Why is Hollywood Afraid of Abortion?

Why is Hollywood Afraid of Abortion?

R. Albert Mohler, Jr.
June 15, 2007

Gerard Baker asks an interesting question – If Hollywood is so liberal, why is it afraid of abortion?

Writing in The Times [London], Baker points to a pair of recent Hollywood releases, both of which deal with the issue of an unplanned and unwanted pregnancy. Both movies depict women who decide not to have an abortion.

Baker then makes a most interesting observation:

This has some feminists outraged. They point out that in Hollywood, for decades – in everything from Sex and the City to Parenthood – women confronted with an unplanned pregnancy almost always choose to keep the baby. It is odd that Hollywood does this, given that it is a famously liberal bastion of the “pro-choice” position. If abortion, a tool for women to make their lives better, is such an important right, as Hollywood liberals passionately believe, then why not celebrate it with some positive, abortion-affirming role models?

Hollywood is a citadel of pro-choice activism — a fountain of fundraising for the pro-abortion movement. Furthermore, a good many of Hollywood’s own have had abortions, and have boasted of the fact. So, why the absence of abortion on the big screen?

Baker considers one suggested theory and then offers a theory of his own:

One theory is that film producers, with their eye on the box office, don’t want to alienate large numbers of socially conservative Americans.

This strikes me as a bit flimsy. The big studios are happy to churn out films that promote wild conspiracy theories about evil cliques of conservatives who control the military-industrial complex. And you can hardly turn on your TV these days without coming across some “courageous” new drama about gay couples, which presumably causes loud harrumphing in households below the Mason-Dixon line.

No, there’s a much better and simpler explanation. The reality is that few people – whatever their political views – want to go and see a film where a woman chooses to have an abortion. We go to the cinema in large part to be inspired; to be reminded that, while we go through our real lives making messy moral compromises and falling way short of our ideals, there are some people, on screen at least, who do the good and moral and honourable thing. And confronted with the awful trauma of an unwanted pregnancy, almost all of the time choosing to have the baby is the good and moral and honourable thing to do.

This is a remarkable and profoundly true statement, and it bears both repeating and a closer look:

And confronted with the awful trauma of an unwanted pregnancy, almost all of the time choosing to have the baby is the good and moral and honourable thing to do.

Confronted with the moral reality of abortion, any effort to depict the killing of unborn human life will be revealed as what it is — immoral and dishonorable.

Baker also points to the incongruous and hypocritical nature of the pro-abortion position.  Advocates for abortion present two contradictory claims — that a decision to have an abortion is agonizing and that abortion is not all that morally significant.

As Baker explains:

The defenders of abortion like to say that choosing to have a termination is an agonising decision – and certainly many women will attest to this. But they also say that abortion presents no deep moral problem because it does not represent the taking of a human life.

So if having an abortion is no more than the disposal of an unwanted clump of cells, why on earth should a woman feel so bad about it?

Baker is confident that abortion will one day been seen in the same light as slavery.  Generations to come, he predicts, will look back in embarrassment at this generation’s low view of human life and human dignity.

We must hope is is right on that score, of course.  But Gerard Baker’s observation about Hollywood’s fear of abortion on the big screen makes a very important point about what this generation already knows, but tries to hide from itself — that abortion is both immoral and evil.

If they were really convinced that it was such an honorable “choice,” the decision-makers and opinion-shapers of Hollywood  would put it on the screen for all to see.

Don’t expect that to happen any time soon — and we all know why.

R. Albert Mohler, Jr.

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