Letter: A different look at pregnancy

Kathryn Olivarius’s “A Pregnant Pause” (Feb. 9) laments the way in which popular media depicts pregnancy and abortion. While her column reveals an interesting trend, I found many of her arguments unconvincing.

The column begins by asserting that abortion and sex are very similar in that they are both “taboo” issues. The author states that sex is now publicly discussed and uses this argument to assert that abortion should be more present in popular media as well. I feel this comparison is unfair, however. For starters, sex is a natural occurrence and to be enjoyed; abortion is neither.

Olivarius also accuses the media of sending the message that teen pregnancy is a wonderful thing though its depiction of such pregnancies. In doing so, she implies that these messages are contributing to the rate of teen pregnancy in the United States. I find this idea to be somewhat ill-conceived. Many, if not most, children like the idea of growing up and becoming parents. However, it has been made very clear — through children’s shows, advice from parents and most of the popular media — that having children is for adults. Most teenagers do not get pregnant because they actively want to.

Olivarius argues that the reason for Hollywood’s lack of abortion is fear: “abortion clinics are bombed and doctors who perform them are murdered,” insinuating that members of the pro-life movement may resort to killing someone. This is ridiculous. The pro-life movement does not support the killing of doctors like George Tiller anymore than the pro-choice side advocates the killing of pro-life advocates like James Pouillon and Mike Fouss (which, incidentally, hardly gained any attention from the media).

Ultimately, Olivarius suggests that the realities of teen pregnancy and abortion should be depicted in the media. Fine. But, if we’re going to put abortion in movies and television, we should show it as it really is. Show the turmoil of the mother in her decision. Display the procedure itself. Reveal the doubts and the heartbreak. To portray a sterilized version of an abortion would be an affront to mothers who make difficult decisions and to the children aborted. Such a movie would be just as slanted as one that does not depict it at all.

Raja Pillai

Feb. 10

The writer is a sophomore in Pierson College and the secretary of Choose Life at Yale.

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