The short film “How to Get an Abortion” by Sindha Agha and Samira Mian aims to make abortion socially acceptable. The filmmakers were awarded the 2023 BAFTA Award for Best Short Film for their efforts.
The film revolves around Sanam, who unexpectedly becomes pregnant after a booty call with Jawad. She faces the challenge of having an abortion and the daunting task of finding a companion for the procedure. To make matters worse, Sanam must also keep her decision a secret from her Pakistani father, aware of the reaction it would provoke in him.
The film trivializes the issue of abortion – as it so often does – and ignores potential severe consequences and emotional trauma, not to mention the death of the unborn child. The film’s light-hearted approach is one-sided and ignores the complex range of emotions and experiences some women have after an abortion. By focusing on the comedic aspects, the film might not consider the gravity of the decision and its consequences.
Besides the murder of the child, which is of course hushed up, the consequences of the abortion for the woman are not mentioned. Post-abortion syndrome and post-traumatic stress are completely ignored. The film is another attempt to portray abortion as “normal” and the “consequence-free” way out, especially for young people.