8.2/10
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1 user 1 critic

My Body, My Child (1982)

A woman must choose between having an abortion or giving birth to a deformed child.

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Nominated for 1 Primetime Emmy. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Leenie Cabrezi
...
Poppa MacMahon
...
Joe Cabrezi
Stephen Elliott ...
Dr. Gallagher
...
Dr. Dan Berensen
...
Adele
...
Barbara 'Bo'
...
Bill
Stephen D. Newman ...
Dr. Fialkin
...
Katy (as Sarah J. Parker)
...
Nancy
Alexandra Borrie ...
Jana
Leon B. Stevens ...
Dr. Butler
Charles Kahlenberg ...
Dr. Spokes
Mavis Ray ...
Aunt Beasey
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Storyline

A woman must choose between having an abortion or giving birth to a deformed child.

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Drama

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Release Date:

12 April 1982 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Lilac Season  »

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1.33 : 1
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This was Jack Albertson's final role. See more »

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User Reviews

A wrenching emotional journey...
26 September 2010 | by See all my reviews

Eileen "Leenie" Cabrezi (Vanessa Redgrave) is a middle-aged mother of 3 teen daughters and happily married to fireman Joe (Joseph Campanella). As her children got older, she went back to college and became a teacher. As she is struggling to cope with the recent death of her beloved mother, she feels certain she is pregnant.

Her brother-in-law, a physician, refers her to Dr. Berensen (James Naughton). Berensen assumes, due to her age and recent bereavement, that Leenie's just a head case. He quickly dismisses her as not pregnant, prescribes some medication and hurries her out the door.

Devastated that she is not pregnant with the child she very much wanted and still grieving her mother, Leenie spends the summer feeling sick, tired and depressed and growing withdrawn from her loving husband and family. She's also frequently popping the pills doctors and family members have pushed at her, none of which are making her feel better.

During x-rays following a minor car accident, doctors realize that she actually has been pregnant all along. A new gynecologist breaks the news that the medications she's been ingesting, combined with her radiation exposure during the x-rays, leave very little chance that her baby will be born without serious birth defects, if it even lives.

The rest of the film shows Leenie's anguish over the decision either to have the baby or to get an abortion. As strong Catholics, she and most of her family don't believe in abortion, but Leenie also can't bear the idea of the child she already loves suffering. Redgrave is beautiful, vulnerable and heartbreaking as she plays these emotional scenes.


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