WOMEN

The Best And Worst Depictions Of Abortion In TV And Film

Actress Sandra Oh poses for a portrait on the set of ABC's new medical drama "Grey's Anatomy," Wednesday, Feb. 23, 2005, in L
Actress Sandra Oh poses for a portrait on the set of ABC's new medical drama "Grey's Anatomy," Wednesday, Feb. 23, 2005, in Los Angeles. Oh returns to television after a series of films that included "The Princess Diaries," "Under the Tuscan Sun" and the Oscar-winning "Sideways," which was directed and co-written by her husband, Alexander Payne. (AP Photo/Matt Sayles)

Hollywood has long been reluctant to offer realistic depictions of what it’s like to end a pregnancy, despite the fact that roughly 1 in 3 American women will have an abortion before age 45. When it does summon the courage to address the issue at all, Tinseltown has too often distorted the facts or reverted to misogynist stereotypes — like the helpless damsel or the hysterical mistress. That’s not to say we haven’t made progress since 1928’s Road to Ruin, one of the first films to include an abortion storyline. In that film, a teenager gets an abortion and subsequently, as a form of cosmic punishment, is mysteriously burned alive in bed.

From the laughably absurd to the refreshingly frank, here some of the best and worst portrayals of abortion on film and TV.

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