For the Pro-abortion Left, Pro-choice Is Indistinguishable From Pro-life

(Timothy Tai/Columbia Daily Tribune via AP, File)

For years now, voices on the left have criticized the 2007 hit indie film Juno for being “anti-abortion” because the teenage protagonist of the movie, Juno (played by Ellen Page), chooses to give her baby up for adoption rather than have an abortion. In fact, the movie includes a scene where Juno goes to an abortion clinic, and a classmate who is protesting outside persuades her not to abort her child by, interestingly enough, convincing her of her unborn child’s humanity.

“Your baby probably has a beating heart, you know,” her classmate tells her. “It can feel pain. And it has fingernails.”

It’s the last part that strangely gives Juno pause. “Fingernails? Really?” she asks.

Juno nevertheless enters the clinic but quickly changes her mind. She later cites the “fingernails” comment as being the main reason she didn’t abort. It’s a pivotal moment in the film, as it sets up the main arc in which Juno finds a childless couple to adopt her child, which she has chosen to carry to term.

In other words, there would have been no story had the character aborted her child. Nevertheless, for fifteen years, the pro-abortion left can’t stop whining about the film. Diablo Cody, the screenwriter for Juno, is traumatized that the film has been interpreted as pro-life—especially since the overturning of Roe v. Wade.

In an interview with the Hollywood Reporter, Cody seemingly apologizes for how her film has been misinterpreted and even affirms her pro-abortion bona fides by pointing out that she’s had an abortion of her own since Juno was released.

“I am emphatically pro-choice and have been my entire life,” Cody explained. “And it is important to me to make that clear. But, you know, I can understand why people would misunderstand the movie. Looking back at it, I can see how it could be perceived as anti-choice. And that horrifies me.”

Cody then recalled that in 2008, she received a letter from an administrator at her Catholic high school, thanking her for “writing a movie that was in line with the school’s values.”

“And I was like, ‘What have I done?’ My objective as an artist is to be a traitor to that culture, not to uplift it.”

Cody insists that the abortion clinic scene was meant to be realistic, not to be pro-life.

“When I was a teenager, I was squeamish about the physical reality of the abortion procedure,” she explained. “I thought it sounded scary, which is not surprising when you consider the fact that I had been bombarded with gory, misleading anti-abortion propaganda at school. And I think that’s reflected in the movie: She goes to the abortion clinic, she kind of chickens out (which is something that I would have realistically done at that age, especially given all the religious trauma I was processing at the time). I’m not scared of abortion anymore; I’ve had one now. And it was a hell of a lot less scary than giving birth. But the movie is a reflection of how I felt as a young woman.”

Cody nevertheless feels the need to “clarify” her feelings about Juno “because the last thing I would ever want is for someone to interpret the movie as anti-choice. That is a huge paranoia of mine.”

Related: Pro-Choice Versus Pro-Life

There is nothing anti-abortion about the film, and it was also by no means a pro-life movie. Yes, Juno opted against aborting her child, but without that choice, there would have been no need for the movie. While I typically discourage using the term “pro-choice,” one could easily say this movie fits that description. The problem with the radical left is that they are decidedly not “pro-choice” anymore, and arguably never were. Why wouldn’t advocates of choice celebrate the choice not to abort and have a child placed with a family? Frankly, that’s just not where the radical left is at now. Hence, crisis pregnancy centers that don’t offer abortions are being attacked by activists. This is why you probably won’t see Hollywood make films like Juno anymore, because to the left, choosing life—even while still supporting abortion—is no different than being pro-life.



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