Another Movie Presses "Pro-Life" Theme as Comedy Juno Touts Adoption

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Dec 5, 2007   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Another Movie Presses "Pro-Life" Theme as Comedy Juno Touts Adoption Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
December 5,

Hollywood, CA ( — Another movie with a "pro-life" theme is hitting theaters starting this weekend — as the indie comedy "Juno" could delight pro-life advocates with its promotion of adoption over abortion. The movie follows Bella, which has touched the heart of millions with its beautiful presentation of appreciating human life.

Jason Reitman, known for his 2006 debut, ”Thank You for Smoking" sits in the director chair for Juno, a light comedy with a PG-13 rating. Screenwriter Diablo Cody pens the script for the film.

Juno appears to be somewhere in-between Bella, which pro-life advocates found appropriate for families, and "Knocked Up," a raunchy comedy that had a mild pro-life theme but language and situations inappropriate for children.

In the new movie, Juno MacGuff (played by Ellen Page) is a teenager who suddenly finds herself pregnant after a tryst with her best friend.

Juno heads to a local abortion business — saying she will "nip [the problem] in the bud" — only to be talked out of taking her baby’s life by a pro-life sidewalk counselor who tells her about the development of her unborn child.

The counselor describes how her baby has fingernails at this point in the development process.

The pregnant teen responds to a newspaper ad placed by a couple looking to adopt a baby and Juno tells her parents (J.K. Simmons and Allison Janney) the news.

The movie focuses on the relationship Juno has with the adopting couple (Jason Bateman and Jennifer Garner) and one of the parents appears more interested in the adoption than the other.

Some observers may say the movie does more harm than good by portraying the adoptive parents as less mature than the teenager who gives them the joy of caring for her child.

Jack Mathews of the New York Daily News, notes the pro-life theme in the movie and says it doesn’t offend his pro-abortion views.

"If Cody and Reitman have a pro-life agenda, it didn’t offend this pro-choice critic. Juno does have choices and makes one, without prejudice," he writes in a review of the movie.

But Stephen Whitty of the Star-Ledger newspaper, isn’t as impressed.

"If there’s a flaw here, it’s that, like the year’s other baby-fever movies, Juno is a little scared of its own subject," she writes.

"Of course, there’s a perfectly practical reason why Page’s character doesn’t get an abortion — there wouldn’t be a movie if she did," Whitty says. "Yet her decision seems strangely rushed, based chiefly on a lone anti-abortion picketer and the fact that the clinic ‘smells like a dentist’s office.’"

Juno joins other secular movies with a slight pro-life ethic, such as "Stephanie Daley," about a teen who keeps her baby and Waitress," a comedy about a woman who kept her baby and left her husband.

Whether Juno will help promote the pro-life perspective remains to be seen.