Breaking Dawn: Part 1—An Anti-Abortion Message in a Bruised-Apple Package

[SPOILER ALERT: This review reveals major events in Breaking Dawn.]

As I sat watching the vampiric ode to white weddings that dominated the opening scenes of Breaking Dawn: Part 1, I waited anxiously for the honeymoon and morning-after scenes, wondering how the latest Twilight film would present vampire Edward’s “headboard-busting” sex and his new wife Bella’s bruised body.

The highly sanitized depictions in the film, compared to the Twilight book series, removed the vast majority of Bella Swan’s “violet blotches” and her subsequent attempts to conceal them. In the book, as she gazes at herself in the mirror, she notes:

There was a faint shadow across one of my cheekbones, and my lips were a little swollen…The rest of me was decorated with patches of blue and purple. I concentrated on the bruises that would be the hardest to hide—my arms and my shoulders. … Of course, these were just developing. I’d look even worse tomorrow. [italics mine]

The movie only decorates her with a few tiny bruises on her arm and shoulder, a diminishment that can be seen as an improvement given that it does not romanticize a bruised and battered body to the same extent as the book.

But another narrative thread in Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight saga that is problematic from a feminist perspective–the latent anti-abortion message—is heightened, not diminished, in the film. While some argue that the book is pro-choice, as Bella chooses to carry out her pregnancy, the way Bella’s pregnancy is depicted and discussed–along with the strong pro-abstinence messages of the saga, the religious underpinnings and the motherhood-is-the-natural-and-happy-ending-for-all-females tone–result in a narrative that leans far more towards the anti-abortion stance.

When Bella discovers she is pregnant, 14 days after her wedding to Edward, he is horrified, telling her that Carlisle will “get that thing out.” Bella responds “That thing?” seemingly distraught at his choice of words. This attention to language continues in further scenes when the psychic vampire Alice repeatedly uses the word “fetus” and is corrected each time by her vampire sister Rosalie, “Say the word baby!…It’s just a little baby!”

Given that the film ultimately depicts the pregnancy and resulting birth as miraculous, the word “baby” is framed as more apt than the more pro-choice-preferred “fetus.” The term “miracle” and Bella’s instant transformation into a woman who will protect her pregnancy at all costs–even her own life–also echo common anti-abortion narratives.

Edward, Jacob, Alice, Carlisle and the Quileute wolves are all against Bella’s choice to carry out the pregnancy–and understandably so, given she looks like a living skeleton. The fetus, as Carlisle tells her, “isn’t compatible with your body–it’s too strong, too fast-growing.” Yet Bella never considers not carrying out the pregnancy, even though her life is clearly at risk—something that would no doubt make those who propose “egg as person” laws and “let women die” acts quite happy. The life of the fetus is framed as more important than Bella’s, a sentiment that colors these pieces of anti-abortion legislation. And Bella is portrayed as a heroic martyr, the ultimate mother-to-be, rather than as a delusional lovestruck teen with a seeming death wish.

Bella is duly punished in pregnancy and childbirth, bringing to mind Genesis 3:16: “I will greatly multiply your sorrow and your conception; In pain you shall bring forth children; Your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you.” Yet the closing birth scene is more sanitized than depicted in the the book–yes, Bella’s spine is broken, but there are no crunching bones, no sounds of the vampire-human hybrid gnawing its way out of the womb, no vomiting of blood. Instead, Bella lays prone and skeletal, looking like a very bruised, very pregnant, very dead Snow White, as Edward, Vampire Charming, bites her neck, arms and legs in hopes of turning her into a vampire before she dies. The “happy ending” is the birth of Renesmee, whom Rosalie—depicted in the books as having a ruined life because she cannot have children—happily swaddles and kisses.

If you know the saga, you know that Bella does not die–another message that her choice to carry out the pregnancy was the right one. While it’s true she makes this choice, the book and film never suggest any other choice, leaving us with an anti-abortion message seductively packaged as a true-love fairy tale. Bella is cast as a modern Snow White, whose body, shriveled and bruised like a rotting apple, is able to bloom once again thanks not only to Edward’s life-saving bites but to Renesmee’s birth.

