Is Fast Times at Ridgemont High a pro-abortion movie?

posted at 8:01 pm on June 19, 2014 by Noah Rothman

One of the pet topics on MSNBC’s The Cycle recently has been the film Obvious Child. The new movie centers on the story of one woman who accidentally conceives after a one-night stand and decides to have an abortion. “It’s sweet, it’s funny, and it’s a rare look at one woman’s story of having an abortion and, spoiler alert, her life does not end broken and miserable,” MSNBC host Krystal Ball crowed on Thursday.

On Thursday, MSNBC hosts interviewed some of the talent behind the movie which, to be honest, sounds like the perfect subject of a film: the exploration of a subject rarely examined objectively and from a relatively unique angle. However, it seems as though the MSNBC hosts are more enamored with what the filmmaker said is the message of the film: the subject’s decision to have a “positive, safe, shame-free abortion.”

Beats “safe, legal, and rare,” no?

Now, just to get this out of the way: I do support the protections provided by Roe. However, what the filmmakers seem to be trying to achieve, and what the MSNBC hosts are attempting to promote, is to make the decision to get an abortion one that circumvents the conscience. That seems to not only be an unattainable goal, but an undesirable one as well.

When asked why their film was so unique in Hollywood in the sense that there are relatively few movies which portray abortion in a positive light, star Jenny Slate countered that film was not breaking new ground.

“Fast Times at Rigemont High is a great example of a positive, regrets-free abortion,” Slate said.

Hmm. Now, it’s been a while since I watched Fast Times, but I don’t recall it being particularly pro-abortion. In fact, from pregnancy to post-abandonment revenge, the character Stacy Hamilton endures nothing but trauma.

After being impregnated by a callous and unscrupulous Mike Damone in a pool changing room, Stacy confronts him with the fact that she is pregnant. When Damone insists that she must abort the child, a decision she has already come to, Damone agrees to pay for half of the procedure and provide a ride to the clinic. When, however, it comes time for him to make good on his offer, Damone is nowhere to be found.

Stacy proceeds to lie to her brother in order to get a ride to the clinic and undergoes the procedure alone. Even at the last moment, she is wracked with indecision:

After leaving the clinic, she is confronted by her brother who comforts her and pledges to take revenge on Damone.

Slate calls this a “sweet, tender moment.” I suppose the tale of sibling love related in that moment is “sweet,” but the circumstances which bring them together are anything but. If this is as close as it gets to a positive portrayal of abortion in Hollywood, I suppose the bar for Obvious Child’s success is set rather low.

There is distinction between “shame-free” and “consequence-free,” and abortion will never be the latter. Most, like the character of Stacy Hamilton, agonize over up up until the last minute. It seems to me that the MSNBC hosts and the filmmakers in this case are reaching to glamorize one of the few acts which is so emotionally draining and morally challenging that even Hollywood has been unable to destigmatize it.

Good luck, team Obvious Child. It seems like it’s going to be an uphill battle.

An earlier version of this post referred to Slate as the film’s “writer and director.”


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Also, should we outlaw products like the Mirena IUD because it may cause the fertilized egg to fail to implant in the uterus? At what point do you draw the line? Morning after pill? Birth control itself? There’s no end.

nullrouted on June 20, 2014 at 11:03 AM

Products such the Mirena are designed to starve the unborn child — to deny it sustenance — to kill it. From a scientific standpoint, it is designed to abort the child.

I’ve pointed out the scientific start of a new life — which is a single cell containing the DNA of a new individual, which happens at fertilization. Fertilization happens before implantation as you have so nicely pointed out.

All the rest is legality. If your birth control method prevents fertilization, then there is no person created by the sexual act which you must then kill. If your birth control method in any manner destroys the fertilized egg, embryo, fetus, or the born child, then you have killed a person.

I’m a Catholic, and my Church allows forms of birth control; the Church merely requires that every sexual union be between married people, and that such unions be open to fecundity — to the creation of a new person. My Church doesn’t like condoms, for example, but even a condom can fail. These IUDs do not fail, and have medical repercussions far beyond their immediate use — ever heard of the Copper 7 or the Dalkon Shield?

But there is indeed a distinct difference between the rhythm method, or a condom, or a spermicide, or a drug which prevents ovulation, or a vasectomy, or a sterilization, and the Mirena IUD — the former items do not kill, while the latter one does.

