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Beyond the Romance, "Dirty Dancing" Is a Cautionary Tale About Abortion Inaccessibility

Beyond the Romance,

If you don't rewatch "Dirty Dancing" every time it's on Bravo (like I do), your memories of the film might be a bit hazy. Everyone remembers Jennifer Grey and Patrick Swayze's crackling chemistry and incredibly romantic dancing - and, of course, the famous line "No one puts Baby in a corner." But you might have forgotten that the story's inciting incident involves an unplanned pregnancy, an illegal abortion, and a poignant message about the importance of reproductive rights.

The story opens in the summer of 1963. Grey plays Baby, the eldest daughter of Dr. Jake and Marjorie Houseman (Jerry Orbach and Kelly Bishop). Her family is spending the summer at the Kellerman's resort in the Catskills in upstate New York, and Baby feels a bit like an outsider among the other guests - who are mostly older - and among the Ivy League waitstaff, who flirt with all the guests' daughters.

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