When I started thinking about this week’s Role/Reboot essay on Obvious Child, the “abortion rom com” starring comedian Jenny Slate, I started out by trying to come up with a list of contemporary mainstream abortion stories from TV or movies. Without googling or wikipedia-ing, or weighing in on the quality of these stories, here’s what I came up with:
1. Parenthood (Drew’s girlfriend Amy)
2. Grey’s Anatomy (Cristina Yang)
3. Friday Night Lights (Becky Sproles)
4. House of Cards (Claire Underwood)
…. what else have you got?
I watch a ridiculous amount of TV, so the fact that I can only come up with four…. well, that leads me to the point of my essay. For a thing that is extraordinarily common and affects literally millions of women (and also their partners), we have sooooo few examples in mainstream pop culture exploring these decisions. Obvious Child is a good step, but it’s only one story, and it’s the easiest story to get pushed through the pinhole that is a Hollywood approval process: it’s about a pretty, upper-middle class white woman. Valid story? Absolutely. The only story? The most common story? Absolutely not.
Related Post: Huffington Post and the changing iconography of the abortion debate