Warnings about TV Shows, Books and Movies for the Woman recovering from PASS to Avoid Some of these descriptions are graphic, so please use caution reading these, if you are recovering from PASS or are feeling sensitive!! This page contains warnings submitted by visitors about current media that may have images, scenes and situations that can be upsetting for women dealing with PASS. Women recovering from an abortion can sometimes be very frail emotionally, and things that may not bother anyone else may 'trigger' her and send her into a deep depression, or cause a strong resurgence of PASS symptoms of all types. So for a woman recovering after an abortion, here are things to 'avoid' if you can. The name of the item is listed, as well as a description of what is upsetting about it. This is a 'collection' of submitted views, and of course everyone is different, so what might upset one person may not upset you! This is just here as a way for us to 'warn' each other about possibly upsetting things in the media world.
Note: This section is not accepting any more submissions at this time - please post all Media Warnings and discuss any submitted Media Warnings at the Media Warnings Message Board
- TitleofPiece: Jude - This movie was released in 1996 and stars Kate Winslet. It is the most horrific movie I have ever seen and caused the strongest reaction a movie has ever caused from me (and a male friend)! It takes place in the 1800's and is about a man named Jude. He gets married because he thinks his girlfriend is pregnant. After marriage she leaves him telling him she had never intended on trapping him. He leaves to go to university and meets his cousin (Kate Winslet) whom he is enamoured with. She marries an older man and a later realizes she made a mistake because she loves not her husband but Jude. With her husband's concent (yes I said consent) she leaves to be with Jude. She is frustrated though with organized religion and is somewhat rebelling against them. So the two never marry. The two are living happily (Kate, sorry can't remember her name in the movie, gets pregnant) and back comes the wife (the two never divorce). Turns out the wife was in fact pregnant and can not afford to take care of the child so she leaves them with Jude and Kate. They have a girl and then later has another baby (3 children in all). Because they are not married Jude continually loses jobs and they are forced to move several times. One particular time they are having a really hard time finding a place to live but someone takes them in, only later to tell them they must move again. The son from the first marriage asks if it is him and he is told no that simply there is too many of them (Kate says it in a cold fashion and the father later goes in to explain to him in a better way). Jude and Kate leave to find a spot to leave only to come back to their children dead. The boy (who is about 7 years old) kills the sister and baby and then hangs himself, leaving a note "because there are too many". This is one of the sadess movies I have ever seen and it leaves you in shock. Do not see this movie!
- TitleofPiece: Alien 4 - I was told by several people who knew I had an abortion NEVER to see this film. One of my friends told me that there is a part where one of the aliens that Sigorney Weaver's character kills calls her "mommy." I think this could be upsetting to anyone who has PASS to watch.
- TitleofPiece: Alien 3 - This movie stars Sigorney Weaver. There is a very upsetting scene at the beginning of the movie where a young girl, Newt, dies and has an autopsy performed on her to make sure she is not infested with the aliens. There are graphic flashes of blood and horrific noises from the autopsy. One thing that makes this scene particularly upsetting is that Sigorney Weaver's character and Newt form a mother/daughter bond in the previous movie, Aliens. Weaver's character has to order the doctor to do the autopsy, another thing I found upsetting. This movie is bad all around, but I particularly recommend not seeing it for the autopsy scene.
- TitleofPiece: Immediate Family - Starring Glenn Close, James Woods, and Mary Stewart Masterson. This movie is about a couple who tried unsuccessfully to have a child and resorted to adopting a baby from Masterson, who is still pregnant. They bond with the mother, and when she has the child, she changes her mind and decides to keep the baby, breaking the hearts of the couple in the process. It then shows the very difficult time the natural mother has raising a small baby in a poverty stricken, low class family. It can be upsetting for mothers who have been pregnant in a tough situation, and shows how there are people out there who desperately want children and can't have them. It was very guilt provoking for me, but the ending is rather uplifting.
- TitleofPiece: What Dreams May Come - Starring Robin Williams. It is about a guy who dies in a car crash. His wife commits suicide to be with him in heaven. Their children died years before, and they meet up in heaven. I found it upsetting because it deals with death in a big way, and the grief of a mother losing her kids. She is in a mental home at one point, just after losing her kids. Lots of symbolism, like kids toys and things. Some people may find it nice to think of children in heaven, but it made me upset. I think it has been released a couple years ago.
