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Abortion on TV and Film

How abortion is depicted on television and film can shape our political, social, and societal conversations about abortion. Entertainment media can perpetuate abortion stigma and misinformation and at the same time, challenge it by portraying abortion providers and patients with compassion and nuance. At ANSIRH, the Abortion Onscreen project studies portrayals of abortion on TV and film and analyzes what these portrayals tell us about cultural understandings of abortion. 


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Abortion Onscreen regularly publishes studies of these depictions. Check out this past year’s analysis of abortion portrayals in the Abortion Onscreen report. Curious about how abortion depictions vary by genre? Read the analysis of fifty years of abortion on dramas, soap operas, horror shows, science fiction shows, and comedies. Want to know how the safety abortion on television compared to reality? Our analysis found that television and film dramatically overrepresents abortion as dangerous. Consistent evidence shows that characters who obtain abortions on television are, on the whole, younger, whiter, wealthier, and less likely to encounter barriers to abortion access than their real life counterparts. To learn more, including details about our methodology, please visit the Abortion Onscreen study page.

We also maintain a comprehensive Abortion Onscreen Database tracking every portrayal of characters obtaining abortions or disclosing past abortion. For queries, please contact us.

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