See How Depictions of Abortion in Movies and TV Have Changed

SAfter the Supreme Court’s decision, a number of states across the nation are trying to limit access to abortion. Critics say this will drive the practice underground. Roe V. WadeIn recent years, however, movies and television shows have made depictions of abortion less negative and more realist.

Gretchen Sisson is a sociologist who created a list of movies that have abortion storieslines. This history dates back to 1916 silent films. Are My Children Safe? A story about a woman who is infertile due to multiple abortions. Films were required to follow a Hays Code set of guidelines for conduct on screen. Abortions had to be shown as the wrong choice, starting in the 1930s.

Primarily, from the 1960s, when the film industry’s requirements were no longer relevant, movies began to portray the many reasons women might want an abortion. They also made the procedure seem relatable and humane. Sisson particularly credits Shonda Rhimes, the showrunner for doing an outstanding job in this area. Grey’s Anatomy, Scal, and Bridgerton.

The 2019 Film Saint Frances is one example of a movie that sought to provide a realistic look at what it’s like to have an abortion by taking a medication versus undergoing a surgical procedure. It’s based on the writer Kelly O’Sullivan’s experience getting an abortion in her early 30s.

“I think there are probably still a lot of people out there who don’t know exactly what an abortion might entail,” Sullivan says. By featuring a character who gets an abortion by popping a pill, she wanted to make the movie so that “people who might want to seek abortions in the future don’t feel scared.”

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