- TitleofPiece: The Green Mile - It is a wonderful movie, however the theme for the main character (Tom Hanks) becomes one of whether or not he has gone against God by taking the life of one of his most spectacular miracles, the character of "John Coffee". It wasn't until the end that most of this hit, however it hits very hard.
- TitleofPiece: high fidelity - john cusack, in theatres now (4/30/00) - horrible film. loser guy uses girlfriend up, not there for her, cheats on her, she gets preg and doesn't tell him and has ab. later he jokes with her about having kids and she strats crying, tells him about the ab, and he comes back at her that it was his kid too (the one she concieved while he was cheating on her). basically, he is a loser, and you don't care enough about whether he gets help or not for him to be the central character, and she gets used up the whole movie, and sleeps with him to cope, and other triggering messed up stuff. there was NOTHING good about this movie, don't see it.
- TitleofPiece: Stigmata - Warnings: Religious movie-features a scene in which the lead charachter watches an unknown woman drop her baby into the street.
- Title: Astronaut's Wife - Warnings: Johney Depp's wife gets pregnant by her husband who is a alien form and in one scene tries to kill her child inside her by taking some kind of pill. For me it really hit me emotionally and found it disturbing. The movie just came out in rental recently. Not sure of the actress's name.
- TitleofPiece: "HIGH FIDELITY" - Warnings: Discusses Girlfriend getting an abortion as a main theme. He says how it wasnt' just her child etc. I don't usually react, but I had a slight bout of anxiety through the rest of the movie. I am not good at describing, but this one hit me pretty hard!!!
- Title: Slingblade - Starring, directed and (i think) written for screen by Billy Bob Thronton There is little outright violence, blood, or anything that is visually triggering, but there is a theme in the movie of trauma, and one particular trauma that the star of the movie Carl relives is abortion related. He relives an abortion that his parents induce at home and he talks about the baby and how he saw him, heard him crying and buried him. He goes back to the gravesight later in the movie. When I watched the movie I really was not expecting anything about abortion... I thought it was specifically about mental illness and, if you will, kind of the 'dark side of Forrest Gump'. It is very graphic in verbal explanation of what young Carl saw and what he went through.
- Title: The Haunting of Hell House - This probably isn't a very popular movie, it didn't have any extremely famous people in it. But, PLEASE don't rent it ever! There was no particular scene that was very upsetting, the entire movie was. The whole storyline is based on two men who are being haunted by women who they had gotten pregnant and consequentially had to go get abortions. It shows very graphic and disgusting scenes of the women having the procedure done to them, it takes place probably late 1800s or early 1900s, and they were back alley abortions so they were not only primitive methods but also very dirty and grotesque. They showed these things very vividly in the movie. There are no parts that I could recommend that you fast forward b/c the whole movie is full of triggers. I made my boyfriend stop the movie after only 20 minutes. DON'T WATCH THIS MOVIE!!!
- Title: The Sixth Sense - This movie stars Bruce Willis and was very good... however, I saw it 6mos after my 1st abortion and now can't even think of seeing it after just having had a 2nd. The movie deals with a boy who is visited by dead people, which could be disturbing to a woman who feels her aborted child could do the same. Also, the child speaks to a dead girl who was slowly poisoned to death my her mother... that really got me. He also tells his mother that he spoke to his grandmother after she died - the mother ends up in tears - and so did i. it was a great movie, but had way too many scenes that might make a woman feel terrible and bring back the scars of the abortion.
- Title: The Cide House Rules
stars: Micheal Caine. The movie centers on an orpahn boy who has grown up learning doctoring skills from the doctor at the orphanage which also helps pregnant mothers, including ones who want to have an abortion. Most of the abortion references are not graphic but are just about the young boy's not accepting that they should do abortions while the older doctor believes that if they are doing it safely it is a necessity. There are MANY references throughout the movie though and a disturbing scene including a death. Although it wasn't mentioned in any previews abortion is a VERY large focus in this film and I wouldn't recommend it to anyone who is not feeling exceptionally strong and incredibly healed - it is extremely triggering for women recovering from an abortion.
