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Article

Abortion Onscreen in 2016

In 2016, we identified 13 plotlines on American television where a character considers getting an abortion, and 10 plotlines where they actually do obtain one. These numbers follow the patterns we’ve observed over the past three years: a fairly consistent number of pregnancy decision-making plotlines and abortion results, with a slight increase in the rate of choosing abortion over past decades (77% this year, compared to about 50% in our overall sample). We also saw fewer shows mentioning or discussing abortion when it wasn’t directly related to a pregnant character’s decision – this year, when abortion was mentioned in a plotline at all, it was probably because a character was getting one.

View the latest infographic from our Abortion Onscreen project.

Banner photo: © Aura Orozco-Fuentes

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ANSIRH is a program within the UCSF Bixby Center for Global Reproductive Health and is a part of UCSF's Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology & Reproductive Sciences.

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