It’s ironic that just months after Lena Dunham told her podcast listeners she “wished” she’d experienced an abortion, her character Hannah on “Girls” becomes pregnant and chooses to keep the baby in the last season.
I’ve been watching “Girls” from the start. Though plenty of people have trashed it, I’ve found it pretty entertaining, and even occasionally relatable in that early-20s, terrible nostalgia kind of way. Character development has been great over the years and I have a new favorite actor in Adam Driver. Dunham’s Hannah can be grating and frustrating (though rarely lovable), in the kind of way that makes you forget she’s also the world’s worst poster girl for Hillary Clinton. Everyone hates Marnie and loves Elijah. You have strong feelings for these characters if you’ve been following along, and that’s why I think it’s quality.
That being said, I was surprised to learn that Hannah chooses to keep her unborn child, conceived after a week-long summer fling with a surf instructor who wants nothing to do with her or the baby. In real life, Dunham is enthusiastically pro-abortion. She often advocates for Planned Parenthood and promotes all-access abortion as if it were just as important as getting food to starving Africans, or rescuing children from Syrian genocide. I don’t know for sure if she supports abortion up to 9 months of pregnancy—but let the record show, she probably does.
Didn’t This Same Show Try to Destigmatize Abortion?
The scenes in “Girls” focused on her pregnancy are so pro-life, you might forget this is the same show applauded for featuring a female character who got an abortion and casually told her boyfriend a few days later, like she’d just had her eyebrows waxed.
“I can’t go for a run because I had an abortion yesterday,” says character Mimi-Rose to an unsuspecting Adam.
The line was vociferously lauded in places like the Huffington Post, who said it “adds positively to the dialogue about reproductive choice.”
Here’s the thing. Even the lefty entertainment industry is slow to embrace an abortion outcome. Most movies and TV shows end with moms choosing life—and sometimes, as in “Juno,” choosing adoption. The few features that dared to push abortion didn’t do so hot. There was 2014’s “Obvious Child” and 2015’s “Grandma” (you’ve never heard of them, right?)—and they tanked—because no one finds abortion entertaining.
The abortion rights industry is hell bent on reducing the “stigma” that comes with abortion, but (spoiler alert!)—that’s never going away. People are never going to be cool and comfortable with you “shouting your abortion.”
In ‘Girls,’ Hannah Chooses Life Because Of Her Feelings
Lena Dunham is certainly one of those people obsessed with “normalizing” it, which is why I’m surprised she didn’t want to live vicariously through her character.
Hannah is a 28-year-old writer living in New York City making less than $30,000/year with little direction and no partner. She’s the perfect candidate for an abortion in Dunham’s world.
But, she just decides: “This is my baby.” It’s an inexplicable feeling Hannah gets. And with that feeling, her unborn baby gains instant value. Without Hannah’s feeling, this life would be nothing but an unwanted fetus tumor with no right to life.
Each person Hannah tells she’s pregnant is instantly taken aback by the information: elated or angry, curious or excited. Whatever their response, it’s certainly not a reaction one would give to a random blob of cells. When she’s having sex with Adam in one of the episodes, they stop in the middle and he says, “I feel like we have an audience.” Hannah laughs and smiles, and the viewers understand: THIS is a baby.
The Pro-Choice Narrative Conveniently Ignores Adoption
I get that Dunham is trying to portray that pro-choice doesn’t always mean pro-abortion. She’s showing us that even the most adamant of abortion advocates still may want to choose life for their unborn children. But the disconnect is glaring.
And let’s not forget that as per usual, there is mention only of abortion or mothering. Adoption is curiously missing from the conversation, even though there are millions of infertile women in the U.S. who are candidates for adoption of healthy newborns. After sitting through a domestic infant adoption informational meeting last week (as I personally have infertility problems), I can tell you the couples in that room with me would be happy to raise any of the 300,000-plus babies aborted by Planned Parenthood each year.
Human beings do not have value because their parents feel one way or another. Would Hannah’s unborn child be any less a baby if Hannah suddenly decided she just couldn’t do this?
The series ended last night, and I’m guessing it ended with Hannah giving birth (it’s on the dock to watch tonight!). They could have thrown in a late-term abortion (and wouldn’t the pro-choice media just love the “stigma-reducing” that would showcase?), but they wouldn’t dare go there.
Why not? It’s her body, right? Because it’s not, and everyone — yes, EVERYONE — knows it. Lena Dunham accidentally ended her infamous TV show with a very pro-life message. Don’t tell her, though.