- Title: Bram Stoker's Dracula
stars: Keanu Reeves, Wynona Ryder, Gary Oldman. I think it was released in 1993. There is a scene in which Dracula hands a baby to his three vampire "Brides" for them to...well, what vampires do. Keanu Reeves' character begins screaming as the scene cuts out. Very disturbing, perhaps, to those who may have nightmares of being unable to protect a child. Also disturbing to those people suffering from PASS who are now parents again.
- Title: Sleepy Hollow
it stars johnny depp, and the triggering part is when they discover one of the beheaded women also was sliced into her lower stomach, because the horseman wanted to kill the baby she was carrying too - also one scene where a small child is killed. if you are feeling shaky do NOT go see this movie.
- Title: Dogma
I didnt see this movie myself, but heard about it from a close friend of mine who told me to 'steer clear' of it because it could be upsetting to me. The beginning of the movie supposedly has anti abortion protesters involved with some sort of scene relative to the movie. It only lasts a few minutes, but could be unsettling for some viewers.
- Title: the seventh sign
Warnings: this movie is about the end of the world and the seven signs. it stars Demi Moore. she is pregnant and see the guy that is renting the room in her house is kind of like Jesus but instead of coming back to save the world he is here to end it. at the end the last sign a soulless child is born and she gives her life to save the world and her baby. It could be upsetting for anyone that would give their own lives for the life of the their aborted child and also for anyone that has lost a child at any time.
- Title: My Life
Very emotional, but good movie starring Nicole Kidman and Micheal Keaton (i think). He finds out that he has cancer, and makes video of himself for their unborn baby. I liked the movie before, but after the ab I cried my eyes out the whole time and was depressed for the rest of the evening. The movie goes throughout her pregnancy to his death. Very sad and disturbing for anyone who has had an abortion.
- Title: Beloved
This movie starrs Oprah Winfrey and Danny Glover. I think it came out in the beginning of 1999. Her character apparently murdered one of her children, a baby girl, because she was trying to save her from being taken back into slavery. Oprah and her other children grow up in a home haunted by physical manifestations of the spirit of the murdered daughter. Then, the dead daughter comes back to life from the depths of the murky lake. She is now about 18 years old in body, but still has the mentality of a baby and still has the scarr on her neck where Oprah slashed her throat. Oprah basically let's the daughter reak havoc in their lives all because of her guilt from murdering her baby.
- Title: Fools Rush In
Salma Hayek and one of the actors from Friends are in this film, can't remember his name, was it Matthew Perry(?), which deals with unplanned pregnancy from what starts off as a one night stand, and she keeps the baby and they do get married despite lots of cultural and family differences (he's a rather reserved WASP, she's Mexican and Catholic I think, and has a large, close-knit extended family) but I thought that the situation might remind some women that they chose abortion in very similar circumstances and would feel sad that their situation did not have a happy ending like the film. It's a lovely feelgood film but happier than real life often is. At one point he says he supports the woman's right to choose, and she says good cos she's decided she is keeping it! Some women might regret not having the strength and confidence and family support to have said the same when the man said that to them.
- Title: The Devil's Advocate (Al Pacino, Keanu Reeves)
The wife of main character (Keanu Reeves) walks into a room in the middle of the night b/c she hears something. She even gets a knife. She'd been wanting to have children a lot lately too. Anyway, she goes into the room and there is a baby, about little less than a year old, sitting on the floor. The woman sees the baby and gets down on the floor. She says,"Hi sweetie, how on earth did you get here?" she sees the baby is holding something and says,"What do you have there honey? Can I see?" and the baby turns around and is holding the woman's ovaries. The woman looks down and there is blood all over the front of her nightgown. Then she wakes up. The next day she finds out she can't have children.
UGH! I was watching that movie and it had already been like a constant and rather bothersome trigger b/c the woman is CONSTANTLY discussing babies and how she wants to have some. But, when I saw that part I freaked! My skin crawled, my stomach turned and started to hurt, and my eyes filled up. If you are sensitive to such things, DO NOT RENT THE DEVIL'S ADVOCATE! Or if you do, fast forward the part where she gets up in the middle of the night and hears noises.
