October Baby opens today in theaters across the country. It is inspired by the true story of Gianna Jessen, a late-term abortion survivor. Today (as you can see in the brief clip below), Gianna is a bright, young, attractive and well-spoken young lady in her thirties. But as a result of the botched saline abortion, Gianna suffers from Cerebral Palsy.
While Gianna's story is a compelling one, it is not exactly the kind of story that gets you invited on the morning news shows, or on the couch sitting next to Jay Leno. That being the case, it should be no surprise that October Baby has been eviscerated by the critics.
I could cite many examples, but I think one will do. Here are a few key lines from The New York Times film critic Jeannette Catsoulis:
"But not even a dewy heroine and a youth-friendly vibe can disguise the essential ugliness at its core: like the bloodied placards brandished by demonstrators outside women’s health clinics, the film communicates in the language of guilt and fear...
"But this G-rated road trip is only an appetizer: the film’s pièce de résistance arrives in the haunted form of Jasmine Guy, playing the clinic nurse who assisted at Hannah’s birth. Her pivotal speech, a gory portrait of fetal mutilation and maternal distress, 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."Apparently the true story of an abortion survivor is so distasteful to this film critic, she is no longer concerned about actually reviewing the film, nor is she concerned about the horror that Gianna Jessen (and others like her) have lived through. She is only concerned about the politics of abortion and the fact that October Baby might give abortion a bad name.
But I really want to get beyond the politics of abortion here. I just want to know how we have become so stone-hearted as a society that we cannot simply listen to the story of an abortion survivor without being outraged by what it implies.
Here is Gianna's story in her own words. This is a must see video.