Time Drags 'Juno' Into Pregnancy-Pact Story

June 20th, 2008 8:51 AM

Time magazine is taking the lead on the Gloucester, Massachusetts "pregnancy pact" story, but its story is actually quite brief. Even so, Time is attempting to blame movies that didn’t tout abortion. On its home page for this week's magazine, Time’s blurb reads: "Postcard Gloucester: A Massachusetts fishing town tries to understand why so many of its teenagers made a pact to get pregnant. How one school is grappling with the Juno effect".

In the article by Kathleen Kingsbury, she begins by dragging in Juno and Knocked Up as a scapegoat for an anonymous gang of "some" in the town:

As summer vacation begins, 17 girls at Gloucester High School are expecting babies -- more than four times the number of pregnancies the 1,200-student school had last year. Some adults dismissed the statistic as a blip. Others blamed hit movies like Juno and Knocked Up for glamorizing young unwed mothers.

Time should know "some" people saw these  movies and didn't see "glamorized" pregnancies, simply young women choosing to keep a baby.

Liberals can't seem to allow an alternative point of view to emerge on abortion. Neither of these movies did any lobbying, suggesting that politicians should pass laws to protect the unborn. They simply showed likable women choosing to carry their babies to term. Liberals say they're "pro-choice," but they can't stand watching another choice made in a movie.

Time magazine film critic Richard Corliss suggested these films were a political sickness four months ago:

In American romantic comedies like Knocked Up, Waitress and Juno, a woman's unwanted pregnancy is the springboard for sexual love, self-knowledge and, as she comes to term, the rosy maturity that Hollywood sees as motherhood. The word "abortion" is hardly spoken of; the procedure gets no serious consideration. Abortion is simply not an option for the heroines of these pictures, though it is for more than a million American women a year.

If a Republican becomes President this November, and if the Supreme Court keeps tilting toward the political starboard, it's possible (I don't want to say conceivable) that Roe v. Wade will be overturned and abortion made illegal in many states. The operation would again be entrusted to shady entrepreneurs and the desperate pregnant women themselves. Those who look forward to making abortion illegal must consider the effects of that ruling; women will still do it, but at a much higher risk of injury and trauma.

For an instructive dramatizing of the problem — and more important, for one of the strongest movies in recent years — they should see writer-director Christian Mungiu's Romanian film 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days.

In other words, the American post-Roe landscape might look a lot like communist Romania? Eek. Corliss concluded his rave review of the film:

Proceeding with her pregnancy is no more an option for Gabi than an abortion was to the cheerful women with their initially unwanted fetuses in the American movies. It's as if life in Romania is so soul-destroying that Gabi doesn't want to bring another soul into it. Which may be the one thoughtful decision this immature young woman ever made.

Brent Bozell's rebuttal is here.