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Article Misses the Point of ‘Juno’

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Warning: This post contains spoilers!

Recently USA Today ran an article questioning Juno’s portrayal of teen pregnancy. It seems that some people worry the movie glorified the whole thing.

Maybe it’s just me, but I think they missed the point of Juno. One of the quotes in the article suggests that teens won’t see that Juno faced any consequences, because the baby was “handed off.” Juno ended up with her boyfriend and was able, presumably, to go on with life as usual.

Sorry, but I think that’s BS. First of all — and I don’t know how many times we have to stress this before the right-wingers get it — pregnancy is NOT about punishment. Yes, the movie ended happily, but it wasn’t because Juno didn’t face any consequences. It was because she made a big, and really tough, decision. I don’t think that even a self-involved teen is going to miss that.

Furthermore, let’s not forget the outcome of that decision: By giving her baby up for adoption, Juno made another woman’s dreams come true. Honestly, you’d think the conservatives would be happy about a movie that promotes adoption as an alternative to abortion!

Okay, so Juno doesn’t portray teen pregnancy as one of Dante’s nine circles of hell. So what? To be perfectly honest, I think it portrays it realistically. Choosing between abortion, adoption, and keeping the child is a difficult decision, no matter how self-involved the teen is. And contrary to what many adults would apparently like teens to believe, getting pregnant does not mean the end of the world. Girls survive teen pregnancy every day — maybe a little worse for wear (like Juno), but they get through it.

I know what Juno opponents are afraid of. They think that if they praise Juno’s decision-making abilities after she becomes pregnant, then teens will interpret that to mean that getting pregnant is okay. Personally, I think Juno’s struggles speak for themselves — the viewer knows that even if everything turns out all right, it was a difficult road that got her to that point.

COLLEGECANDY Writer