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Report: Hollywood abortion depictions ‘way up,’ becoming more ‘unapologetic’

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August 2, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – As major entertainers and Hollywood studios ramp up their pro-abortion advocacy, a new study by left-wing researchers from the University of California has found a significant uptick in positive depictions of the “choice” to abort a child in film and television.

The University of California-San Francisco’s Advancing New Standards in Reproductive Health (ANSIRH) is a think tank known for pro-abortion research touted by the media yet heavily critiqued by pro-lifers. Recently, ANSIRH sociologist Gretchen Sisson told the New York Times that the group has found a significant change in both the frequency and tone of onscreen abortions.

“You’re definitely seeing more of the matter-of-fact ‘I am pregnant, I don’t want to be, I’m going to have an abortion,’” Sisson said. “And it’s gone way up in 2019.” 

Twenty-one characters have discussed abortion this year so far, outpacing 2018’s total of 18 for the full year, and on track to match or outpace ANSIRH’s record tally of 34 characters in 2017. This year’s abortion subplots or mentions have occurred on shows including Hulu’s Shrill, HBO’s Veep, and Netflix’s She's Gotta Have It.

According to the Times, abortion storylines used to feature characters who “usually agonized about what to do or, if the show was set in the past, weighed back-alley procedures. Babies were often carried to term or lost to miscarriage. Terminations led to psychological or physical problems or death.” In recent years, however, characters are more likely to be “decisive and forthright” about aborting their children, then move on to other storylines.

“Shonda Rhimes opened it up so it can be on network prime,” Sisson said, referencing the producer of ABC’s Scandal, which in 2015 infamously featured a lead character aborting a child she conceived during an extramarital affair, in a scene intercut with a voiceover about how “family is a burden” and a Christmas choir singing “Silent Night.”

The favorability of onscreen abortions has been a recurring interest of ANSIRH, which in 2014 released a study objecting to the fact that nine percent of onscreen abortions ended with maternal death, when the real-world rate is much lower (albeit not as low as the abortion industry claims). The authors claimed the rate helped “stigmatize” abortion, despite the fact that many of these deaths were pre-Roe v. Wade and meant to further another misleading pro-abortion narrative.

The latest trend comes as numerous Hollywood actors and companies are threatening to boycott Georgia in protest of the state’s law banning most abortions once a heartbeat can be detected. While Hollywood may be doubling down on abortion, pro-life filmmakers say there’s a disconnect between the industry’s values and those of general audiences.

“Nobody’s speaking for us, Hollywood doesn’t speak for us,” Nick Loeb, director of an upcoming film about Roe v. Wade, told the Times. “But when people make movies for us,” such as the recent Gosnell and Unplanned, “they’re loved and they’re adored.”

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