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Rebecca Woolf on Choosing Choice

I saw "Obvious Child" over the weekend and loved it. I laughed and cried and related and didn’t relate and felt extremely relieved and grateful that stories—real honest stories about modern women in timeless predicaments—can be portrayed and celebrated, lauded and applauded. I even started a post earlier this week singing the praises of this little film that I loved.

“It would make a fantastic triple feature with 'Juno' and 'Knocked Up,'” I typed and then, after doing some fishing around the Internet, promptly deleted the post I had started.

Because maybe it’s unwise to go there, I thought.

I know that many of you, my readers, are not pro-choice and I didn’t want to set off a firestorm—a war, especially between women, mothers … people whose opinions I respect.

When I first started this blog, it was assumed that because I kept my unplanned pregnancy, I was not pro-choice. There is an assumption that women who support choice are not mothers themselves—certainly not young, unexpected ones.

I related to so much of what I saw in the movie, even though I chose the other choice. I identified with her character more than any other “unexpectedly pregnant person” I had ever seen on camera, even though I knew (I knew!) I wanted to keep my pregnancy.

Don’t go there, I think, writing this again. Lately, that little voice has held me by the throat and told me to toe the line out of fear that I will offend (because everything I seem to write, lately, does just that). And maybe it always has and everyone is just having a moment where being critical in a NON-CONSTRUCTIVE way is a thing. Hell, maybe it’s always been a thing. Has it always been a thing?

It feels ESPECIALLY thing-ish these days.

Perhaps that’s why, after days of thought, I have come back to the post I originally started and decided OF COURSE I should write this. OF COURSE OF COURSE OF COURSE.

You know why? Because "Obvious Child" is a great romantic comedy. One of the best I’ve seen in years. It’s moving and nuanced and wonderful and real and I laughed and cried and identified. And yet unlike "Juno" and "Knocked Up," which were celebrated very publicly (as they should be), "Obvious Child" is never going to get that kind of attention. Because even those who support choice don’t necessarily want to attach their names to an “abortion film,” which is how many news outlets unfairly described the movie.

In the full interest of disclosure, I have never had an abortion but I did have an unexpected/unplanned pregnancy and am grateful EVERY DAY that I had the option to choose motherhood ...

"Obvious Child" is a love story. It’s a romantic comedy about humans doing human things to each other and getting into human predicaments—a film about a twentysomething comic who gets pregnant via a one-night stand and knows immediately that she wants to terminate her pregnancy. She isn’t ready to be a mother and that’s OK. She knows it’s OK. Her friends support her and her mother supports her, and even though the situation is shit, she steps confidently onto the stage, in front of an audience of strangers, to tell her story with sarcasm and grace, wavering between confidence and vulnerability on behalf of the millions of women who have been shamed into silence and must tip-toe in and out of their appointments out of fear—alone, isolated and confined.

I related to so much of what I saw in the movie, even though I chose the other choice. I identified with her character more than any other “unexpectedly pregnant person” I had ever seen on camera, even though I knew (I knew!) I wanted to keep my pregnancy.

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In the full interest of disclosure, I have never had an abortion but I did have an unexpected/unplanned pregnancy and am grateful EVERY DAY that I had the option to choose motherhood as opposed to being forced into it by politicians (men, specifically) who do not know me or my story (or you and yours).

But that isn’t the point of this post and it isn’t the point of the movie either. "Obvious Child" is available to screen via VOD and I highly recommend it to everyone. Jenny Slate is incredible, and first time filmmaker Gillian Robespierre knocked it out of the park.

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