Daily Dispatches
Jenny Slate, star of <em>Obvious Child</em>
Associated Press/Photo by John Shearer/Invision
Jenny Slate, star of Obvious Child

Vital Signs: An abortion rom-com? Puh-leeze


Abortion film falls flat. The Sundance Film Festival this January will feature a film focused on an abortion. The romantic comedy Obvious Child follows Donna, a young woman who gets fired, dumped, and pregnant all before Valentine’s Day. Unlike the lead characters in Juno and Knocked Up, Donna chooses to abort her baby. The abortion, the crux but not focus of the film, is her attempt to “make better choices,” according to the film’s promotional page on Kickstarter.com. The film, originally created as a short in 2009 by director Gillian Robespierre, has received accolades from a number of pro-abortion sites. Robespierre said she originally created the film to give a more honest perspective on pregnancy and growing up. Yet surprisingly, a review in the liberal Slate criticized Donna’s selfishness, saying it makes her an unconvincing heroine. “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,” wrote Abigail Pilgrim. “All of which is to say, a little dose of reality might do her some serious good.”

Insufficient evidence. A grand jury in Harris County, Texas, cleared an abortionist Dec. 20 of charges that he performed illegal late-term abortions, The New York Times reported. Operation Rescue alleged that Douglas Karpen of Texas Ambulatory Surgical Center killed babies born alive in botched abortions similar to those performed by abortionist Kermit Gosnell, who was convicted of murder earlier this year. Operation Rescue based the charges on the testimony of four former Karpen employees and photographs of aborted late-term babies. The employees also said Karpen performed abortions beyond the legal limit of 24 weeks. “It’s upsetting to know that the kind of brutality shown in the photos taken at his clinic will be allowed continue,” Operation Rescue president Troy Newman said in a press release.

Facility census down. A survey conducted by Operation Rescue found that the number of surgical abortion facilities has decreased by 12 percent in 2013. This year’s closures include six pill-only providers and 87 surgical abortion facilities, with 81 closing permanently. Though 581 remain open, the surgical facilities have decreased by 73 percent since 1991. The report listed increased law enforcement, new state abortion laws, and more pro-life sentiment as likely causes for the abortion decline. Texas saw the most closures due to its law requiring that abortion providers obtain local hospital privileges. Maryland and Pennsylvania also experienced closures thanks to new safety rules. “After the 2010 midterm elections, conservative gains resulted in a wave of pro-life legislation flooding statehouses across America,” Operation Rescue’s Newman said in the report. “Once legislators find out what is really going on at abortion clinics in their states, they understand the urgency of passing pro-life laws that protect women and their babies from clinics that prey on their vulnerabilities.”

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Courtney Crandell
Courtney Crandell

Courtney is a Virginia journalist. Follow her on Twitter @CourtneyLeeC.


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