- Title: She's Having a Baby
It stars Kevin Bacon and is from the mid eighties.The movie is about a couple who tries and tries to have a baby. The father is momentarily uninterested and when the woman does go to have the baby, there are some problems with the birth. There is a particular scene where the woman is put under anesthetic and they cut her open. They don't show the cutting, but they show a drop of blood falling at the same moment as the fathers tear drops. This movie was one of my favorites until after my abortion. Now it is very upsetting.
- Title: The Deep End of the Ocean
A mother goes to a High school reunion and loses her three year old (she has two other children an infant and a boy about 6). About ten years go by and the boy is still missing. The family moves into a new neighborhood and finds the boy. He was kidnapped by one of the mother's classmates, who later committed suicide and he is now living with a man that he thought was his father. The boy does not want to live with his biological parents, as he doesn't even know them. Very intense, emotional movie for anyone. Even worse, for someone who may have terminated a pregnancy. It was a good movie, just too much a tear jerker. Too many maternal emotions and feeling of loss for everyone involved.
- "Message in a Bottle" - starring Kevin Costner - The whole movie is very sad and is focused on grieving. It opens with the main female character, Theresa, taking her son on a plane to visit his father (who shows up with his new wife and their new baby). Meanwhile, Kevin Costner, lives in North Carolina and works building and restoring boats. He has spent some time writing messages on special stationery to his dead wife Catherine. Then he puts them in a bottle and sends them off to sea.
Theresa happens upon one of the bottles, while on vacation while her son is with his Dad. She becomes almost obsessed and, as a researcher for the Chicago Tribune, tracks down the author. She goes to visit Garett (Kevin Costner) and they start a shaky relationship due to all of his grief over his dead wife. It is a truly moving and beautiful movie. The only thing that is mentioned about HOW Catherine died is something to the effect of "the pregnancy just consumed her body. And after awhile, she just gave up." Although Garett tried to take care of her as best he could, he is wracked with guilt throughout the whole movie that he left her that day. The small townspeople all consider him a killer as well. I won't tell you the ending, except to say that it is too late for him when he decides that it's finally time to let go of Catherine and to win back the heart of Theresa. It is extremely SAD...
There you have it. I don't know if the one line about the pregnancy-related death or the guilt he felt or the loss of love or any of that would trigger anyone, but better safe than sorry.
- "The Object of My Affection" - starring Jennifer Aniston: Not a bad movie, but a lot of pregnancy triggers, as Jennifer Aniston (Nina) who is having a baby decides to raise it with her gay roommate. The father of the baby is not involved for much of the movie, and when the gay roommate begins spending more time with his new lover, and less time with Nina, she becomes upset and sad.(and ends up spending most of the pregnancy alone. It was very sad to see, even though the movie has a good ending.) Just way too many reminders and triggers around pregnancy...
- Disney's "Tarzan" - There is an upsetting scene in the beginning when a mother and father watch their baby gorilla get killed by a tiger. It is also upsetting when the baby gorilla is panicky and running, while he is being chased by the tiger. Also upsetting when the bereaved Mother Gorilla comes upon baby Tarzan, and the tiger tries to take baby Tarzan from her and kill him - quite a few scenes of the baby in danger. Other than that, the rest is okay.
- "Saving Private Ryan" - starring Tom Hanks: Horrible scenes where young men are being ripped apart. Bleeding and dying, they cry out for their mothers. This movie should be avoided at all costs!
- "The Matrix" - Keanu Reeves - There is an upsetting scene that show babies being 'grown' in uterine like 'pods', and then shows this giant machine swooping down on them and 'sucking' them out of the pods where they are growing. Then they 'place' the babies into these machines, with wires in their skulls and bodies, and cover them up with a thick oil-like fluid. Also just a lot of violence and disgusting stuff in general. definitely not a good movie for women at all.
- "Dirty Dancing" - An old Patrick Swayze classic which shows the before and after of an abortion. Sensitive women should steer clear of this one as it might bring back memories and feelings.