So there is an end; we have two classes of anti-pregnancy capabilities, those which end a life and those which do not allow that life to be created in the first place. Science informs the ethics of birth control.

unclesmrgol on June 20, 2014 at 12:12 PM

There are girls that are flat not ready to be mothers, and those that will not accept the role of being a mother, basically abandoning the kid.

Even an abandoned kid is better off than a murdered one. The abandoned kid will at the very least have their life, and those who concern themselves with abandoned children in general will aid.

Abortion is always morally wrong, but sometimes it will be the better choice. The agony of a huge life choice that I hope is rarely taken.

Jay Galt on June 20, 2014 at 11:33 AM

The better choice relative to what? I don’t see any circumstance under which abortion is “the better choice”. Help me out here — I’m trying to wrap my mind around the concept that killing a child is preferable to the possibility that said child’s life might be suboptimal.

unclesmrgol on June 20, 2014 at 12:21 PM

I see no reason why a woman should feel guilt and pain over an abortion. As a gardener, I weed all the time. I doubt that will ever suffer post-weeding syndrome out of guilt for all the plants I have killed.

thuja on June 19, 2014 at 8:18 PM

Of course you wouldn’t–you’re a monster. So, it isn’t surprising that you would equate a child in the womb as no more than a weed in your garden. Despicable.

zoyclem on June 20, 2014 at 12:22 PM

this Noah guy is pro-abortion and pro amnesty.

Is he conservative on any issue?

Why is he at Hotair?

Seriously?

Monkeytoe on June 20, 2014 at 11:09 AM

Yeah. I seem to recall an assurance of some sort from the Mods when Salem bought Hot Air.

kingsjester on June 20, 2014 at 12:25 PM

I see no reason why a woman should feel guilt and pain over an abortion. As a gardener, I weed all the time. I doubt that will ever suffer post-weeding syndrome out of guilt for all the plants I have killed.

thuja on June 19, 2014 at 8:18 PM

I feel that way about liberals post-birth. I wish conservatives were willing to do a little weeding.

Monkeytoe on June 20, 2014 at 12:25 PM

Jay Galt on June 20, 2014 at 11:33 AM

A better choice? Not for the baby.

kingsjester on June 20, 2014 at 12:26 PM

Yeah. I seem to recall an assurance of some sort from the Mods when Salem bought Hot Air.

kingsjester on June 20, 2014 at 12:25 PM

I think Noah joined this blog to cover the media beat. I think he should stick to that.
Blogs about abortion or life issues are probably better covered by Ed.
Or better yet, HotAir could add someone to cover the life issues beat. (RedState is doing that to some extent).

22044 on June 20, 2014 at 12:37 PM

Who

cares

John the Libertarian on June 20, 2014 at 12:45 PM

Now, just to get this out of the way: I do support the protections provided by Roe.

Terrific.

Hot Gas: your one-stop site for pro-abortion same-sex marriage enthusiasts.

Kensington on June 20, 2014 at 12:48 PM

But there is indeed a distinct difference between the rhythm method, or a condom, or a spermicide, or a drug which prevents ovulation, or a vasectomy, or a sterilization, and the Mirena IUD — the former items do not kill, while the latter one does.

unclesmrgol on June 20, 2014 at 12:12 PM

The church actually doesn’t endorse the ineffectual, unreliable “rhythm method.” The church does endorse natural family planning, which is based on actually monitoring one’s fertility, and which is more than 99% effective at postponing pregnancy.

bmmg39 on June 20, 2014 at 1:02 PM

Now, just to get this out of the way: I do support the protections provided by Roe.
Terrific.
-Noah Rothman

Hot Gas: your one-stop site for pro-abortion same-sex marriage enthusiasts.
Kensington on June 20, 2014 at 12:48 PM

And don’t forget illegal alien amnesty, which Noah Rothman supports.

bluegill on June 20, 2014 at 1:13 PM

And don’t forget illegal alien amnesty, which Noah Rothman supports.

bluegill on June 20, 2014 at 1:13 PM

Silly me. Of course! Another Hot Air triumph.

Kensington on June 20, 2014 at 1:16 PM

The church actually doesn’t endorse the ineffectual, unreliable “rhythm method.” The church does endorse natural family planning, which is based on actually monitoring one’s fertility, and which is more than 99% effective at postponing pregnancy.

bmmg39 on June 20, 2014 at 1:02 PM

Fine. Yet another way which is, in essence, a barrier method — using time as the barrier just as rhythm purports to do.

