Friday, February 29, 2008
Is this the new pro-choice movement?
This is a clip from the movie "Juno," a movie that has generated a lot of buzz. I think it was nominated for four academy awards and won at least the one for best original screenplay. If you know anything about the movie, you know that the debate is over whether or not it has a pro-life message.
Juno, a sixteen-year-old girl, is unexpectedly pregnant and decides to get an abortion. In the clip above, we see her encounter a friend from her high school while entering the abortion clinic. Her friend's arguments don't really impact her...until the friend exclaims, "Your baby has fingernails." I haven't seen the movie, but I hear that while in the abortion clinic, Juno hears fingernails tapping on a desk and decides against having the abortion.
Now, the lead actress has very pointedly said that this is NOT a pro-life message. Juno has the CHOICE to decide what she will do. Ultimately, all the principle players in the production of this movie advocate a woman's right to choose. But I have a few thoughts.
First, I feel that the movie at least tacitly acknowledges that, when given the facts, the right choice is to go ahead and allow a "baby with fingernails" to be born. I don't think the people involved in making the movie would acknowledge that, however.
2. It is interesting to note that the pro-choice movement acknowledges all the facts that the pro-life character relates (beating heart, baby feels pain) and still believes that a woman should have the right to decide whether or not another individual has the right to life.
3. I think we may be reaching a strange point in the debate. I think science has brought us to the point where we all must acknowledge the medical evidence: the life that is in the womb is far more intricate and developed than we thought before. As I have stated before, that doesn't affect my position on the sanctity of life in the womb one bit, but it does affect the arguments of the other side.
4. At this point in time, I don't hear anyone arguing that the right thing to do is terminate a pregnancy. I hear a lot of people saying they are against abortion personally but want it to stay legal to preserve a woman's right to choose.
So my question is two-fold. First, does Juno represent the new pro-choice movement. A movement that adamantly wants to preserve a woman's right to choose to end her pregnancy but simultaneously concedes that such a choice would be repugnant on a personal level, at least to some degree? Second, how do we support this evolution in position while still rejecting its basic premises?