As Whole Women’s Health describes the film, “This month we’ll be watching Citizen Ruth, a dark comedy about a woman with an unexpected pregnancy who wants to seek an abortion. The film is known for its use of humor to critique “moral realism” and fanaticism in the debate that surrounds abortion.“
The films authors describe Ruth as, “An irresponsible, drug-addicted, recently impregnated woman finds herself in the middle of an abortion debate when both parties attempt to sway her to their respective sides.”
According to one review, Laura Dern portrays Ruth Stoops, an irresponsible, unemployed woman who’s addicted to inhaling household chemicals and has becomes pregnant, for the fifth time. After she is arrested for substance abuse, the judge offers to lessen her sentence if Ruth chooses to abort her child. Ruth agrees, but that night she encounters a group of pro-life activists.
What I find most amusing is how this abortion clinic would endorse the stigmatizing of their patients as women needing abortion because they are out of control and unable to cope in life. Where is NOW, NARAL, NAF, and the rest of the pro-choice lobby to oppose this? Their silence is golden because that is precisely what the abortion lobby believes about women who choose abortion. It is a complete insult to women and it needs to be exposed !
This idea was summarized by National Abortion Federation member and abortion doctor Michael Benjamin when he described the typical abortion patient before a state Congressional committee, “I think it is basically a personality type who generally has her life out of control and unfortunately nowadays there are no shortage of people in general whose lives are out of control. They drift, they tend to live for the moment in terms not only of their sexual practices but in terms of their economic lives and they are people in general who don’t think beyond the moment, who don’t plan for tomorrow, and who really will take life as it comes and deal with the rest later. …”
In one scene the pro-choice side is shown telling Ruth,”It is always women like you who are most victimized by anti-choice, indigent women, third world women, women of color..”
The film ends on the day Ruth is to receive her abortion, she suffers a miscarriage. Going along with the pretense of having the abortion, she proceeds to the clinic to collect $15,000 that has been left there for her by one of the security guards of the clinic who believes in personal freedom. He has personally given her the money, free of organizational sponsorship, to match the bid given by the Pro-Life group, so that she can make her decision without the influence of money. She then breaks out of the clinic by dropping a toilet tank cover on a guard’s head and walks by oblivious protesters on both sides. Even though she’d been on the TV news for weeks, none of the picketers on either side pay any attention to her actual presence. Finally standing up, she runs away down the street.
Whole Women’s Health has been in the news due to the recent passing of stricter abortion laws in Texas. They have also been cited by state health officials for having a substandard abortion clinics, something the media seems to cover-up.
I believe that the stigmatizing of their abortion patients may be motivated by profit. The more they can convince society that abortion takes care of the babies society does not want by women who would be bad parents the more people will support their cause. And support is something Whole Woman’s Health desperately needs as the front page of their website clearly shows: