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"Juno" and the Anniversary of Roe Vs. Wade

While at Sundance this week, I’m thinking about the film “Juno” which has been nominated for the Academy Awards. As Diane Winson at the USC Knight Chair for Media and Religion points out, “Juno” gets an Oscar nod on the 35th anniversary of Roe versus Wade. What’s Hollywood telling us about the younger generation and the national consensus on abortion? Is the culture changing? Is that change happening based on compelling stories like
“Juno” rather than the more hostile (or at least confrontational) rhetoric of religious leaders of the last 35 years? Should the pro-life movement consider changing strategy?  What do you think?

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7 Comments

  1. Juno is an interesting film. Its been criticised by some of the snootier Christian critics who say its only pro-life by default and indifferent on the issue of pre-marital sex. But I still think its a huge step in the right direction, and as you say, a far more effective argument than the silly rhetoric of much of the pro-life movement (I for one have never been able to understand the hypocrisy of how someone can claim to be pro-life yet support the death penalty, but hey, I’m a Brit and we’ve moved on from such barbarism).

    In addition, its an interesting film to contrast with 4 months, 3 weeks, 2 days which is about a woman who assists her friend to arrange an illegal abortion in 1980’s Romania. Although this film doesn’t gloss over the horrors of abortion, it is nevertheless a pro-choice (or pro-mother’s choice as I prefer to call it) argument for abortion within a legal framework.

    Its also interesting how the foul-mouthed but brilliant Knocked Up was also pro-life by default.

  2. My first thought after seeing Juno was, "Christians should have made this movie."  I loved how it didn't shy away from real issues (teen pregnancy, divorce, abortive thoughts, etc…) but yet showed the joy and blessing that can come from birth and adoption.  

    It's interesting to note that 2 of the funniest (and best) movies I've seen this past year were Juno and Knocked Up.  Neither were "Christian" movies by any stretch, but both promoted (in a Hollywood style) a pro-life message.  Once again, the Christian creative community has now fallen a step behind in producing content that promotes the values we stand for (as followers of Jesus) without coming off as cheesy, churchy, or irrelevant.  Perhaps our picketing and right-wing political agendas aren't the best way…

  3. The abortion story still needs to be told by Christians.  I love what I am hearing about Juno, but if you guys what to take this subject and do a story, consider:

    1 in 3 women — in the church and out–over 45 has had an abortion

    The ones in the church–for the most part–tell no one for fear of being judged.  Their scars never heal, grace escapes them because the church doesn't know to reach out to them.

    Every day I minister to…

    …14 years olds who have had an abortion and have not told their parents, their grief for their baby overwhelming, their shame and fear keeping them from telling the two people who need to be there for them

    …young teens who had their mom physically held them down and force them to abort.  They are so angry, so sick with grief.

    …nice church girls (one in seminary!) who made a mistake and "could not get caught" and now so regret what they did

    …middle age women with families who have never confessed to their husband that one day years ago they had an abortion and are terrified their family will find out, but they live daily with the shame and guilt

    My point is there is much to be told here…go to http://www.afterabortion.com, it is a secular site and look around.  Be prepared to be bled on.  Tens of thousands of women in pain after abortion in their past. 

    ..

  4. Not sure how many of you have seen Juno, but I evjoyed the movie overall (despite some of the artistic choices made in the script). However, I did not walk out of the theater thinking "hey, this was a pro-life movie". Now, granted I saw the movie before it got a lot of its attention and was able to go in without much prior knowledge, so I wasn't looking for anything like that. I thought the movie was touching and reached its "pro-life" conclusion not so much by default, but becuase I think people watching a movie cannot empathize with a character who has an abortion. I know deep down most people know there is something wrong with abortion and don't like to see it up close. Since many abortions are done "under cover", it is easy to stand far off and say "I think women should have the choice". But when faced with the gritty reality we tend to be more pro-life. This is just a generalization obviously.

    Simon, as to your point about being pro-life and pro death penalty, this is probably not the forum to discuss it. But I would say I have done some hard thinking in this area and have come to the conclusion that it is not a contradiction to take that position.

    I hope that Christians do not "miss the boat" on these kinds of films.

  5. There is an upcoming pro-life movie, COME WHAT MAY, that is made by Christians, by home schoolers in fact. It tells the story of two college students from Patrick Henry College who argue the legal case for overturning Roe v. Wade at the National Moot Court Championship. The mother of one of the students is a feminist constitutional attorney who argues the opposite case before the U.S. Supreme Court. It's a battle of world views fought at home, college, and the courts.

    The movie is starting to gain wide notice because it features Patrick Henry College, a national powerhouse in collegiate debate and moot court competition. The 8-year-old school with only 300 students has defeated universities several times its size for the national moot court championship. It has also defeated Oxford twice. Interestingly, most PHC students were home schooled.

    The movie trailer can be seen at: http://www.adventfilmgroup.com

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