Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Review: Ctrl Alt Delete

Last month, an independent journalist contacted Secular Pro-Life, asking for our thoughts on a web series called Ctrl Alt Delete. Its creators are strong abortion advocates with the stated goal of "normalizing" abortion "through the hahas." They also aim to dispel the stereotype that women who have abortions are irresponsible.

Each video in the series features a different woman pursuing abortion—except for a recurring character who is in the abortion facility waiting room every time. (I think this is supposed to be funny?) The episodes are quite short, so the seven-part series is only 20 minutes long.

As you probably guessed, Ctrl Alt Delete didn't bring the hahas for me. The agenda of "normalizing" the death of helpless children in the womb just doesn't tickle my funny bone for some reason.

And yet... I didn't totally hate it, either. The acting and production values are solid, and it's an interesting glimpse into abortion supporters' psychology.

The journalist asked me for my thoughts on how abortion was portrayed and what portrayals I would like to see from Ctrl Alt Delete in the future. At this point I don't know whether the proposed article will ever be published (I'll add a link if it is [update: here it is!]), so please allow me to share my thoughts:
In their quest to dispel stereotypes, the creators of Ctrl Alt Delete have completely neglected the most common reasons women have abortions; of all the characters, none felt pressured by others to have an abortion and only one cited financial insecurity. Of course, it's hard to create a comedy series that incorporates those tragic realities. The only way to portray abortion positively is to portray it falsely.
The conspicuous absence of any information about the child's development, and how abortion terminates the child's life, is irresponsible. 
The show also relies heavily on stereotypes about pro-lifers on the sidewalk. A more realistic depiction would, at a minimum, include offers of free assistance at a pregnancy center. 
On a positive note, I do appreciate that Ctrl Alt Delete included young people and women among the anti-abortion characters. I also appreciated the surprising move of putting a population control activist in the role of abortion counselor; most abortion supporters shy away from explicitly acknowledging that connection. 
In future episodes, I'd be curious to learn more about the "frequent flier" character. Why does she use abortion as her primary form of birth control? What are her interactions with the sidewalk advocates like? 
Watch the series for free here and give us your take in the comments.

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