The Choice: personal views on a taboo issue

Parham Media's documentary on abortion screens on SBS tomorrow night in the acclaimed Storyline Australia series.
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personal stories about abortion
a film by
screening on SBS Thursday 16th November 2006 at 8:30pm
in the STORYLINE AUSTRALIA documentary timeslot.

Abortion has been available in Australia since the early 1970s and
several generations of women have freely accessed abortion in that
time. And yet it seems that talking openly about it remains one of
the last taboos. On Thursday 16 November at 8.30pm, SBS Television
will screen The Choice in the Storyline Australia timeslot. The
program attempts to break through that barrier and, in doing so,
contribute to the ongoing debate that continues to surround this
highly contentious issue.

Director, Don Parham has built the narrative of The Choice around
six stories with people from diverse backgrounds and various ages.
Natalie is 30 and works in HR. She talks about the abortion she
had in her early 20s when she was working as a political advisor.
“There were nights where I’d just cry in amazement and then, half
an hour later, I was crying because I couldn’t find a way where I
thought I could keep the child and everything would be great.”
Pauline is 61, a nurse who has three children and nine
grandchildren. She talks about the two abortions she had during
her 30 year relationship and marriage to Ron. “I have no guilt
about the terminations I’ve had. They were done for a reason. I
did it for me, I did it for the man I loved, and for the last one I
had, I did it so that our three children wouldn’t be burdened again
with another brother or sister.”

Ruth is 29 and currently works as a receptionist. Although her
parents were involved in the Right to Life movement, she had two
abortions in her early 20s while at uni. “On one hand I’d grown up
being aware of the kind of view that abortion is wrong, or the
right to life type of view. All of those sort of things sort of
confused me a bit, because I thought ‘hang on, am I going to .
finish my studies and do all those things . So there was a tension
there in that.” Catarina, the daughter of Dutch migrants, is a
45-year-old librarian who talks about the abortion she had after
she became engaged. “I would probably resent the child and the
last thing I needed to do was to resent a child as well, it wasn’t
fair on a child to bring it into that situation, and I wanted it to
have both parents, and I wasn’t feeling sure that it would have
both parents.” Hiroko is a 27-year-old Japanese-Australian who
works as a trainer in the hospitality industry. She talks about the
two abortions she had in her early 20s. “I chose to go through a lot of
different experiences with men to, I guess, define what receiving
love meant, how I could receive love, what kind of love was I
worthy of receiving and vice versa, what kind of love was I worthy
of giving.”

The Choice also brings men into the discussion. The sixth
character is Firak who is 40 and runs a restaurant. Firak talks
about the relationship he had in his early 20s in which his partner
had several abortions. “We probably wanted to have this child, but
I really very strongly felt like I wasn’t ready for it. That
overrode any other sort of considerations at that time.”

These people share their most intimate thoughts about what it was
like to be suddenly confronted with an unwanted or unplanned
pregnancy. Their stories reveal the varied and complex
circumstances in which people struggle to work through their
options and make, what is, for most, a difficult choice.

The Choice is a Parham Media Productions and was developed with the
assistance of Film Victoria Australia, produced in association with
SBS Independent. Financed by Australia Film Finance Corporation.




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