4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days

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Questions on the movie 4 months, 3 weeks and 2 days:

1) The movie does not disclose the motives behind the decision about the abortion. Why do you think Gabriela decided to have the abortion in the first place? Why do you think her friend is helping her, paying such a high price for it? Do you think their actions were morally justified? How would you describe them from the moral point of view? What do you suggest they should have done instead?

She probably wanted an abortion because it was unwanted pregnancy at a young age. Since the father of the unborn child is not only never seen or spoken of, it is obviously he is not in the picture or someone who she has a relationship with. Proceeding with her pregnancy is no more an option for Gabi, and it is as if life in Romania is so soul-destroying that Gabi doesn’t want to bring another soul into it, which may be one thoughtful decision this immature young woman made. Gabita is left alone with no help but from Otilia who taking care of the situation. Otilia is forced to make all the difficult and complicated decisions and negotiations from securing a hotel room where the procedure will be performed and getting money for the procedure. Otilia helps pay the high cost of Gabita’s abortion since she is the stronger one and is acting as a mature sister who happened to have a boyfriend coming from a doctor-family. She feels obligated to help Gabita because they are best friends living in the same room and no one else would help if she didn’t. I personally don’t think that their actions were morally justified although I understand person’s final decision on abortion is circumstantial. First of all, I am a single mother. As a person who was pregnant at the age of 19, I understand how hard it is to accept the unplanned pregnancy and the fear of unknown future that you will have to face, but that is one of the consequences for having sexual encounter and something you have to accept and deal with. I personally don’t think that their actions were morally justified. I was exasperated when Otilia threw away the baby in the trash chute. Having an abortion after 4 months is nothing different from killing an infant and most importantly, your health would be at stake. The procedure for abortion was NOT in a safe environment but in the back alley. Since I am not too familiar with Romanian history, I am not sure if this could be an option to them, but I would have suggested to keep the baby instead of going through the illegal procedures risking her life and to give it up for adoption. Just because you are scared or don’t want to bring a child into the world without a father doesn’t mean that the child doesn’t deserve a chance. If you give the baby for adoption, the baby has a chance to have both parents and live in a stable environment.

2) Does this movie take a pro-life or a pro-choice position? How have you concluded this? Bear in mind that the question of moral justification is different from the question about legalization. Though the movie might intend to show the down side of the ban on abortion, it could still be compatible with the idea that abortion is morally wrong.

I don’t think the movie takes a pro-life or a pro-choice position. Abortion itself is not mentioned at all until about a third of the way into the movie, and by that point, you can see people trafficking in contraband goods and using foreign cigarettes as a form of bribery. In this context, terminating a fetus could easily be just one of many activities which have been driven underground by a society build on fear and distrust. The only difference legalization would make there is that someone else would take care of the disposal. In this movie, it shows how desperate many people are to have an abortion, a desperation that prohibitions may actually fuel. A large number of women will even submit to violation and possible death at the hands of unscrupulous “providers” who predictably take the places of clinics...
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