The Hardest Decision


Private Lives: The Hardest Decision

Abortion is shameful, painful and secretive.  It’s an issue which polarizes public opinion like no other – the boundaries of the debate influenced by arguments as wide-ranging as a woman’s right to control her own body, and religious beliefs about the sanctity of human life.

The documentary “The Hardest Decision” in Greenstone’s Private Lives series talks to women who have faced the anguish of deciding whether or not to terminate their pregnancies.

It focuses on the experience of a range of women dealing with their pregnancies in different ways.  We follow Anna, a 17 year old who got pregnant after her first sexual experience and whose mother was herself a solo teen mum; Patricia, an 18 year old whose Samoan family told her to hide the pregnancy and was eventually talked out of an abortion by a religious group, Bronte, a single mother of two preschoolers who feared she couldn’t cope with raising a third and Melissa a teen mum who adopted out her child.

Although the women’s stories cross age, class, ethnicity and generations, their experiences were movingly similar.  All the subjects spoke about the shame and embarrassment of unwanted or unplanned pregnancies and almost invariably made their decision largely alone, sometimes without even the support of counselling services.

Highly Commended in 2003 Media Peace Awards


Promotional Trailer


Production Details

Producer: Rachel Stace

Thanks to: The Women who shared their stories, Dr Dr Nash, Dr Rachel Atkinson

Re Enactment Actors: Anna MacLean, Itai Biran, Oliver Jones, Anita Langthaller

Exec producer: Tony Manson

Network exec: Sue Woodfield

Director/writer: Felicity Morgan-Rhind

Field directors: Karen MacKenzie, Sue Younger

Researchers: Belinda McLeod, Rachel Stace, Kirsten Warner

Script Polisher: Paul Little

Production manager: Toni Williams

Production coordinator: Lornelle Henry

Production runner: Kate Cresswell

Camera: Sharon Hawke, Karen Simpson, Reuben Pillsbury, Steve Fisher

Sound: Jan McKinlay, Wendy Adams, Deb Frame

Narrator: Alison Bruce

Music: Dave Yetton

Series Title Music: Ian Morris/ Tim Pattinson

Production accountant: Jeanette Wiles-Cromie

Financial controller: Glenda Paterson

Funded by: TV3