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Unfunny: WashPost Loves 'Unpregnant,' the ‘Zany’ Abortion Comedy



Abortion is a humorous subject, according to Rachel Lee Goldenberg’s film, Unpregnant, and you can practically hear the guffaws from the Washington Post newsroom. 

Post writer Sonia Rao did some free PR for the movie, which is about two underage girls on a roadtrip to procure an abortion in a state that doesn’t require their parents’ permission. Rao calls the grotesquely bizarre premise “zany.” Infanti-side-splitting.

For several years the feminist left has been on a crusade to normalize abortion, often by trivializing it, and Goldenberg’s flick fits that template. She tells Rao she wanted Unpregnant to be seen as a protest against the “restrictive laws” on abortion and the “cultural stigma” that attends the act. But then Goldenberg states, “I’m a filmmaker, not an activist.” In fact, the film plainly works to deny the deadly gravity of abortion. 

Of course, in Hollywood, Goldenberg wouldn’t have to look far to find a cast ready and willing to be in a proabortion film. Actress Barbie Ferreira claimed that she joined the movie’s cast because she appreciated how “the comedy worked to normalize a taboo topic.” She also called the movie “refreshing” due to the friendship that developed between main characters Veronica and Bailey, in spite of their contrasting personalities, during their trip to the abortion clinic. And maybe it is, if not for the whole killing a baby thing at the end. 

Rao is, of course, a fellow traveller, and actually writes that “Goldenberg never questions Veronica’s decision to get the procedure, a firm moral stance that allows her to approach the subject with humor.” 

A firm moral stance?

Rao gives chummy details about how Ferreira and co-star Haley Lu Richardson developed a playful rapport during the filming. And she quotes without irony Ferreira saying: 

“For me, it was just really refreshing to see a movie that was made for young adults, that doesn’t dumb down anything . . . while also making sure that it shows a different perspective. It’s more of a story of two friends who are very different — polar opposites, pretty much — coming together and rekindling that connection and all that good stuff.”

Of course, Unpregnant is dumbed down. A human life is snuffed out and Veronica will never be the same. But Goldenberg will not believe this, and Rao, in turn, chooses to believe Goldenberg. Viewers looking for a realistic treatment of abortion should watch ‘Love with the Proper Stranger’ instead. It is an old film, but entails the seriousness of seeking an abortion. 



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