It’s Alive (1974)

In movies that have a pro-life message, like Knocked Up (2007) or Juno (2007), a woman gets pregnant and the possibility of abortion is contemplated but ultimately decided against. Then the woman has the baby, and everything turns out for the best. In movies that have a pro-choice message, like Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982) or Obvious Child (2014), a women gets pregnant, has an abortion, and everything turns out for the best. It’s Alive, however, does not merely have a pro-choice message. It has a pro-abortion message, which is to say the movie is anti-baby. A woman gets pregnant and the possibility of abortion is contemplated but ultimately decided against. Then the woman has the baby, and it is a monster.

No sooner does the horrible creature exit the birth canal than it kills every doctor and nurse in the delivery room. It escapes from the hospital and starts killing everyone it meets. At one crime scene, a detective mentions that his wife is upset because she is eight months pregnant, and his being on the case bothers her, especially since she lost their first baby. To this the other detective, who is obviously lacking in tact, says that people who don’t have children don’t know how lucky they are.

Lenore (Sharon Farrell), the woman who has the baby-monster, was taking birth control pills for thirty-one months before she got pregnant, and the suggestion is made that the pills were what caused the baby to develop into a monster. This might seem to be a disconnect. How can the movie be both pro-abortion and anti-birth control at the same time?

The answer is that it is not birth control that is evil, but rather it is the pharmaceutical company that manufactured the pill. The company representative is worried about a possible lawsuit, and he convinces Lenore’s doctor that he too may be in jeopardy, and therefore it would be better if the baby-monster is killed so that it cannot be studied for medical purposes, which might reveal the company’s and the doctor’s culpability.

Frank (John P. Ryan), Lenore’s husband, comments that when he saw the movie Frankenstein, he thought the monster’s name was Frankenstein, but when he read the book, he realized that was the doctor’s name. In other words, it was not the monster of that book who was the cause of all the evil, but the doctor. And that is the case with this movie: the baby may be the monster, but the doctor that created the monster is the villain.

The baby-monster instinctively tries to make its way back to its parents. Lenore, and eventually Frank too, come to love the baby-monster, and they want to keep it and raise it. People that are pro-life often argue that pregnant women that decide not to have an abortion and have the baby instead will come to love it, as if love were the ultimate justification. But, as this movie points out, love is not an unqualified good. In fact, sometimes love is just wrong, something we are better off without. So, the fact that a woman will love the baby if she has it does not mean she would not be better off having an abortion.

Anyway, Frank tries to escape with the baby-monster to keep the police from killing it, and then, when surrounded, tries to talk them into letting it live. But when that fails, he throws the baby at the evil doctor. When the police let loose with a fusillade of bullets directed at the baby-monster, they end up killing the doctor too.

In the last scene, the police detective gets word that another woman has had a baby-monster. See what happens when you don’t get that abortion.

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