‘Unpregnant’ star Haley Lu Richardson and director on why they made abortion-centric dramedy

SEP 08, 2020

This isn’t the kind of buddy road trip you’d expect to be played for laughs.

In the dramedy “Unpregnant” — hitting HBO Max Thursday and based on last year’s novel of the same name by Jenni Hendriks and Ted Caplan — Haley Lu Richardson stars as overachieving Missouri teen Veronica, who will do anything to get an abortion.

Continued: https://www.nydailynews.com/entertainment/ny-unpregnant-hbo-dramedy-abortion-20200908-rgndrpv3eba7fhsjiahdbxqe5e-story.html

USA – Hooray! An Abortion Buddy Comedy

By Sangeeta Singh-Kurtz
Aug 12, 2020

In an interminably looooong list of bummer abortion movies — with some great exceptions like Obvious Child, Saint Frances, and Grandma — it’s still not all that often that a terminated pregnancy is anything other than the dark center of an upsetting story line. So, when a movie that depicts abortion as not only essential but ordinary — perhaps even comedic — I breathe a sigh of relief.

Needless to say I am thrilled about HBO Max’s Unpregnant, which is one part road-movie, one-part buddy comedy, where the protagonist needs to terminate her pregnancy (but that fact is a part of the broader story arc of her character and not just her One Thing.)

Continued: https://www.thecut.com/2020/08/unpregnant-is-an-abortion-buddy-comedy.html

In ‘Personhood,’ Seattle filmmakers document the human cost of giving legal rights to embryos

Aug. 5, 2020
By Megan Burbank, Seattle Times features reporter

“Did you feel they treated you like a person?” The question is posed near the end of the new documentary “Personhood” to Tamara Loertscher, a Wisconsin woman who was imprisoned in 2014 while pregnant after disclosing prior drug use to her doctor; tests showed traces of methamphetamine in her body.

Loertscher and her attorneys have maintained that she stopped using drugs when she found out she was pregnant, but as the case unfolded, her history of drug use and Wisconsin’s “Unborn Child Protection Act” became the state’s justification for giving her fetus more legal rights than she had. Loertscher’s fetus was appointed an attorney; she, initially, was not. When Loertscher refused drug treatment, she was jailed, which effectively cut off the prenatal care she had sought.

Continued: https://www.seattletimes.com/entertainment/movies/in-personhood-seattle-filmmakers-document-the-human-cost-of-giving-legal-rights-to-embryos/

‘Life is long, and this is one event’: Films like Saint Frances are finally getting abortion right

As women’s reproductive rights remain under constant threat, Beth Webb speaks to actor and filmmaker Kelly O’Sullivan about the importance of showing abortions on-screen

Beth Webb
July 20, 2020

About 30 minutes into Chicago-set indie comedy Saint Frances, Kelly O’Sullivan’s Bridget undergoes a medical abortion. In-between forcefully vomiting and sitting uncomfortably on the toilet, the 34-year-old waitress spends the day in the arms of her lover, watching nature documentaries and reading chapters from Harry Potter.

“It was very important to me to have a sweet abortion montage,” says O’Sullivan – who drew on her own medical abortion for her screenwriting debut, which is out in the UK now – from her home in Chicago. “Women and girls walk away from watching abortions in film and TV feeling truly scared, and that might impact the way they think about making a choice like that for themselves in the future.”

Continued: https://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/films/features/saint-frances-movie-abortion-kelly-o-sullivan-obvious-child-portrait-lady-on-fire-a9608341.html

Films such as Saint Frances and Obvious Child are showing that the subject need not be depicted with guilt and shame

Steve Rose
Mon 6 Jul 2020

There is nothing funny about the pro-choice v anti-abortion culture war that has been intensifying over the past few years, but comedy is proving to be a powerful weapon in it. To the extent that the phrase “abortion comedy” is no longer an oxymoron. You could well apply it to Alex Thompson’s new indie film Saint Frances, whose subject is a 34-year-old underachiever (Kelly O’Sullivan, who also wrote the movie) who hasn’t got her life together.

Becoming a nanny is a step forward; getting pregnant with a man she barely knows is a step back. She has no trouble getting a termination, but the film deals honestly with the aftermath, both physical (never has a film been less ashamed about menstruation) and emotional (even if her boyfriend has more issues about it than she does, which he writes down in his “feelings journal”). It does not treat the matter lightly, nor does it present a termination as something shocking or shaming or freighted with guilt.

