Included in President Obama’s commencement address at Note Dame University last year was a desire to find ways to communicate about a workable solution to the problem of unintended pregnancies. A Southern California-based independent media company called Yellow Line Studios wanted to help give that desire a voice. And so they created Bump+.
Using the device of a fictional reality show, Bump+ follows the stories of three women, all in their first four weeks of pregnancy, as they weigh the pros and cons of continuing to full term. Denise is almost a child herself, though this is her third pregnancy with signs they were results of domestic abuse, Hailey is a sorority girl who seems to care more about what being on the show can do for her than her pregnancy, and Katie is facing the tough decision of what to tell her husband when he returns from Iraq…because the father isn’t him.
Launched on the eve of the 37th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the show has been releasing 2 episodes a week since February 1st, all the while fostering an open and honest communication with and between its audience. Though the production itself is clearly not trying to present itself as a true documentary, the comments show a sincere desire to communicate with the fictional women involved and in the end, the audience influences the final decisions of the women. Several alternate endings were shot and however the story is lead, the project intends to follow-through with it. One of the women may decide to keep their baby while another opts for abortion…one may choose an entirely different option altogether.
Depending on how the series actually turns out (the final episode of season 1 is scheduled to launch on March 15th), the series could be seen as glorifying the abortion issue. Hopefully, it will be clear that it wasn’t the wishes of the production itself to take any particular stance on either side of the debate, but to allow an audience the opportunity to talk out all the sides together, as well as share personal stories people have faced when it comes to pregnancy and parenthood. It’s an issue almost everyone will face at one point in their lives and the format of a place online paired with a visual story to embody the discussion is a unique one that can hopefully be utilized in the future on a wide range of issues.