 

Comments

  1. Well, I am disgusted but not at all surprised. I like most vampire stories but not this series. I stopped reading before I got as far as Breaking Dawn. The whole thing is extremely anti-feminist. The “romance” is a disturbing mix of obsession, unequal power dynamics and mental illness. I’ve worked in the mental health field and there were constant red flags that this was not a healthy relationship. I couldn’t quite figure out why Bella continues to choose to stay in this relationship. I can sort of see how the author tricks readers by making the intensity of the romance unrealistically high so the reader might be tempted to overlook all the distorted aspects of the relationship. Yuck on every level. Love and a strong sexual attraction can be great in a healthy relationship but are definitely not enough to redeem an unhealthy one.

    Dying or nearly dying in childbirth just isn’t romantic. Childbirth at it’s best is still messy and painful. Having survived a life threatening infection following a c-section I can tell you adding “almost dying” to the mix is miserable and painful not at all romantic. Plus, who is going to take care of the baby? In the real world that is a huge stressor and again not at all romantic.

    The only real use I can see for this series is as an example of what to avoid in a relationship.

  2. It seems this article is saying that deciding to not have an abortion is anti-feminist. That is the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard. I’m not a fan of the series. I’m just going on what the article says and what I’ve read about the series in out articles. I’m seeing this whole anti-abortion thing at all. All supernatural things aside: Bella gets married, has sex with her husband (who might not be the best guy but she loves him) and gets pregnant and wants her baby…..that happens every single day to all kinds of women. Again, all supernatural things aside, everyday women have complications in pregnancy where their life is in danger, or its a choice of either save them or save the baby. That happens everyday. It seems to be one of the most realistic things about the series. So any woman who wants to have her baby and chooses to love it is anti-abortion and anti-feminist? Even though I’m actually named after a fictional male hero, I consider myself a feminist, I didn’t even take my husband’s name when we married. And I’m pro-choice. I believe in a woman’s right to choose. I was also lucky enough to have no complications during my pregnancy with my child, two years ago. But as a feminist, and as Pro-choice, I can tell you right now if I had had complications I would also choose my son over myself. There is no question. I would give myself in a second for my son and I know my husband would too. It has nothing to do with some ridiculous bible verse, or any secret hidden messages. It has to do with loving someone more than yourself. If you wouldn’t give your life for your child then you have no business being a parent. If you have no one in your life that you’d give your life for then you’re pretty pathetic and I feel sorry for you. Again, I don’t know the series but the only hidden message that I see is “It only takes 1 time” haha. From what I’ve read they only had sex once and Bella got pregnant. If I’m wrong correct me. But that seems like the only hidden message. From what I’ve read Bella Wasn’t raped, she Wasn’t 14 years old, she Wasn’t abandoned and alone. It seems like she was a woman who decided to give her life for her child, even though many people disagreed with her choice. Which is something that millions of women face all the time.

    • I understand where you’re coming from. I’m not a mother, but I’m extremely maternal and when the time is right I imagine I’ll enjoy motherhood as much as anyone can. Still, I think you missed the point. The author of the article wasn’t saying “If you have a life-threatening pregnancy and don’t get an abortion, you’re a brain washed pro-lifer!” Not once did I notice anything along the lines of that.

      Personally, if my first pregnancy or any subsequent pregnancies are life-threatening, I would remove the fetus as soon as possible. My fiancee agrees completely. If he had a choice between the developing baby and me, I am the obvious choice. You can get pregnant again, you can adopt, there are options. But once you’re partner is gone, the one you love and know and cherish, you can’t get them back. I can make as many babies as I please, but I need to be alive to do that. I am the priority. It would be foolish to leave my baby motherless and my lover without a partner to raise the child. This seems like common sense to me.

