Obvious child

A recent Boston Globe headline exclaimed, “‘Obvious Child’ brings Slate to town.” Unfortunately, “Obvious Child” is a movie in which a child in the womb is killed so that young adults, who are living with less responsibility than many a child, can continue to go about their selfish lives.

The online magazine Slate panned the original version of this movie (it came out as a “short” back in 2009), which stars the actress Jenny Slate, a Milton native (this does get confusing). Slate magazine’s commentator, Abigail Pilgrim (could there be a more appropriate name?), entitled her review “I’d Take ‘Juno’ Over Jenny Slate’s Anti-‘Juno’ Any Day.” Pilgrim contrasted the characters of the movies “Juno” and “Knocked Up” with those in “Obvious Child.” About the earlier two movies, she wrote, “I can’t help wanting a little hope and redemption in my entertainment (not to mention real life). That’s why the plots of all of the recent pregnant-mama films resonate: Selfish, naive young people get pregnant and decide to stop living entirely for themselves and take responsibility for their actions. And we cheer for them, because we want their fictional careless escapades to be redeemed by some warm-hearted selflessness.”

In “Obvious Child” the “child” in question, according to the promoters of the movie, is the main character, Donna, played by Jenny Slate, not the child soon to be destroyed in her womb. Pilgrim’s review quotes the character of Donna’s mother, who has just been told over the phone that her daughter will have an abortion. The mother (the grandmother of the child to be killed) says, “Well, you know, that’s probably the best thing to do. You’re so young. You have your whole life ahead of you.” Then Pilgrim adds, “Except, from what I can tell, Donna is a self-absorbed partier in her late 20s or early 30s, prone to one-night stands and brainless conversations with her best gal pal. If I had to flash-forward to a Donna in 20 years, I feel like I’d imagine her living the same old self-absorbed way, only with more wrinkles. All of which is to say, a little dose of reality might do her some serious good.”

Pro-abortion writers have embraced “Obvious Child,” praising it for taking away any guilt people might feel about having an abortion. Dame Magazine’s Jennifer Keishin Armstrong wrote, “humor is how we normalize issues, how we make them our own. To laugh about the world is to acknowledge it, to accept it, to say it’s going to be OK. Donna’s going to be OK after her abortion; she is still going to laugh and cry and love and work and fight. That’s what makes ‘Obvious Child’ a revolutionary film.”

The makers of “Juno,” “Knocked Up,” and “Downton Abbey” (which recently featured a storyline in which a character considered an abortion, while her aunt urged her not to do so. The mother in question went to have it and then had second thoughts in the sadness of the “clinic” and decided to give birth to her child) are not conservative Catholics, but they have the instinctual understanding that abortion is not a big joke. It is the violent ending of a human life and the choice to have one does impact all those involved in making (or forcing) the decision.

The “regularization” of abortion is being attempted on various fronts. Last August 30 the New York Times ran a wedding announcement which praised an abortion that the couple had together during their courtship. The couple in question were NBA player Udonis Haslem of the Miami Heat, and his wife, Faith Rein. 

The Times reported, “Their first challenge took place when she became pregnant. It was her junior and his senior year, and he had begun training for the NBA draft. Despite the pregnancy, she was busy with track meets and helping him complete homework. The timing was bad. ‘I am not a huge fan of abortion, but we both had sports careers, plus we could not financially handle a baby,” said Mr. Haslem, noting how he struggled with supporting Kedonis, the son he had in high school, who is now 14 and who lives with his mother (a woman other than Rein).

“‘Udonis appreciated that I was willing to have an abortion,’ Ms. Rein said. ‘I found him caring, supportive, nurturing and all over me to be sure I was OK. I saw another side of him during that difficult time and fell deeply in love. He had a big heart and was the whole package.’”

What a sad mentality. Lauren Enriquez of Live Action News blogged about this abortion, “Oh, don’t fail to notice: one of the reasons the couple felt it necessary to abort their child is because Rein was busy helping Haslem with his homework. No wonder Udonis was ‘appreciative’ of Faith’s willingness to abort their first child together. Does anyone else smell bro-choice in that sentiment? Once again, abortion boosts men’s liberation, and one is hard-pressed to see how it helps women. In keeping with established New York Times norms, the article brushes on as if the abortion were not just a non-issue, but actually as if the success of their future relationship and eventual Marriage may be — at least in part — attributed to the freely chosen death of their first child.”

Doug Barry of the online magazine Jezebel (think of the queen from the Bible’s First book of Kings somehow changed from villainess to heroine) praised the Times and its coverage of this couple’s abortion. “These are things that happen, to couples and single women who just aren’t ready to sacrifice their futures to the altar of devoted parenthood. It’s just a thing that is, and the New York Times openly discussing abortion like this doesn’t make abortion seem like any more or less of a difficult, private decision. It simply shows that it is a decision, to be considered or ignored or made or nearly made by people based on their own priorities and not some imaginary standard of adulthood imposed by pious, anti-choice finger-waggers.”

Cosmopolitan magazine praised the basketball player and his wife for being “brave.” Cassy Fiano of Live Action News replied, “There’s nothing brave about this. Bravery would have been keeping the baby, despite knowing that it would be hard, or giving the child up for adoption. Abortion is the easy way out. And calling a couple brave for talking about how they killed their unborn child — conceived through no fault of his or her own, but through the couple’s own actions — purely because the pregnancy was inconvenient is disgusting. That’s not something that should be applauded or cheered. And pro-aborts know it. It’s why they so often trot out sad, sad stories of women whose children have incurable diseases, or were raped. People who choose to abort their children just out of convenience don’t give anyone the warm-and-fuzzies, despite what pro-aborts want you to think.”

We in the Church try to not be merely “finger-waggers,” but people with outstretched hands, ready to help people who are in a difficult situation due to a pregnancy. Our Catholic Charities Appeal, which is ongoing at the moment, helps in so many ways people in need (and not just the media’s stereotype of the Church only caring about the baby up unto birth, but throughout people’s lives). We urge you to take the money you could have wasted on this movie and put it towards helping mothers and children in need. That would be the “obvious” choice.

© 2019 The Anchor and Anchor Publishing    †    Fall River, Massachusetts