- "If these walls could talk" - It stars Cher, Demi Moore and some other actress (can't remember her name). It shows the lives of three women during 3 different eras of time, in different types of situations dealing with unwanted pregancies and going through with their abortions afterward. The last segment features the "vaccum" type machine used in hospitals/clinics today. The entire movie is extremely sad and can trigger many very real and intense memories.
- "9 Months" - Hugh Grant-way way too many triggers about pregnancy in general, and about how relationships go when the man is not interested in being a father.
- "Look Who's Talking" 1 & 2 - just a lot of baby related triggers the whole movie long, and I hated seeing them portraying the baby as having a mind and soul even when he was still a sperm. Whether it's reality or not, it's too upsetting for me to think that the fetus might have been able to think or feel or hear or talk at any point in the pregnancy before I aborted.
- "Fast Times at Ridgemont High" - Jennifer Jason Leigh's character becomes pregnant in her first and only experiment with sex, is utterly abandoned by the father, and ends up having an abortion all alone. She then gets taken on a tour of a hospital past a nursery full of healthy newborns. This sequence alone may be upsetting enough, but the resolution -- that the character had no after-effects other than the sad look as she looks into the nursery, and she immediately launches into a chaste and satisfying relationship with a very nice boy, might make the post-abortion woman feel abnormal for not bouncing back and having an immediately happy and stress-free life.
- "Teachers" - A supposedly "humorous" series of scenes reveals that the male phys-ed teacher is having sex with a student (NOT funny!) we hear nothing more of the teacher who impregnated her (abandonment), and a friend brings her to the main teacher character so he can drive her to an abortion clinic. Any woman or girl who ran headlong into an abortion in order to try to avoid upsetting her parents might find this very distressing.
TitleofPiece: "Angel" - It is a show on the WB. It came out in 2000. There is an episode where the character Cordila and her friends get pregnant by these demons. They then go and at the end the babies end up just like vanishing once the demon is killed.
Episode of Felicity - Episode airing Feb 20/00. Ruby gets pregnant, goes to clinic and schedules an abortion. She goes the next day but runs out of the clinic crying that she can't do it. At the end of the episode she is making a prenatal appt. Her boyfriend has confessed to Felicity that he can't handle the idea of having a child.
Closing Scene - After the Drew Carey Show the production company shows an ultrasound and the sound of the baby "laughing."
Episode of ER - Nurse Hathaway has twins that almost die during delivery. The father is DR. ? is not in the picture. The delivery seen was very disturbing to me and so I thought it might trigger other people also.
Episode of "Millenium" - don't remember the name of it, but two lesbians break out of jail, and one of them is pregnant. In the end, the mother has the baby and then dies. It was a very emotional and upsetting episode for me.
Episodes of "Xena - Warrior Princess" - there is a whole thread where Gabrielle gets raped by a demon, and then goes on to have a child within a few days, and then Xena tries to kill the child, believing it is evil. Very upsetting, as you watch Gabrielle struggle with her best friend trying to get her not to kill her baby. Xena beleives it's in everybody's best interest that the baby dies, Gabrielle thinks things can be just fine - it is very triggering towards the feeling a woman might get when her partner tries to convince her to abort because 'it's best for everyone'. This goes on over a couple of episodes, best to avoid any that you see Gabrielle pregnant, or with a baby.
"Battlestar Galactica" (the original TV show - in reruns and on video now) - The pilot episode has a scene that is replayed in a snippet on all opening credits, so you might want to steer clear of the pilot and fast forward past the credits on other episodes. Jane Seymoure's character is a single mother with a young child, present at what's supposed to be a peace celebration. However, the other party in the treaty, instead of signing the treaty, attacks with spaceships, causing massive destruction and death. In the midst of all this, we see Jane's character trying desperately to shield her child with her body -- an obviously pointless move, since the enemy weapons are blowing up people and buildings all around them. The combination of betrayal and desperately trying to protect the child can be very distrubing, even though Jane's child survives.
Books / Other Media
TitleofPiece: Insomnia by Stephen King - This book deals mainly in how life and death is viewed, and the "people" who take the lives of others through different channels. You will find alot of abortion references, along with pro life activists and protests. A good book, and thought provoking, but depending on your stage of healing can be very distressing for some people.