      • Elizabeth says:

        @Rebecca – I respect what you think your decision would be, but many women would disagree (see Locksley above) and I don’t think their decisions should be considered contrary to “common sense.”

      • I agree with you. I think the reason for this Article’s Existence, that even today, there seems to be too Many Movies that treat Womenkind like Sacrificial Babymachines instead of the Creators of Children (You can’t be a Creator without the Choice.)

        I think it’s great and expected for Parents (not just Mothers) to give up their Lives for their Children. But children are always better off having Both of their Parents that Love them ALIVE. Which, is not opinion, but fact. A parent is NOT a parent, if all they care about is just their Children’s “Live-Status” and not their Emotional Status (Like I wouldn’t Recommend Birthing Children when you Can’t even Afford to Feed YOURSELF.). This is probably just my opinion, but there’s got to be more to ‘Life’ than just ‘Living.’ Again, whether or not ‘people’ start as fetuses, is up for debate, so the argument that just a ‘live’ child, at all, is the ‘standard,’ rather than ‘happy and healthy’ children, is up there.

        You can still be pro-choice and choose to give up your life for your child’s birth. That’s what separates pro-choicers and pro-lifers, the CHOICES of women. If there were an Equal Amount of Popular Movies Aimed at GIRLS that Celebrated the OPPOSITE Scenario, maybe this wouldn’t seem like such an Anti-Choice film Propagating Anti-Choice Culture, in a Time when women could Lose their Reproductive Rights Completely.

        You can die for your child to be born and still not be pro-life, but you can’t be pro-choice if you Don’t see the Importance of Equally Highlighting the THREE Options that make up CHOICE.

        And if millions of women face that ‘choice’ all the time, the choice to die for their child’s birth, I’m not surprised since as I’ve said, our World’s Culture seems to Highlight that “Option” all the time that no wonder if women AREN’T Brainwashed into thinking that’s their “Choice” Subconsciously.

        I’m Criticizing Twilight, both by it’s Grouping with other Movies as Anti-Choice Propaganda, along with the Movie Franchise itself because no wonder Bella made that kind of Huge Decision because she’s the kind of “woman” who isn’t even aware of her ‘Choices’ in Mates.

    • But that’s the thing, you haven’t read the books so you haven’t read everything in context. I’ve read the books, and they really unsettled me. Their relationship is not stable and obsessive and just generally unhealthy. The way the relationship is portrayed is very, very anti-feminist in the way that Edward always dominates over her and Bella can’t live without him. She seriously can’t live without him — in the second book he leaves her, and she spends months depressed and doing nothing and chasing after hallucinations of him.

      All of this comes to a climax in Breaking Dawn, where Bella is perfectly alright the morning after they have sex and finds that her body is very, very beat up. Now, it’s one thing to be two consenting adults who have both spoken to each other and like it rough — Bella didn’t know what she was getting into. She passes out and her first time ever having sex is painted as a horrible, painful experience. But that’s perfectly find with Bella, because she’s happy about it. To me, this IS rape, because Bella didn’t have the chance to say no. She passed out and in the morning was severely damaged. You also say that “she wasn’t 14,” but she was 18, and Edward was over a hundred years old. Why is that okay? It’s okay if he’s a hundred and eighteen years older, but horrible if he’s a hundred and twenty-two years older? Where is the line supposed to be drawn?

      Reading this article, I really did not get the feeling that to not have an abortion is anti-feminist. Portraying a women that doesn’t believe she has a choice and HAS to have this pregnancy even though it is killing her is anti-choice and anti-feminist. We could also take into account what I said earlier, that the conception seemed very much like rape and the man was much, much older than her. What if Bella were a teenage girl under the same conditions and became pregnant? Would she be a “pathetic” person because she wouldn’t give her life for her child? The whole thing just doesn’t seem right to me and it really just makes me sick to think that teenage girls are reading this and it is their primary source on what a relationship should look like.

      • Where on earth did you get the notion that she passed out?

