new movie called, Aborto Sin Pena (Abortion Without Shame/ Penalty). The film is a collection of interviews with three different Mexican women who received illegal abortions in Mexico. The women are all very different, one is indigenous, one already has a family and the third is a young college student. They all had abortions at illegal clinics, had a relatively positive experience and do not regret the decision. The movie shows another perspective on abortion, one that differs from the more commonly heard stories of dirty, dangerous, abortion clinics and the regret and pain women feel afterwards.
30. Obvious Child
from this page:
What makes Obvious Child unique is that it’s a comedy — a romantic comedy, actually. Its writing style is not all that different from Knocked Up and Juno; there are quirky pop culture references and fart jokes galore. But this film is actually believable. It tells the story of a young woman who, the night after being dumped by her boyfriend, sleeps with a man she hardly knows and becomes pregnant. She decides to have an abortion, and on her way to the clinic, she runs into her one-night stand. I won’t ruin the film for you — you can watch it online — but needless to say, hilarity ensues, and ultimately the film has a sweet and happy ending.
That last part is key. At the screening, Robespierre stated that she and her collaborators intentionally wanted to make a film about abortion that depicts abortion as being a responsible choice and also features a happy ending. I think this is a very important message to get across, and it’s not one that most films about abortion choose to acknowledge. While abortion is certainly a serious decision — and all serious decisions in life are accompanied by emotions — it’s important to remember that severe psychological reactions after abortions are not common and that, often, the decision to abort is a positive decision for the woman involved. That reality is depicted well in Obvious Child.