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Abortion portrayal

Black Mirror (television)


Marie almost loses her daughter, Sara, during birth. After she goes missing on a playground, Marie decides to enroll in a new program that inserts an implant in her daughter's head so that she can monitor her activity at all times via a tablet. The tablet blurs out unpleasant experiences during Sara's childhood (her grandfather's heart attack, for example) and leaves her without a realistic sense of the world. Her mother decides to stop using the tablet, yet years later, when her daughter is a teenager, Marie can't find Sara and uses the tablet to discover she's having sex with an older boy. Marie learns from health information available on the tablet that Sara is pregnant, and, after we see her visit the pharmacy, we see her slip a pill into Sara's morning milkshake. When Sara has to run to the bathroom to vomit in the middle of class, she goes to see the nurse, who says that she performed some tests and knows Sara took "emergency contraception" to "terminate her pregnancy" [Note: emergency contraception prevents pregnancy, it does not terminate a pregnancy]. Sara is confused, saying there was no pregnancy, but the nurse reassures her that it's ok and that she'll keep Sara's secret. Sara rushes home and goes through the kitchen trash, where she finds an empty box of labeled "EC." She then finds the tablet in her mom's bedside drawer and discovers that her mom's been watching her. She beats her mom with the tablet and runs away from home. 

Keywords: Coerced abortion.

Episodes: Arkangel
Release date: December 29, 2017
Time setting: Future
Geographical setting: US
Abortion legality: Legal
Health outcomes: None
Character age: Teen
Genre: Drama, Science Fiction, Thriller
Network: Netflix

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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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