        Also, this article is the funniest thing I’ve ever read. It’s fiction. Get over it.

  3. I don’t think it’s the anti-abortion message that makes the story inherently anti-feminist, it’s the language used to frame the situation. It’s not just presented as the only decision, but the RIGHT decision, meaning if she’d made any other decision– say, to save her own life WITHOUT becoming a vampire–it would have been wrong.

    No one is saying it’s wrong that she chose to keep the baby, despite the risk to her own life, but it wouldn’t have been wrong if she chose to have an abortion either… but that’s not how the story is told. THAT’S what makes it anti-feminist.

    • I don’t think the book said that at all. Nearly every adult wanted her to have an abortion and they didn’t make it out to be a bad thing. But Bella didn’t want one and since ultimately it’s the woman’s choice, that was the decision that was made. Why is choice always the great option until it’s in favor of life?

  4. Jessica Metaneira says:

    Twilight manages to be both misogynist and misandrist in one go. It’s slush.

  5. I actually thought the movie did a much better job than the book in showing how necessary reproductive rights are. In the book, the readers get to see almost no discussion about ending Bella’s life-threatening pregnancy. We know that one happened, as Edward tells Jacob that he, Carlisle, and Alice tried to convince Bella to end the pregnancy, but we never get to see it. And the closest we ever get to that discussion in the book is Jacob basically asking Bella to “try again” if she wants a baby so badly, an idea she instantly dismisses as stupid. In the book, Bella never seems scared, nervous, or even worried about what’s going to happen in the future. In the movie, she actually acknowledges that yes, she could die, and she seems constantly worried about her own deteriorating health. It’s not much, but it’s better than in the book where Bella seems to navigate the pregnancy with closed eyes and her fingers in her ears because she’s so sure she’s going to live.

    In the movie, there also seems to be a much greater focus on how close to death Bella is by continuing the pregnancy. In the book, we only get to see one shot of Bella’s body when she’s pregnant – she’s constantly swaddled in blankets. The book describes her as being thin and skeletal, but I don’t think many of the reader’s of the book paid any attention to those details or even thought about how badly her body was being broken – you know she’s going to live, so it’s hard to imagine her even coming close to dying. But when seeing it on a screen, you can’t just skip past the pages you don’t want to read. They kept her looking thin and broken through the entire thing, instead of going the insta-cure route that the book took when she drinks blood. She’s always haggard, always tired, and there are even two conversations between Edward and Bella on how her choice to keep the fetus is impacting their relationship. Two is a paltry number, but it’s better than zero.

    And the reactions from the audience when I went made it seem like only a few readers did any visualizing of what Bella was supposed to be going through in this pregnancy. Most of the people were shocked and disgusted by what was happening to her body. Many in the audience were trying to look away and cover their ears, and there were constant comments on how skinny she was getting. Some of the younger girls in the audience were whispering to their friends “what is she doing?” and “can’t she tell she’s gonna die?” And at the end of the movie, most of the younger people in the audience looked horrified. I feel like by watching the movie they may have started questioning Bella’s decision to keep going with a fatal pregnancy, something I feel like none of them did when reading the book.

    No, the movie certainly cannot be presented as pro-feminist in any way, and yes, it was still largely about the miracle of life and Bella’s self-sacrifice to continue the pregnancy. But I think there is certainly something to be said about showing on film to large groups of people what a women’s body can go through when continuing a dangerous and life threatening pregnancy that needs to be ended (in a fake fantasy world where people are saved by vampire bites, that is).

  6. I thik it is intetesting that you paint women who disagree with abortion as anti-feminist. as women we are the protectors of life, no matter how small or seemingly insignificant and that should be the ultimate hope. I am an educated mother, wife, and attorney and I am both a femimist and pro-life. What is sad is that so many young women are under the mistaken belief that children are a curse and a hindrance to their ability to rise from their circumstances, to impact their community, and to be successful. It,is an honor to have children.