TitleofPiece: "What It's Like" by Everlast - Warnings: Like the Ben Folds Five song, this is a good piece of music, but it may be emotionally upsetting for those who have just recently had an abortion and who may still be grappling with the decisions they made. The entire second stanza is about a young girl called Mary who gets pregnant by a man named Tom, who later abandons her, leaving Mary to go to an abortion clinic, where she is faced by a crowd of protestors. Everlast sings about what she had to go through and what it's like "to choose;" but it may be best to choose not to listen to this song for a while. For me, the song brings up memories of going to the abortion clinic, and of the end of the relationship I had with my boyfriend, which still causes me pain to this day. And so, just to be on the safe side, this might not be the best song to listen to after having had an abortion...
TitleofPiece: Zion: by Lauren Hill
Warnings: A song on the CD titled The Miseducation of Lauren Hll, which she wrote about her decision to go against the advice of others, and continue her pregnancy. The song is named after her first and only child Zion. The song refers to how everyone told her to use her head; that her career was at a point where having a child may slow her down. But instead she chose to "use her heart." This song triggers some intense emotions every time I hear it.
Title: "Brick" by Ben Folds Five - Although a beautiful piece of music, this song is truly upsetting to women suffering PASS as it tells the story of a couple going through an abortion and heartache this can cause. For those of us who have not come to terms with our terminations in anyway,this song is a definite trigger of so many negative emotions we may have been working hard to move on and feel free from. The actual tune of the song is also a reliable tear jerker.
= maybe too generic, but my warning is for the Internet in general - Surf carefully. Was looking for a site like this and ended up being bombarded with Pro-life pages left right and center. Many were very graphic, but even just the rhetoric can be overwhelming. Also, I was especially disturbed when I found a site for couples who are trying to get pregnant...it gave a week by week development of the embryo. Was a great site, but especially as I was still pregnant at the time, it gave too much information than I was able to deal with. Just be careful where you click... - sarah
"The Blackstone Chronicles" - Written by John Saul - Who I love!!!! - but there's a whole section in there (think it was a small novel in America) called Ashes to Ashes - the Dragon's Flame. It deals with an unplanned pregnancy and abortion, and then the horrific consequences. I consider myself to be doing really well with all of this, but the book had me in tears, and very melancholy for the rest of the day.
"She's Come Undone" (author wasn't named - but poster said it was an Oprah Book of the Month Club) - Contains a graphic scene with graphic descriptions of a woman having an abortion.
"Broken Earth: The Rural Chinese"- by Steve Mosher - Contains a very graphic chapter on China's one-child policy. This is not a chapter to read until you've come to grips with your own abortion, especially if you feel it was forced on you.
"Pet Sematary" - by Stephen King - This is a nightmarish book to begin with. Not only does a parent's attempt to rescue a toddler from death fail, we get dragged through the agony the parent suffers afterward. Especially horrifying is that the parent buries the child in the "pet sematary" and it comes back from the dead and is evil and has gone to Hell. Absolutely horrifying for anybody who has lost a child by any means, even more so if the parent feels responsible for the child's death and is still in the stage of grief where you're trying to turn back time and un-do the death.
"The Stand" - by Stephen King - A lot of the book focuses on the unplanned pregnancy of Frannie Goldsmith. There are nightmare sequences of being chased by a demon with a coat hanger trying to hurt her baby, and the character's very real concerns about whether her baby -- whose father was one of the plague victims -- will survive.
"Cujo" - by Stephen King - The entire book, with a mother trying desperately to protect her child from a rabid dog, might evoke very painful feelings.
"Time Enough for Love" - by Robert Heinlein - An incestuous relationship results in a pregnancy, and the main character -- without even consulting with the slaves in question -- spends a lot of time calculating whether he should do a eugenics abortion on the female slave. Although he decides to let her have her baby, the incest may be very uncomfortable for some women, and the helplessness of the slave character as the "master" decides whether or not to subject her to an abortion might be very upsetting to a woman who had an abortion for fetal indications or felt she had no say in the abortion decision.