The issue of Abortion is one that has been long debated for many decades. The subject has become one of the most divisive issues in the United States next to gun rights and free speech.
Movies have become a cinematic battleground on this issue over the last few years. Pro-life films such as Unplanned & Gosnell: The Trial of America’s Biggest Serial Killer have covered one side of the argument while Pro-abortion films like Unpregnant have covered the other. The irony of the issue of abortion is that many people have heard of the Supreme Court case ‘Roe v. Wade’ by few understand how the case came to be in the first place.
In 1973, US Supreme Court made a game-changing decision whether abortion should be legalized across the US, following its earlier legalization in New York state. The film ‘Roe v. Wade’ explains how this case went through the legal process and how it won the battle of public opinion by using media manipulation.
Local abortion doctor Bernard Nathanson (Nick Loeb) from New York makes solid living performing abortions in the state. The problem is laws in the book prevent him from taking his business outside of his region. So one day he decides to team up with a shady journalist named Larry Lader (Jamie Kennedy) who together become the lobbying arm for legalizing abortion. Larry & Bernard attach themselves to women’s rights groups as a means to promote their cause but they aren’t in the game to fight for the rights of women, they want to spread their business across the country in order to maximize their profits.
While the filmmakers wanted Roe v. Wade to shine the spotlight on one of the most controversial decisions in the history of our Supreme Court. However, the real story here whether intentional or not is how propaganda led to a massive culture shift for our country. The film is at its best it exposes how Larry & Bernard purposely fed misinformation and in some cases, outright lies to America’s biggest news outlets in order to sway public opinion on abortion. A move that led to pushing from women’s rights groups to fight for an issue that both men have a personal stake in. The film also shows how television and movies were used to normalize the practice in the eyes of an unsuspecting public who even to this date have no idea of the chess moves being made behind the scenes.
After 50 years, this game continues to be an useful tool for shaping public opinion. When it comes to the film itself there are positives and negatives. The cast is a mishmash of actors, some very experienced and others not so much. When you have great performances by Stacey Dash and Joey Lawrence who highlights the best parts of the film in front of the camera, it only goes to highlight the actors who should have done more with less. The ensembled cast portrays important pieces of a much bigger story however, the pieces don’t gel the way they should making everyone’s story feel unrelated to the central plot.
One thing that can’t be denied is how eye-opening this movie is. Most people have smartened up to the financial con that organizations like Planned Parenthood create for the sake of their bottom line but ‘Roe v Wade’ is an eye-opening trip down the rabbit hole that provides information that even those deep in the pro-life camp aren’t aware of previously.
‘Roe v Wade’ is an informative film but needs more polishing to stand out in the abortion debate battleground.
Roe v Wade is now available for pre-order on iTunes.