    • That is your opinion, and you have no right to shove that down other people’s throats. If one doesn’t want kids, she should have all options available. YOu have no right to micromanage other women’s bodies or dictate whether they should have kids or not.

  7. Thank you all for commenting on, sharing, and tweeting this post! So glad it is sparking conversation.

    Rachel, Great points about the hints of mental illness and the many red flags that Bella and Edward’s relationship is NOT healthy. As for who will take care of the baby – why, Rosalie of course! She has been DYING to be a mother too. And, not needing to sleep and having endless wealth will surely come in handy – that and Renesmee ages really quickly. No terrible twos or potty training for her!

    Locksley, Choice is key to a feminist view of reproductive rights and my point is Bella is not given a CHOICE – not in the context of the texts or the film. I don’t suggest that “any woman who wants to have her baby and chooses to love it is anti-abortion and anti-feminist” – rather, I am arguing that the film suggests there is no choice, even when the death of the mother is a given. As for the “you’re pretty pathetic and I feel sorry for you” line, well, that speaks more to your knee-jerk reaction that has resulted in a misreading of my post than to who I am and whether or not I have anyone I love enough that I would put their life before my own.

    Rebecca, Thank you for clarifying that I do not at any point suggest “If you have a life-threatening pregnancy and don’t get an abortion, you’re a brain washed pro-lifer!” Thank you!

    Carmen, Thanks for emphasizing that knowing the books is key to understanding the anti-abortion (and anti-feminist) subtext. I don’t agree that the honeymoon night is rape, but I see how it can be read as such – especially if we take into account not only the age difference, but the HUGE power differential. I do think the representation of her bruised body problematically frames violent sex as uber-romantic, though. It would be one thing if she CLEARLY consented to this, and it’s true she is aware of the danger of having sex with a vampire, but her relishing in her bruises and calling them “decorations” smacks to me of a very disturbing romanticization of sexual violence.

    Shana, Fiction, especially fiction as popular as this series, profoundly shapes our views of the world, and of gender, relationships, and so on. If you disagree, what the heck are you doing reading critical analysis such as this? And, it’s true that other characters suggest she not carry out the pregnancy, but, and this speaks to language too, it’s key that the term “abortion” is never used – not in the books and not in the film. And I disagree that those that feel she should end the pregnancy are not depicted negatively. To the contrary, Edward is shown as being possessive and selfish (which he himself admits) and Jacob is shown as WRONG because Renesmee is the “savoir” baby that will stop the war between the Cullens and the wolves, and eventually even prevent the smackdown with the Volturi. She is a Christ-figure, who brings about salvation for all the characters, thus, those that suggest she not be born are indeed depicted as wrong.

    Fwick, YES! It is the language – my point exactly.

    Jessica, I have never named the saga as misandrist, though I do discuss the limiting portrayal of males and masculinity at length in my book. I wouldn’t say it’s “slush” though – yes, it is VERY problematic, especially from a feminist perspective, but it does reveal quite a bit about contemporary notions concerning gender, sexuality, relationships, motherhood and so on – it may not reveal things we like, but it is very revealing nonetheless. This is why I argue that it can’t be dismissed, but needs to be critically analyzed and discussed.

    Kayla,Interesting. I do think the film nods to the importance reproductive rights more – and I noticed this more so the second time I viewed it. I also agree with you that by portraying the horrific details of the pregnancy more, the film gives us a more nuanced representation. In regards to how she looks in the film, I heard from a number of people who wouldn’t see the movie as they couldn’t face having to SEE the gruesome pregnancy and birth scenes. As you point out, seeing her wasting away on the big screen is different to reading about it– especially as Meyer is not the best at vivid description – and just may give viewers pause.

  8. So, one NEEDS to have an abortion to be a feminist? I thought it was all about choice. She considered an abortion in the film, and DECIDED not to have one. Is Meyer pro-life? Yes. However, I saw no overt message here either way. If anyone is using this movie to push their agenda, it’s the author of his blog.

