A US Century of Abortion Onscreen, 1916-2016

The end of 2016 marked the close of a century since the first silent film in the United States addressed abortion. In these past 100 years, film, television, and our popular culture have addressed abortion in evolving ways: from the pre-code films of the 1920s, to the exploitation films of the 1940s, to television plotlines in support of legal abortion in the 1960s, to the alternately stigmatizing and stigma-busting portrayals of the 1990s and early 21st century. The incorporation of abortion into onscreen storylines has been done for shock value, for sex educational purposes, for humor, for drama, and for horror. This presentation is not an exhaustive list of abortion stories in U.S. film and television (there are over 200 of them!), but it is meant to illustrate some of the notable examples, ground-breaking firsts, and trends that have emerged over time.SLIDESHOW: Click to see the photo slideshow highlighting 37 examples, to learn more about each film and television show, then click below the slideshow on each film to see clips in video format.SOURCE: Rewire, by Gretchen Sisson, 20 December 2016 ; PHOTO: Universal Film Manufacturing Club