To quote Gloria Feldt, “Media portrayals, real or fictional, don’t merely inform us — they form us.” In this series, I will be examining five films – classic, mainstream, independent, foreign, and pre-Roe – and five television shows – daytime soap, drama, pre-Roe, critically lauded, and teen-oriented – that address unexpected pregnancy, to examine how past portrayals can influence and reflect society’s view of abortion.
Released in 1962, The Shame of Patty Smith sounds like a classic exploitation flick: cheaply made, poorly written and acted, and full of lurid images of young girls led astray. Which, honestly, is why I wanted to see it – I do love Reefer Madness-style cult classics. Imagine my surprise, then, to see a staunchly pro-legalization message repeated throughout this tale of Patty’s rape and desperate search for an abortion. [Read more...]