  9. You’re saying she’s not given the choice to have an abortion, but Edward specifically tells her that she should get one. She did have the choice. She turned it down. That’s completely valid.

    There are many things wrong with the Twilight saga, but this isn’t one of them.

  10. As someone who is pro-choice, has had an abortion, read the series, and seen the movie, I think Meyer does a decent job of showing different perspectives on the issue of life in-utero.

    1. Bella’s choice to keep the baby in spite of the fact that it is killing her very much within the realm of who she is as a character in the SERIES. Bella can’t fathom not sacrificing herself for anyone she loves, Renesme included, and that self-sacrifice is a theme across all 4 novels.

    2. The story is told in multiple voices in the book, allowing the reader to see more than just Bella’s “pro-life” perspective. In fact, most of the family (including Renesme’s FATHER and PROTECTOR) sees Bella’s decision as insane, giving the reader the freedom to pick a side (team bella/renesme or team edward/jacob)! Meyer enforces the notion of the “right to choose” by having Bella go against the wishes of her husband. Just as a woman should not be forced to keep her child, she should not be forced to abort it either. It’s still about CHOICE.

    3. Bella’s choice to keep her child under the circumstances might not be what some or even most women would choose. I will even go so far as to say that Bella’s choice to keep her half-vampire half-human baby PROBABLY isn’t realistic. Pun intended.

  11. I got pregnant at 18 and when my then boyfriend and I discovered I was the first words out of his mouth were “you will have an abortion”. I said “NO”. I was keeping the child. My pregnancy was horrible. Life threatening in the sense that I was sick 24/7. I could hardly keep anything in my system. I was passing out at least 3 times a day and to top it all off I almost miscarried 4 times. He told me I was stupid. My mom said I would end up passing out and not waking up. It was scary. I was in and out of the hospital at least once a week. Once I started getting bigger it got worse and I was put on bedrest. 9 months and 1 week later I was induced and my daughter was getting ready to be born. Problems arose again when every time I pushed her heart rate slowed to almost a complete stop. The doctor had to use the help of a suction device to get her out and we discovered the umbilical cord had been tightly wrapped around her neck. Needless to say she is a very healthy litte girl. My point is I understand fully where Bella’s mind is and if I could go back, I would do it all over again without a second thought. All that being said, Twilight is fictional. No one said this series will be your guide to life and you will believe it all. No one is saying you have to agree or disagree with the way it was written and the characters created. Everyone has a right to their own opinions and beliefs, so does it really matter that Bella is portrayed as pro- life and is the feminism really a major issue? Maybe we should be blogging about the real world instead of a fiction series…

  12. First of, @Shana you’re anti-woman and anti-choice. You are trolling this blog because probably one of those anti-choice, woman-hating sites sent you here.

    Second, this is a great article. The issue pointed out here is not that deciding keeping a pregnancy is anti-feminist, but the fact that when the pregnancy threatens your life, than a woman should have enough self-value to put her well being above a fetus. A born human is more important than a fetus. The glorification of the self-sacrificing woman in relation to a fetus is the predominant representation Hollywood brainwashes viewers with. The only right choice presented by Hollywood, is when a woman chooses the fetus over her life. When was the last time you saw a woman choosing abortion in a Hollywood movie? The answer: NEVER. Even in the independent Sundance movies the only valid choice that’s allowed to be presented is when the woman chooses the fetus over her life or well being, (Blue Valentine comes to mind). If a woman has an abortion in a movie, it is presented as something she did in the past, and ends up being severely punished for it.

    The bottom line is this: what happens INSIDE a woman’s body is no one else’s business but hers. No one has a right to dictate a woman how to live her live or whether to have kids or not. If a woman is not prepared mentally, physically or financially to have a child, she should have the choice to terminate her pregnancy if she wants to. The government or society has no right to force a woman to carry a pregnancy. The focus and concern should be on BORN children. Government and society should make sure that every child has access to health care, healthy food, has a roof above the head, and access to quality education. These are the issues society and government should butt into, not the micromanaging of women’s uteruses.