Continued: https://www.theguardian.com/film/2020/jul/06/saint-frances-how-a-new-wave-of-taboo-busting-comedies-are-tackling-abortion

Europe – Women turn to backstreet abortions during coronavirus

Women turn to backstreet abortions during coronavirus
(7 minute video)

Women across Europe are struggling to get abortions because of the coronavirus pandemic.

June 23, 2020

Continued: https://www.bbc.com/news/av/stories-53158162/coronavirus-women-denied-abortions-because-of-the-pandemic

India – Abortion is legal but coloured by prejudice: Malayalam short film ‘Aval’ shows you how

Abortion is legal but coloured by prejudice: Malayalam short film ‘Aval’ shows you how
The film is produced and co-written by a medical professional who says she has seen these violations happening for years.

Flix Cinema Monday, June 15, 2020 - 17:30
Sowmya Rajendran

Although India has fairly liberal laws when it comes to abortion, medical professionals are often hostile to women who approach them to get the procedure done. In cinema, too, abortion has been equated to murder far too many times. With the glorification of pregnancy and motherhood, this important reproductive right which gives women autonomy over their own bodies is demonised repeatedly.

A Malayalam short film called Aval, directed by Adarsh Kumar Aniyal (of Raven fame) and released on YouTube recently, presents the bitter truth about the issue. In the film, a young woman in an abusive marriage who did not want to keep her pregnancy, develops postpartum depression and ends up killing her child. Interestingly, the film has been produced and co-written by a medical professional, Dr Veena JS.

Continued: https://www.thenewsminute.com/article/abortion-legal-coloured-prejudice-malayalam-short-film-aval-shows-you-how-126592

El Salvador – These women say they had miscarriages. Now they’re in jail for abortion.

These women say they had miscarriages. Now they're in jail for abortion.

By Kate Smith, Gilad Thaler
May 28, 2020 / CBS News

Watch the CBS News Digital documentary "Jailed for Abortion in El Salvador" in the video player above. It premieres on CBSN tonight at 10:30 p.m. ET.

Seven months pregnant, Manuela, a mother of two, said she miscarried at her modest home in rural El Salvador. But the police, and a judge, didn't believe her. They charged and convicted her for aggravated homicide, sentencing her to 30 years in prison.

But Manuela only served two of those years. In 2010, she died alone in a hospital of Hodgkin's lymphoma, a disease her lawyers say caused her to miscarry.

Continued: https://www.cbsnews.com/news/miscarriages-abortion-jail-el-salvador/

FX’s Jane Roe deathbed confession reveals the abortion lie at the heart of the religious right

FX's Jane Roe deathbed confession reveals the abortion lie at the heart of the religious right
The religious right worked to convince McCorvey that abortion was the great defining evil of our time. Then they used her story to push the same line on vulnerable Americans.

May 26, 2020
By Katherine Stewart

Since it has already made the news, let’s go ahead and spoil the film. Toward the end of FX’s “AKA Jane Roe,” we learn that anti-abortion activists used a pile of money and heavy doses of psychological manipulation to convert Norma McCorvey — the actual plaintiff in Roe v. Wade — into a trophy for their cause. The documentary makes for compelling viewing, especially in its final moments, when, McCorvey tells us that, to paraphrase Bob Seger, they used her, she used them, and neither one cared.

Continued: https://www.nbcnews.com/think/opinion/fx-s-jane-roe-deathbed-confession-reveals-abortion-lie-heart-ncna1214381

USA – The long fight for reproductive rights is only getting harder

The long fight for reproductive rights is only getting harder

Book review, By Katha Pollitt
May 13, 2020

Fifteen-year-old Talia didn’t realize she was pregnant until well into her second trimester. Ending the pregnancy meant she had to get a judge’s approval. Neither parent could fulfill her state’s consent requirement because one was missing and the other was involved in her life only now and then. When she arranged a clinic visit 24 hours before the abortion, per the state law for minors, she wound up at a “fake women’s health center” next door to the real abortion clinic. The people there did everything they could to dissuade her from ending her pregnancy, including falsely telling her that they would do it later (past her state’s deadline), but Talia remained firm in her decision. Lacking health insurance that covered abortion, she had to come up with $4,000 for the procedure.

Continued: https://www.washingtonpost.com/outlook/the-long-fight-for-reproductive-rights-is-only-getting-harder/2020/05/12/2fda9f2a-8326-11ea-878a-86477a724bdb_story.html