Without giving anything away, October Baby is the story of a young woman who discovers that she is not only adopted, but is the survivor of a botched abortion. The story is based on the true story of Gianna Jessen, a young woman who is a third trimester abortion survivor.
I don't really keep up with what's coming to our local theatre (with the exception of The Hunger Games, because my children gave me an up-to-date daily countdown), so I didn't really know about October Baby until someone, possibly Al Mohler, talked about it -- or at least talked about a New York Times review by Jeannette Catsoulis. In Ms. Catsoulis' opinion, the movie has an "essential ugliness at its core" and "communicates in the language of guilt and fear." During an integral scene of the movie, when an eyewitness explained to the abortion survivor exactly what had happened, Ms. Catsoulis decried the testimony, stating that it "conjures a vision of medical hackery that is clearly intended to terrify young women — and fits right in with proposed state laws that increasingly turn the screws on a woman’s dominion over her reproductive system."
Well, I knew right then that I wanted to see the movie. I'm so glad I did.
When I was pregnant with my third child, I was thirty five years old. My medical insurance chose my doctor for me and, to be honest, I don't even remember his name. I do remember that he was from Taiwan. Throughout the pregnancy, my doctor requested all sorts of tests -- mostly because of my advanced age. With each request, I would ask him what they would do if the test came back positive, and each time he said they would do nothing except let me know. I declined each test. When it came time for a 20 week ultrasound, the doctor seemed surprised that I happily accepted the opportunity. He gravely told me that once I had seen the baby on the ultrasound, this would be my last opportunity to terminate the pregnancy. "Here, we are not allowed to end the pregnancy past 20 weeks, but where I come from, we can terminate anytime during the pregnancy. But after 20 weeks, it is much harder; the baby fights, it wants to live." My husband and I sat there, aghast, jaws dropped at this admission.
Euphemisms are interesting things. One euphemism that is frequently tossed around is reproductive freedom. Reproductive freedom has nothing to do with a woman's freedom to reproduce. It has everything to do with a woman wanting the freedom to deproduce. But behavior has consequences, whatever your choice. (I wrote a very personal story about consequences resulting from another woman's decision here.)
My daughter did something sweet for me today. She took me to see October Baby. I hope you and your daughter will see it together, too.