These are the times that try feminists’ souls. Pro-life laws in places like Alabama and Georgia threaten to produce an epidemic of live, healthy births in red states in the not-too-distant future. All good progressives must rally to the abortion uber alles flag. Now is not time to be seen as a summer sister or sunshine patriarchy smasher, not while famous comrades deprive themselves of cheap, non-union production labor or forswear carnal gratification.
Even those with a record of thought crimes will be welcomed back to the fight, provided they show appropriate contrition.
Like Diablo Cody, the woman who inadvertently wrote a high-profile “pro-life” movie. Cody is reckoning with her 2007 Oscar-winning Juno, which The Washington Post’s Allyson Chiu describes as “a coming-of-age comedy chronicling the ups and downs in the life of a 16-year-old girl who gets pregnant unexpectedly and decides to give her baby up for adoption.”
Such heterodoxy seems shocking now. But back when she was writing Juno, the future still held a President Hillary, and Justice Anthony Kennedy was more than a decade from retirement. Heck, there were even a couple of “pro-life Democrats” still in Congress.
Cody recently told a podcast, “I don’t even know if I would have written a movie like Juno if I had known that the world was going to spiral into this hellish alternate reality that we now seem to be stuck in.”
She’s particularly upset with Georgia’s “heartbeat” bill. As the name implies, it bans abortion once a fetus has a detectable heartbeat -- an injustice that brings out the eloquent, lettered screenwriter in Cody: “It’s honestly something I’ve been kind of thinking about continuously in an endless dark feedback loop. It sucks so . . . Bad.”
Chiu writes that “having her breakout movie be associated with antiabortion messaging is a regret that has troubled [Cody] for years.”
And who could blame her? You try sleeping at night with all those live babies haunting your conscience.
“In a way I feel like I had a responsibility to maybe be more explicitly pro-choice, and I wasn’t,” Cody said during a Planned Parenthood benefit event in 2017 marking the film’s 10th anniversary, Vanity Fair reported. “I think I took the right to choose for granted at the time.”
“I didn’t think it was ever going to get made,” she said. “I wasn’t thinking as an activist. I wasn’t thinking politically at all.”
And if we take no other lesson from this sad story, let it be that -- a good progressive is always an activist. She thinks politically 100% of the time and is always on guard against incursions of normal human feeling and thought.
According to Chiu, Cody quickly saw the error of her ways when she got “A letter from her Catholic high school thanking her for “writing a pro-life movie,” she said, describing it as the “most horrifying thing.” The piece added:
“I was like, I … hate all of you, and I’m as pro-choice as a person can possibly be,” she said.
“I ... hate all of you.” Clearly, Cody’s once again a progressive in good standing.