The 1987 classic Dirty Dancing turns 30 this year, and its getting a big screen re-release. The movie will be back in theaters Sunday, January 29th, and Wednesday, February 1st, ahead of a 30th Anniversary Collector's Edition debut on February 7th.
Starring Jennifer Grey and Patrick Swayze as Baby and Johnny, the movie takes place in 1960s upstate New York at one of those Borscht Belt resorts that are now demolished or abandoned. In fact, the resort in the movie, Kellerman's, was based on Brown's Hotel, which burned down in 2012.
Coming in March, an ABC remake of the movie will be debuting, starring Abigail Breslin as Baby. Interestingly, Nicole Scherzinger will play Penny Johnson, despite being against a woman's right to get an abortion, and not wanting to "promote abortion." In the original movie, Penny becomes pregnant after sleeping with womanizing waiter Robbie. Given this is the '60s, a time before Roe v Wade, she does not have access to safe, legal abortion care, and is left getting a botched procedure. The National Abortion Federation previously pointed out:
While Dirty Dancing taught us about the public health crisis of illegal abortion, it also showed us some of the access barriers that many women still face today. Like Penny, many women still struggle to afford the cost of their care and have to borrow money from others, they face challenges getting a ride and someone to go with them to their appointment, and they have to figure out how they can avoid losing their job for taking time off from work.
We are now unbelievably walking back in time and re-entering an era where access to an abortion may become just as difficult as it was during the time this movie took place, fifty years ago.