It doesn’t change the nature of my argument by one jot or tittle.

unclesmrgol on June 20, 2014 at 1:30 PM

Hot Gas: your one-stop site for pro-abortion same-sex marriage enthusiasts.

Kensington on June 20, 2014 at 12:48 PM

I took him to task here on page 2 for the pro-abortion stance.

http://hotair.com/archives/2014/06/19/was-fast-times-at-ridgemont-high-a-pro-abortion-movie/comment-page-2/#comment-8216743

unclesmrgol on June 20, 2014 at 1:33 PM

And don’t forget illegal alien amnesty, which Noah Rothman supports.

bluegill on June 20, 2014 at 1:13 PM

It’s nice to know that he and I can agree on something.

Why would people in favor of limited government want to make laws restricting the ability of the alien to work here and to keep the products of that work?

Seems to me that you guys just haven’t read enough Abraham Lincoln.

unclesmrgol on June 20, 2014 at 1:35 PM

Why would people in favor of limited government want to make laws restricting the ability of the alien to work here and to keep the products of that work?

Seems to me that you guys just haven’t read enough Abraham Lincoln.

unclesmrgol on June 20, 2014 at 1:35 PM

Misquoting Lincoln again, I see. On a previous thread you through a quote entirely out of context and not meaning remotely what you claimed it meant to claim Lincoln was – like you – against the U.S. having any borders or immigration laws. That was disproven on that thread. Do you have a new quote to try?

Most conservatives would not have a problem with allowing people in to work and not worry about illegal immigration if in fact we did not have a welfare state.

That you can’t see the problem with having both a welfare state and allowing whoever wants to come into the country and become entitled to that welfare state and get on gov’t benefits, is odd.

But, really, at the end of the day I simply don’t understand people who believe America is not entitled to have borders or immigration laws. What is the point of citizenship then? What is the point of having a nation at all?

Monkeytoe on June 20, 2014 at 1:56 PM

Misquoting Lincoln again, I see. On a previous thread you through a quote entirely out of context and not meaning remotely what you claimed it meant to claim Lincoln was – like you – against the U.S. having any borders or immigration laws. That was disproven on that thread. Do you have a new quote to try?

Also, regardless, Lincoln, despite doing some great things, was hardly a conservative (limited gov’t, etc.), so not sure why you think throwing his name around is remotely convincing on amnesty.

Monkeytoe on June 20, 2014 at 2:01 PM

<>

Sucker punch is right. Last American Virgin looked for all the world like a Fast Times ripoff before completely subverting the entire tone with that devastating (although not entirely implausible) final scene.

Right Mover on June 20, 2014 at 9:56 PM

Why would people in favor of limited government want to make laws restricting the ability of the alien to work here and to keep the products of that work?

Seems to me that you guys just haven’t read enough Abraham Lincoln.

unclesmrgol on June 20, 2014 at 1:35 PM

If there are no legitimate functions of government, there would be no need for government. As it is, sovereign control of a nation’s borders is one of the most fundamental functions that government can and should perform.

gryphon202 on June 21, 2014 at 4:56 PM

[...]
Why would people in favor of limited government want to make laws restricting the ability of the alien to work here and to keep the products of that work?

Seems to me that you guys just haven’t read enough Abraham Lincoln.

unclesmrgol on June 20, 2014 at 1:35 PM

One can debate speed limits without also doing 80 in a 40 zone.

Voyager on June 22, 2014 at 1:37 AM

Help me out here — I’m trying to wrap my mind around the concept that killing a child is preferable to the possibility that said child’s life might be suboptimal.

unclesmrgol on June 20, 2014 at 12:21 PM

First you have to divorce your mind and conscience from the fact that the child is human; hence the term the left likes to use for a baby – fetus, or better yet, blob of tissue. It’s that whole “redefinition” thing the immoral left-wing is so prolific at.

It also helps if you hold the view that humans are an infection on poor mother earth and are responsible for all the tornadoes, earthquakes, fog, mosquitoes, and long grass that they have to mow, and other things that make their lives unbearable here(I mean, HURT THE GRASS??!! The Horror!); and should be “controlled”. Translation= wiped out(as long as it’s not them).

Start with those two ideas and the rest just falls into place, as your brains continue to fall out of your head until you become a true, goose-stepping left-winger.

Sterling Holobyte on June 23, 2014 at 2:44 PM

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