Fashion magazine Marie Claire demands “representation” for parents on screens, claiming that people who already have children are the most frequent “patients” of the controversial medical procedure.
“Parents are the most common abortion patients,” wrote the story’s author Danielle Campoamor on Twitter. “It’s time we see ourselves having abortions onscreen.”
In the article, which was published on July 16, she argues that, “Countless studies have highlighted the importance of representation in the media, be it race, gender, relationships, body size and shape, mental health, or disability status. The same is true of abortion … But accurate depictions of the most common abortion patients, parents, is still severely lacking.”
She went on to complain that depictions of abortion on the small screen have dropped in recent years. “In 2019, 43 television shows featured an abortion storyline. In 2020, only 31 shows featured a character who underwent the procedure.”
Campoamor interviewed “Orange is the New Black” writer Merritt Tierce, who said that abortion storylines aren’t interesting enought to be included in shows. “It’s difficult to successfully include an abortion storyline in a show or film,” she claims. “Especially in a way that is authentic, because most abortions are, for lack of a better word, boring.”
Tierce also bemoaned that when a fictional character does debate getting an abortion, the woman is often portrayed as emotionally struggling with the decision.
“Even if a showrunner, creator, or writer is successful in placing an abortion within a storyline or plot, it can actually cause more harm than good,” she continues. “Depicting a wrought decision could be misleading when studies have shown most people are certain of their choice, and five years after their abortions 95 percent of patients say it was the right decision for them.”
She would like to see an abortion storyline played out on TV as an “act of love” and a good parenting decision.
“I think the most radical reconception that needs to happen with respect to abortion, especially parenting people who have abortions,” Tierce concludes. “Is for people to realize that it can be a serious act of love to have an abortion. And for people who have kids, that is the number one decision-making factor. If they feel like they can’t handle another child, what’s driving that decision is the desire to give the children they already have the best possible life.”