The New York Times almost earned points on Thursday by pointing out New York had differing takes on the hot topic of abortion in the city’s theater spaces. In a “Critic’s Notebook” by Laura Collins-Hughes, there was this headline:
Comic or graphic? Shows about Abortion are a Stark Divide
Decidedly anti-sensationalistic, Alison Leiby’s shrewd and funny personal monologue plays downtown. Uptown is a staging of a reading that focuses on an egregious case.
So you quickly suspect the “shrewd and funny” one is promoting abortion, and the “gruesome” one is opposed. (Is there such a thing as a “non-gruesome” abortion?)
So here is the first thing you need to know about Leiby’s abortion story: In a Smart and entertaining show, full of observations about the sometimes painful messiness of female bodies — menstruation, childbirth, lactation — and the social pressure to put on a happy face about all of it, Her trip to Planned Parenthood will be the most simple, calmest part.
Collins-Hughes states that abortions are common. Collins-Hughes also announces her own pregnancy late in the article. Leiby was able to do it. I’ve done it. It was something my mom used to do.Roe V. WadeTo save my sister’s life during an ectopic pregnancy, before my brothers (and I) were born.”
The tone then turned negative
Just a few miles away, on West 36th Street at the Chain Studio Theater, you will find a show which announced its New York run. Oh Gosnell, The Truth about Abortion — a Tabloid title that has stalkerish undertones especially given that its own news release mentions Leiby’s show.
A publicist for Oh Gosnell said that the creation of the play was inspired by Leiby’s comic monologue. “They laugh about it — we tell the truth about it,” says the website of the play now going by the name Oh Gosnell: An Show About the Truth ….
Truth and laughter aren’t mutually exclusive. right-wing provocateur whose program bio calls him “a veteran investigative journalist,” implies otherwise.
If you want to convey any truths about abortion in general, rather than specific truths about the gruesome case of Kermit Gosnell — a Philadelphia physician convicted in 2013 of first-degree murder for killing three babies after botched late-term abortions — it doesn’t.It is not designed to convince.
Collins-Hughes objected to Phelim McAleer’s claim that the play was being produced by Collins. ““The story about the Gosnell trial has not been covered in any of the national media.” Her right, however, is that New York TimesThe media covered the story. The national media ignored the Gosnell story for many years, and most had an allergic reaction. His methods and clinic were unsanitary. This feminist critic strangely ignores the victim who was overmedicated in Gosnell’s clinic. Gosnell was also convicted of involuntary manslaughter in the death of Karnamaya Mongar, a refugee from Nepal.
Leiby is not “left-wing,” in fact, she’s Everywoman. Because they provide links to additional promotional material at the bottom, you can clearly see how enthusiastic the paper is about Leiby’s routine. Times articles about Leiby’s abortion comedy.