Vera Drake Abortion Film Wins London Film Awards, Flops at Theaters

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Feb 10, 2005   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Vera Drake Abortion Film Wins London Film Awards, Flops at Theaters Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
February 10, 2005

London, England ( — A movie that glorifies a woman who provided illegal abortions to British women in the 1950s continues to rack up more film critic awards as the Academy Awards ceremony gets closer. However, the movie is flopping at theaters in the United States.

"Vera Drake" won five awards from the London Film Critics’ Circle this week.

It was named the British movie of the year and Academy Award-nominated star, Imelda Staunton, brought home the best actress honor.

Director Mike Leigh, who has been nominated for the best director award at the Oscars won that award and the honor for best screenplay. Phil Davis, who played Staunton’s character’s husband captured the best supporting actor award.

According to an Associated Press report, Awards Chairman William Russell praised Leigh’s film as "a work of great compassion about a social problem, unwanted pregnancies, as real today as it ever was."

However, American movie-goers aren’t buying the propaganda piece.

The movie has only brought in $2.6 million in both the U.S. and Canada since its October release — ranking it near the bottom of more than 100 movies from 2004.

Named best film at the Venice Film Festival of 2004, Vera Drake is about a cleaning lady who "helps girls out" when they are pregnant and considering an illegal abortion.

One woman who has a covert abortion is a mother of seven who says she can’t afford another child, another is fearful of telling her husband she had an affair.

Vera believes it is her duty to help the women have abortions, but hides her actions from her family. She visits women in their homes and helps them obtain secret abortions she performs at hospitals — until she is jailed when one of the women is injured as a result.

While the film discusses illegal abortions, it fails to discuss the state of legal abortion — which ends the lives of unborn children and hurts women.

David Reardon, Ph.D., director of the Elliot Institute and one of the leading researchers into physical and emotional damage caused by abortions, says "legal abortion is inherently unsafe."

Reardon says abortion is known to be linked to higher rates of maternal death, reproductive problems including subsequent premature deliveries and related handicaps among newborns, depression, suicide, substance abuse, and a host of other negative problems impacting women and their families.

"If the international community is serious about protecting women from unsafe abortions, it will work diligently to reverse the trend toward legalized abortion," Reardon explains.

Members of the London Film Critics’ Circle, which gave out the awards, write for British newspapers and magazines.

Related web sites:
Elliot Institute –
The Myth of Mass Back-Alley Abortion Deaths –