When Grandma hits theaters tomorrow, audiences will be treated to the best, and possibly the second-ever “abortion comedy” in popular (or semi-popular) entertainment history. The film follows Lily Tomlin and her granddaughter, played by Julia Garner, as they take a road trip to find money to pay for an abortion.
The thing about good abortion stories on TV or film, whether they are deeply serious or slyly comic, is that they are almost always also good women’s stories. They center female relationships (friendships, moms and daughters, even daughters’ relationships to their dads), and allow women characters to be mean, cold, vulnerable, stupid, brave, kind — you know, the whole range of human emotions and behaviors.
Here are 13 plotlines that demonstrate how powerful and affirmative good storytelling about abortion can be.