Abortion on Screen: Vera Drake (2004): Mike Leigh’s Tale of Abortionist, Starring Imelda Staunton in Oscar-Nominated Performance

What neither her family nor her friends know is that this salt-of-the-earth woman provides back-street abortions, an unpaid service she describes as “helping young girls out when they can’t manage.”

Abortion on Screen: Unpregnant (2020): Rachel Lee Goldenberg’s Buddy-Comedy about Avoid Unwanted Pregnancy

Unpregnant (2020) Rachel Lee Goldenberg’s Unpregnant puts a buddy-comedy spin on the premise, teenagers embarking on long trips to avoid unwanted pregnancies. The estranged childhood pals Veronica (Haley Lu Richardson) and Bailey (Barbie Ferreira) hit the road to get the former an abortion. The girls’ predicament, which is treated sensitively and matter-of-factly, stands as sobering […]

Surrogate, The (2020): Jeremy Hersh’s Ethical Drama about Parenting and Reproductive Rights

The Surrogate (2020) Without any preachiness or melodrama, writer-director Jeremy Hersh’s first feature asks tough questions about prenatal testing, eugenics, reproductive rights, parenting, special-needs children and abortion. This lucid ethical drama is propelled by a performance of stunning psychological insight and raw feeling from Jasmine Batchelor as a single woman who has volunteered to be […]

Abortion on Screen: Story of Women (1988): Chabrol’s Fact-Based Drama, Starring Isabelle Huppert

Story of Women (1988) Claude Chabrol’s film stars the indefatigable Isabelle Huppert as Marie Latour, a complex character based on Marie-Louise Giraud. In 1943, she was the last woman to be guillotined in France, after being convicted for her illegal work as an abortionist. This gripping tale about an enterprising housewife who begins performing abortions […]

Abortion on Screen: Portrait of a Lady on Fire (2019)

Portrait of a Lady on Fire (2019) The slow-burn chemistry between an artist (Noémie Merlant) and her initially unwilling subject (Adèle Haenel) — who’s also a reluctant bride-to-be — ignites this sensuous and exquisitely measured period piece. Set in late 18th century France, Céline Sciamma’s drama is a lesbian love story, but its true subject […]