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What do you think about a rom-com taking on abortion?

Posted by on Jun. 27, 2014 at 9:30 AM
  • 21 Replies

'Obvious Child' Takes on Taboo Topic in a Rom-Com

by The Stir Bloggers

Obvious ChildHey, did you hear the one about the romantic comedy coming out about ... wait for it ... abortion? On Friday, Obvious Child, a new movie starring Jenny Slate about a female stand-up comic who contemplates an abortion after she gets pregnant from a one-night stand, opens in theatres. As is to be expected, the movie, which won a Producer’s Award at the Sundance Film Festival this past January, is creating all sorts of controversy even though it hasn’t actually opened.

According to The Guardian, when approached by a media buyer representing the movie, NBC asked that the word “abortion” be removed from online ads as they considered it still taboo. This caused Planned Parenthood to get over 10,000 signatures on a petition accusing NBC/Universal of censorship.

Since then, NBC has admitted to “mistakenly” asking that the word abortion be removed and has since had a change of heart and accepted the ad as is. Apparently, once 10,000 people get angry, a word is no longer taboo.

It’s shocking to me that, in a world where nothing seems to be off-limits or taboo, abortion still is. As a mom of a 6-year-old who just started to read, I’m particularly sensitive to what’s on billboards, posters, and TV. Anytime I see a billboard for the HBO show Masters of Sex, I pray my kids are looking in the other direction so I don’t have to field the question from my first-grader, “Mommy, what’s sex?” And then there’s that awful poster that seems to be everywhere for the upcoming FX TV show The Strain, which depicts a worm coming out a human eyeball. It’s so gross that my 3-year-old noticed it and had nightmares for days. I can’t blame her. It is pretty gross, but I guess gross isn’t taboo.

Really? When I pass a billboard for the HBO show True Blood that depicts a woman lying down with blood streaming from her face or an ad for the Showtime show Dexter with the show’s star Michael C. Hall grinning in front of a bloody wall, I can’t help but wonder why aren’t serial killers and bloody vampires off-limits?

Abortion is a highly polarizing subject that makes for heated debate, but that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be talked about. And while I don’t want to have to explain what an abortion is to my 6-year-old any more than I want to have to explain why the guy in the Dexter ad is happily standing in front of a bloody wall, I want artists, advertisers, and producers to be able to appropriately advertise their product, even if I agree or disagree with its message. 

Personally, I’d rather see an online ad that contains the word abortion than be assaulted by gross, bloody, over-sexed billboards everywhere I turn. But apparently, blood and guts just aren’t taboo.

What do you think about a rom-com taking on abortion?


Written for The Stir by Meredith Gordon

by on Jun. 27, 2014 at 9:30 AM
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Replies (1-10):
by Ruby Member on Jun. 27, 2014 at 9:32 AM
It could really take an audience to all different points on the emotional spectrum if done well. If.
by ChaChi on Jun. 27, 2014 at 9:32 AM
I gotta see it first to form an opinion on it
by Platinum Member on Jun. 27, 2014 at 11:01 AM
2 moms liked this

I hate romantic comedy movies, so this was not even on my radar, but as far as abortion, why not?  Movies depict rape, child abuse, domestic violence, glorification of drug use, suicide, sexual behavior of every variety... why not abortion too?  

It's not like you would have been able to take your 8 year olds to this movie if they left the abortion scene out. 

And personally, I feel like if your child is old enough to read the word and repeat it back to you to ask what it means they are ready for age appropriate answers, and you would be wise to take the opportunity to answer their questions now, because otherwise they will just type that word into the computer or ask someone else.  If you want to be in charge of the first answer they get then spit it out!  Don't be afraid to give your kids information, even information that is not covered in rainbows and ponies. 

by Anonymous 1 on Jun. 27, 2014 at 2:00 PM
1 mom liked this

There's a big difference between a local NBC channel that shows mild shows like Big Brother vs channels like HBO and FX. For one network channels are generally more family friendly and milder (although not by much) where on cable channels it's basically anything goes.
It's not far fetched that they wanted to sensor it for ads during the types of shows that come on during prime time.


by Anonymous 2 on Jun. 27, 2014 at 2:01 PM
The whole premise of the film disgusts me. It's sad.
by Anonymous 3 on Jun. 27, 2014 at 2:03 PM

They already did this didnt they? Wasnt there a girl who got an abortion on what to expect when your expecting? 

ETA *my bad that was a miscarriage*

by Ruby Member on Jun. 27, 2014 at 2:04 PM

I know it's completely off topic, but why don't you make one thing easier on yourself and tell your 6 year old what sex is.  It's a natural human function.  You don't have to go into detail, but they should know what the word means. 

Can't really give an opinion on the movie until I see it, if I ever do. 

by Emerald Member on Jun. 27, 2014 at 4:45 PM

Abortion after a one night stand? Nothing new. Show me a movie about a commited couple who's been together 5-10 years and accidentaly gets pregnant even though they took all the precaution, make it a rocom, and then we'll see.

by Mimi on Jun. 27, 2014 at 4:52 PM

It amazes me what gets people in a uproar these days.

You can have a movie about kids actually being murdered and tortured but a movie about abortion is wrong...GTFOH

by Gold Member on Jun. 27, 2014 at 4:56 PM

I think I love Jenny Slate and I'd totally watch it.

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