Is Planned Parenthood Taking The "Choice" Thing Too Literally?

Illustration for article titled Is Planned Parenthood Taking The "Choice" Thing Too Literally?

A Planned Parenthood clinic in Indiana is offering adoption services. "It just seems to fit so well with our philosophy of providing women with choice," says a spokeswoman. Huh. So, lots of material here, in light of Planned Parenthood's recent strategy to become the "LensCrafters of Family Planning"…as if the choice between surgical and medical is akin to glasses/contacts, and giving birth to to a person you then cede to another person…sort of like Lasik? Choice…it is an odd term. If I were like, some serious essayist I might consult the OED and books like this and maybe riff on how a word once synonymous with freedom itself has turned at once dour and grim and devoid of meaning, maybe because the type of choice you can't make in the time it takes to type your credit card number into an encrypted database isn't generally that fun to make?

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And Juno, which I finally saw (and cried during, but I was on a plane) and thought, "How is this not a pro-life movie?" Because you know, you wouldn't call it pro-choice, because she doesn't take advantage of the "choice" that's so endangered, even though you could make a Juno: China and you'd have a story that's slightly more P.C. And did it depict a kid for whom having a child was just one more oddball alternakid consumer choice she made, like with her collection of gory horror movies and retro flannel jackets, and thus a cynical GOP-funded marketing ploy whose appeal to a certain psychographic of bored punk rock-listening teenagers must now be answered by the Starbucks of reproductive health? Because I could argue that point with crystal clear logic in a Diablo Cody hit piece wryly referencing the opening line of Sex & The City about how women move to New York for the "two L's: Love and Labels," but the truth is I have no desire to diss Diablo Cody or the Indiana Planned Parenthood, not until I see the documents detailing the Build-A-Bear-bankrolled conspiracy, and that's the cool thing about opinions is they're also a "choice."

Clinic Teams With Adoption Agency In NWI [Post-Trib]

Earlier: How Pretty, Profitable, Should Planned Parenthood Be?

Portland Builder Drops Planned Parenthood For Fear Of Pro Life Protesters

DISCUSSION

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@broad:

Good pick, although I don't think it was technically mainstream...but it did explore the issue pretty thoroughly.

But just to point out, like Fast Times, it wasn't a movie about abortion, it was a movie about a young man finding himself. Abortion was an issue that was certainly important, though, since it factors into his life at the orphanage and his life outside.

Juno was less about the pregnancy and more about a young woman growing up. And I think Juno made a clear case for choice in a way that say, Knocked Up didn't. I wouldn't call Knocked Up anti-choice though...if you listen to the commentary Apatow was very aware of the issue and had a hard time deciding how far to go into it. Juno was popular, but it was technically an independent film. Which basically means different studio and funding interaction. The fact that it became popular doesn't mean it was actually intended as "mainstream". The level of success surprised everyone.

Also, I think it's fine to discuss how a film portrays choice and such...but I have a hard time getting riled up about a film that chooses pregnancy to term as its inciting incident/plot/narrative. That's a legit story topic. The fact that we don't also have movies with characters who choose another option is more of the point...and I think it's as much a cultural problem as a story structure one. Even Cider House took a break from that issue for quite some time. Most of the movie is about that characters growth, falling in love, racial issues, etc. And it's also clearly a drama.

Also, If These Walls Could talk dealt with abortion...from when they were illegal to more of what we face today.

But clearly the movies that use choice (and specifically abortion) as the story choice tend to be more serious. Fast Times is the only exception, and that part of the film was clearly meant to be more serious and was part of that characters arc. So I doubt we're going to see any popular or mainstream comedies going that route. Pregnancy allows for more "comedic" moments, in we're just looking at the function of comedic storytelling.