Taylor Werkema- October Baby

This past week we were talking about the problematic death of the unborn.  Recently, I watched a movie that explored how someone would deal with learning that she was born through a failed abortion.   The movie is called October Baby.  So yes this is the perfect time to talk about this.  In the movie, the main character Hannah has just started college and is suffering from a number of conditions including epilepsy, asthma, and depression.  After a traumatic collapse during a performance Hannah meets with her parents and a doctor.  This is where Hannah learns she is not only adopted but that her biological mother tried to abort her.  Hannah decides that she needs to find her birth mother in order to move on with her life.  After a tumultuous encounter with her biological mother Hannah tries to get a better understanding of why her adopted parents went about adopting her.  She finds out that her mother lost twins at 24 weeks.  After this they had seen an adoption request at the pregnancy crisis center where they ended up getting Hannah.

This movie brought up the very interesting dimensions of problematic death of the unborn.  Hannah from the perspective of the unborn that almost didn’t exist allows the viewer to explore how an unborn might feel.  Hannah’s biological mother allows the viewer to see the perspective of the mother who chooses to end the life of her baby.  Finally, the movie explores the loss a mother feels after the loss of an unborn child and how she can cope and move on.  This movie, although offering a very religious dimension, offers a very interesting perspective of our recent class topics.





2 responses to “Taylor Werkema- October Baby

  1. While it sounds as if the film may have a fairly heavy moral motivation behind it, we might try to think about how these types of controversy make visible the social contestation of specific values. We can also think about the various strategies employed in these contestations–appeals to parental love, autonomy, importance of knowing one’s own origins, control over one’s own body, etc. Anthropology, I think, adds to our understanding of controversies by showing how they involve value conflicts and exploring the processes of their contestation.

  2. I find it interesting that the parents chose to adopt a child that was almost unborn after having lost unborn children themselves. I realize that this could sound a bit morbid but I wonder if the parents saw her as a replacement for the lives of the children that they had just lost, in a way deleting the loss by making this gain.

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