Media Drive Hype on ‘Abortion Comedy’ as Planned Parenthood, NARAL Host Screenings

‘Obvious Child’ is a hit – with lefty media types.

Finally, a movie that presents the murder of an innocent as the laugh riot it is!

In the new abortion romantic comedy hitting theaters, the child in “Obvious Child” is anything but obvious. In fact, it’s dead, which is why so many pro-abortionists are praising the movie.

Director Gillian Robespierre’s “Obvious Child” follows an aspiring young comedian, Donna Stern, whose abortion turns into a “happily ever after” love story. Opening June 6, the film stresses “self-discovery and empowerment” and the “realities of independent womanhood.” With endorsements from Planned Parenthood and NARAL as well as applause from the media, the abortion “comedy” serves as the latest push for normalizing abortion.

Starring Jenny Slate (“SNL,” “Parks and Recreation”), the film premiered at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year. As Robespierre revealed to The New York Times, the film reacted against movies like “Juno” and “Knocked Up,” where the babies live – a “misrepresentation of women on screen when it came to unplanned pregnancy.”

Although The New York Times reported that “Donna does not consult the man (played by Jake Lacy) who impregnated her during a one-night stand” and “never wavers on her course of action” when she walks into the clinic, Slate insisted  "our film is not an agenda movie in any way."

But that’s not how the media see it – and this week’s reviews only continue the media’s infatuation for the film.

Getting personal, Slate’s Amanda Hess applauded the film as “the most honest abortion movie I’ve ever seen.” She emphasized, “This is a romantic comedy where the girl gets an abortion and gets the guy.”  Wow, you can have it all! Slate’s Dana Stevens chimed in, “I hope humans with and without vaginas will see Obvious Child.”

Rolling Stone’s Carrie Battan even “came close to tears” watching the film and praised, “the way Obvious Child handles the idea of abortion: not as an earth-shattering event that permanently derails a woman's path in life, but as a decision that's a bit unsettling, a bit inconvenient, often necessary – and occasionally funny.” And why shouldn’t we see the lighter side of infanticide.

Cosmopolitan Senior Political Writer Jill Filipovic’s piece deemed the movie “the summer’s most important movie.” She explained: “the abortion is a catalyst for a potential romantic relationship” or, in other words, “It's a pregnancy story that has a happy ending, even when the ending isn't a baby.” Just like a regular fairytale, right?

Citing her review, Planned Parenthood and Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards also recognized “the summer’s most important movie.” NARAL tweeted in agreement while NARAL President Ilyse Hogue recognized the piece as “so compelling.”

Not unlike Filipovic, Salon’s Andrew O’Hehir hailed the movie for “blast[ing] through pop culture's abortion taboo.”  He similarly noted, “The historic moment of “Obvious Child” is not about saying that abortion is safe and legal and that’s a good thing. It’s about saying that abortion gave these two people a shot at true love.”

Despite the irony in the film’s title, RH Reality Check’s Sarah Seltzer noted how the film “changes the rom-com game” to praise, “there’s refreshingly zero talk of the child that might be if Donna carried her pregnancy to term.”

The Huffington Post’s Emma Gray hyperventilated over “the year’s more revolutionary film.” The Daily Beast’s Caryn James described it as “Funny, touching, and bracingly honest” while The New York Times’ A. O. Scott similarly decided on “funny and serious” and “honest.” Buzzfeed’s Alison Willmore also used the words “funny” and “painfully honest.”

New York Daily News’ Joe Neumaier reported on the “helluva cure for dealing with a serious topic” while U.S. News and World Report’s Tierney Sneed used the phrase “breakthrough film.” TIME Magazine’s Richard Corliss exlaimed in his headline “Do Not Abort This Movie!” and complimented Slate for her “sensational performance.”

With two thoughts, Fem site Bustle’s Rachel Simon concluded that after seeing the movie, audiences will think “1) ‘man, this movie is funny and important and I am so glad it exists,’ and 2) ‘holy crap, Jenny Slate is going to be huge.’” Bustle’s Lia Beck, a former Planned Parenthood employee, even highlighted how the movie “got Planned Parenthood right” with the abortion (or, as she would say, “surgical procedure”).

Jimmy Kimmel invited Jenny Slate onto his show June 5 to commend her.  “I watched your movie. I thought it was very good and you were very good in it too, I thought,” he gushed.

Right in step with the media, NARAL hosted a screening of the film. Planned Parenthood did the same the next day and gushed on Twitter, “SO EXCITED for our screening and Q&A with the folks behind the outstanding #ObviousChild.” 

During the screening, Planned Parenthood produced a flood of tweets in adoration: 

  •  “Why we love #ObviousChild so much: Donna makes her decisions ‘without shame or regret, but not without a complexity of emotion.’ @bettyholm”
  • Honest portrayals about women's lives, which can include abortion, in film and TV are extremely rare. #ObviousChild is a *breakthrough*.”
  • In @ObviousChildMov, as in many realities, women's decision to end a pregnancy ‘doesn't define their lives.’ @GillianHardG #ObviousChild”
  • “‘This is a movie that realistically portrays an abortion & that's really exciting—but it's also just a damn good movie.’ Yes! #ObviousChild”
  • One film won’t change how women are viewed by society and the entertainment industry, but it can help change the conversation. #ObviousChild” 

The film raised money for production through Kickstarter, which recently made headlines after refusing the Gosnell movie permission to fundraise. The crowdfunding site also funded “After Tiller,” a documentary which followed the last four late-term abortionists in America.

— Katie Yoder is Staff Writer, Joe and Betty Anderlik Fellow in Culture and Media at the Media Research Center. Follow Katie Yoder on Twitter.