2019 Was a Terrible Year for Abortion Rights. TV Did Better – Kind Of
Hollywood has a long way to go in terms of depicting women of color and mothers getting abortions
By EJ Dickson
Dec 20, 2019
2019 was a mixed bag when it comes to reproductive rights. While the year saw draconian abortion legislation introduced in states like Alabama, Georgia, and Ohio, the nationwide backlash arguably lent greater momentum to the abortion rights movement, catapulting it to the center of cultural conversation.
As a result, the once-taboo topic of abortion has become increasingly commonplace in popular culture, per an annual Abortion Onscreen Report released by ANSIRH (Advancing New Standards In Reproductive Health). Released yesterday, the report found a record number of TV shows in 2019 featured a discussion of or plot-line centering on abortion, thanks to shows like The Bold Type, Shrill, Orange Is the New Black, and Happy.
Planned Parenthood Goes to Hollywood
The group is winning in L.A., even as it’s losing in D.C. Can entertainment ultimately make a difference in the abortion wars?
Story by Nora Caplan-Bricker
September 23, 2019
It’s 10 a.m. on a Tuesday at Planned Parenthood’s New York headquarters, and I’m watching TV. Specifically, I’m watching a series of scenes clipped from movies and TV shows, all of which have two things in common: The woman beside me, Caren Spruch, had a hand in them, and each one features an abortion.
Spruch and I began our viewing session with her most recent such project, the Hulu series “Shrill.” Now, seated at a table in a white-walled conference room, we’re watching the first movie she worked on, 2014’s “Obvious Child.” Spruch is petite and animated, with a long face and dark bangs, like a more pixie-ish Anjelica Huston. She calls “Obvious Child” — a romantic comedy about an unemployed 20-something who finds herself pregnant after a one-night stand — “the one that changed the world,” setting a new standard for stories about abortion. She has seen it, she estimates, more than 25 times.