The movie, “The Cider House Rules,” poses significant questions about the morality of abortion and the topic is approached from both sides of the argument. Dr. Larch believes abortion is necessary and Homer Wells is entirely against it; he voices his opposition whenever Dr. Larch brings it up. However, by the end of the film, Homer faces a situation he could not have prepared himself for, and he goes through a major transformation over his stance on abortion. The film teaches the important lesson that abortion is a complicated subject, and although it can be painful for those involved, it is a necessary and oftentimes life-saving operation.
Dr. Wilbur Larch runs the St. Clouds orphanage along with several nurses. He narrates the beginning of the film, and highlights some of the major themes within the story in the first few minutes. He states, “In other parts of the world, young men leave home and travel far and wide in search of a promising future. Their journeys are often fueled by dreams of triumphing over evil, finding a great love, or the hope of fortunes easily made. Here in St. Clouds, not even the decision to get off the train is easily made. For it requires an earlier, more difficult decision. Add a child to your life, or leave one behind. The only reason people journey here is for the orphanage.”
The Cider House Rules: An Ethical Look at Abortion The Cider House Rules: An Ethical Look at Abortion The Cider House Rules: An Ethical Look at Abortion
Dr. Larch is a physician, trained as a gynecologist and obstetrician. His role in the orphanage is to deliver unwanted children for women who seek assistance, children who will then reside at the orphanage. In addition, he performs secret abortions, with his staff in full knowledge of his illegal practice. In his narration, he claims that he had come to St. Clouds to become a hero, but soon learns that there are no heroes in the world of lost children. Dr. Larch has a utilitarian outlook on life.