    • Are you commenting on the book and movie or just repeating pro-choice oratory that has been around for 40+ years? This is about a character in a book, not the whole country.

      I don’t know which books some of you thought you were reading, but Bella calls many of the shots in her relationship with Edward, at least the major ones. She is the one who chooses to become a vampire; she is the one who insists on having sex with Edward while she is still human and before being consumed with blood-lust–Edward is terrified that he will lose control and kill her because of his physical strength (in fact, both he and Jacob try to change her mind about the wedding night); she is the one who insists on carrying Renesmee to term. Bella gets what she wants because she refuses to be swayed on the things that matter to her. Bella makes a choice. She has Renesmee because she wants to have Renesmee. That is her choice. It’s simply not the choice that many of you want her to make. Your suggestion is that her choice is invalid because it is not your choice of preference.

      Oh,and @Maria? For the record, there are plenty of us out here who are well-educated, hard-working, and financially-independent women who own our own property, vote at elections, and expect equal pay for equal work, but don’t feel liberated by the right to seek an abortion. We are not woman-haters; we are successful women who lead productive lives and who know our own value in the world. In fact, I can think of many pro-choice females I know who are neither independent nor self-sufficient. There are many females I know who go through their adult lives depending on their parents or male partners for financial support, using their femininity to get what they want, and behaving as if the world owes them something for being born. Yet being pro-choice makes them pro-woman and pro-feminism? Really? I am a teacher and believe whole-heartedly in encouraging my female students to be strong, knowledgeable, and capable of standing on their own two feet. I believe in teaching them to value themselves, to realize their inner beauty, and not to let our warped media dictate to them a narrow vision of outer beauty. Yet my belief that our right to do as we please with our bodies comes before conception, not after, makes me a woman-hater? OK. And here I thought that being strong women meant making responsible choices about whom we share our bodies with and under what circumstances. Silly me.

  13. Erm, Bella DID die. Vampires are living dead. ;) She continues her unlife as a member of the undead who then goes on to desire the blood of her own father, in one of the most disturbing and incestually charged moments of the entire series.

    Anyway, great article.

    For what it’s worth, it seems to me that the series isn’t so much anti-abortion, as it is anti-women in general. Bella is not even considering an abortion, even though the fetus is clearly killing her. At the same time, everybody but ‘poor, childless’ and therefore unfulfilled Rosalie wants her to have an abortion, even though it’s against her will. Bella is completely powerless in either scenario, and her own needs clearly take a backseat to everybody else’s, be it her fetus, or her husband and his (extremely white, extremely wealthy) family.

    Btw, just stumbled upon your article, because I’m writing a paper (for a gender-perspective YA lit conference) about misogyny and overall gender stereotyping in Twilight. Will be quoting you. :)

  14. Laura-”And here I thought that being strong women meant making responsible choices about whom we share our bodies with and under what circumstances.”

    This makes the assumption that all women who have abortions are not responsible. I have several friends that have had abortions and all where for different reasons. One friend already had a child, got pregnant with her husband but discovered she had cervical cancer. If she did not abort she would have died and left her child without a mother. Another was married, on the pill, but could not afford more children. Both choices were made for the benefit of their living children. I surprised that this has to be defended. Not all women who have abortions are childless/never want to be a mother.

    I believe the entire Twilight series is a bit annoying. I have only seen the movies but it appears that Bella attraction to Edward is based solely on physical attraction and the fact that he saved her life (she is incapable of saving herself). I literally yelled at the TV when she attempted suicide because Edaward left her. As an adult women I can look at this movie and see what I do not agree but teenage girls may not. That what the scary thing is. I can only hope they do a movie that flashes a hundred years into the future where they are sick of staring at each other and breakup. That would be way more entertaining.

  15. As in the twenty or so real life people I know whom have had abortions, it is the man pushing her to just “get rid of the problem”.

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