I have trouble with abortion. I think any thoughtful human being should. It’s just not black and white. Cowardly, I do my best to ignore it, but this week it reared its perplexing head again with Ireland’s decision to overturn its abortion ban. Now, Ireland has had the strongest abortion laws in Europe. Even taking an abortion pill could get you 14 years in prison and if there was a fetal heartbeat, a woman could die before she could get an abortion no matter the condition of the fetus. That’s what happened to 31 year old Savita Halappanavar, a dentist who had immigrated from India with her husband. I was in Ireland in August of 2013 when the newspapers were frustrated with her death and Irish women marched. She and her husband had begged the doctors for a therapeutic abortion even arguing that they were neither Irish nor Catholic, but that heartbeat did her in. When the less that human fetus aborted, she was so riddled with infection that she died three days later. That bothers me. It’s not just black and white. Not long after, I read that a woman in England who found she was having twins aborted one fetus because she said that she couldn’t afford to raise two. That bothers me too. It’s not just black and white. I have trouble with Abortion.
(Did you know that Ohio, for one, has a ‘Heartbeat’ law?)
Winona Ryder stars as Finn, a graduate student at Berkeley attempting to finish her thesis. She’s changed the topic four times and has the same trouble committing to her live-in boyfriend, Dermot Mulroney. Finn decides to spend a month with her grandmother, Ellen Burstyn, who lives with her sister, Anne Bancroft, in a big old house by an orange orchard. Finn arrives into a Quilting Bee which includes five other women, Jean Simmons, Lois Smith, Kate Nelligan, Maya Angelou, and Alfre Woodard. As they stitch squares for a quilt themed ‘where love resides’ they attempt to help Finn with stories (shown in flashbacks) of their own marriages.
Favorite moment: The women tell her the quilt is for her.
Fun Fact: taken from a novel by Whitney Otto that started out as her Master’s thesis.
Screenplay written by Jane Anderson; directed by Jocelyn Moorhouse Critic Corner: Caryn James of the New York Times wrote ‘we are not watching movie women but real women with shaky judgment and lifetimes of reasons to resent and forgive one another as well as all the men in their lives.’