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Peg BS: After Roe v Wade is overturned...... (33) RE: BS: After Roe v Wade is overturned...... 20 Nov 04


Mike Leigh has dealt with abortion, sometimes fleetingly, sometimes emphaticly, in every one his feature films. I am glad he finally addressed the topic fully in this latest film. Leigh's parents were both in the medical profession. He apparently comes down on the side of abortion being an undesirable option and many of his characters offer the view that it is "murder" or "the easy way out." But the strength of his treatment of this issue is that a number of different views and situations and contexts are presented--and within this diversity of portrayals, the decision to have abortion is seen variously as calculated, cold, terrifying, sad, thoughtless, desperate and teeming with regret...kind of like it is in real life.

Over fifty years after the time in which Vera Drake takes place, attitudes have not shifted all that much (although the "life begins at conception" argument is much more self-righteous and contextualized as Christian, which is kind of silly)--the only thing that has really changed is that the procedure has become safer and fewer women are dying from it, whether at the hands of legitimate medical doctors or back-alley butchers or well-meaning housewives.


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