Posted at 5:00 AM Apr 28, 2010
By Naomi Zeveloff
Abortion is a toughie. Sure, it can be a difficult decision for some women. But the real headache with abortion is how to talk about it. The most politically contested medical procedure of all time, abortion is shrouded by coded language. If you're for legal abortion, you're actually pro-choice. And if you're anti, somehow you're still a pro. Pro-life, that is. It's as if one side says the word and its hand is forever tipped. Oh. Abortion? That's what you meant?!
Luckily, pop culture has long used euphemisms to talk about abortion, so we have no shortage of substitutions. In today's top 10 list, we look to books and movies to tell us the best ways to talk about the procedure without having to say the a-word.
10. "And is he taking care of all eventualities?"
In J.M. Coetzee's 1999 novel Disgrace, Professor David Lurie asks his daughter Lucy if a doctor gave her an abortion after she was raped. Lucy didn't go through with it, deciding to bear the child instead.
9. "It's your day!"
In the movie Greenberg, which came out this year, grouchy Roger Greenberg accompanies his on-again, off-again fling Florence Marr to the hospital to abort another man's child. Greenberg tries to cheer her with the above statement.
8. "Was that what my money paid for?"
In 1987's Dirty Dancing, Frances "Baby" Houseman secures money from her unwitting father to pay for an abortion for Penny Johnson, a dancer at the Catskill resort who is impregnated by a womanizing waiter. In this scene, Houseman's father questions her about it.
7. "Something unholy and evil."
In the Godfather II, which came out in 1974, Kay Corleone tells her husband and crime boss Michael Corleone that she did a bad thing--abort his son--because she didn't want to bring a male heir into the mob life. Kay and Michael get divorced.
6. "It was a hard decision."
In the 2000 movie High Fidelity, Rob Gordon reflects on his ex-girlfriend Laura's decision to terminate her pregnancy without his input after she found out that Rob cheated on her. This, he says, contributed to their break-up.