An Obvious Child: A Romantic Comedy about Abortion

by Jamie Doak

Abortion can have a happy ending.  Seriously.  But you wouldn’t think so by watching American TV shows or movies.  Most of the time the A-word isn’t even mentioned and the plot dives straight into “Oh noes, how will I raise this baby on my own!” Of course, then you have the adoption genre with shows like Glee that have characters waffling between adoption and teen motherhood.  Juno goes as far as to enter an abortion clinic before deciding that adoption is a better choice.  In Friday Night Lights a young woman actually has the procedure but the episode closes with the woman in tears.  Pregnant women on TV have two choices:  have the baby and proceed to have crazy adventures and make audiences laugh or have an abortion, end the show and make audiences cry.  

Enter: An Obvious Child.  Created by Gillian Robespierre, written by ex BUST-intern Ann Bean, and starring SNL cast member Jenny Slate,  this short 20 minute film tells the story of a woman for whom abortion isn’t an antagonizing moral dilemma ending only in heartbreak.  It’s a medical procedure.  

Similar in genre to Juno, this quirky film is a romantic comedy in which a  young woman becomes unexpectedly pregnant, chooses to have an abortion and finds herself in a weird (but sweet) romance that develops out of the unlikely situation.  Oh and there is bongo dancing.  And it is awesome.  

An Obvious Child deals with abortion sensitively and shows that it is not a decision made lightly; yet simultaneously shows that women who do choose to have an abortion don’t uniformly feel as though their life is over.  It pulls women who have an abortion out of the tragedy section and lets them take a place on the comedy shelf.  They’re allowed to laugh too.  

Check it out- it’s an awesome and online.  And watch for the Valentine’s Day scene with the sweethearts in the clinic.  It’s hysterical.

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