Made in 1971, but not released in America until 1974.
Imagine if back in 1974 you've been talking to this beautiful girl, you finally work up enough courage to ask her to go to the movies. You absent-mindedly pick "THE JOY OF LOVE", because you think it's a sex comedy or something. You get to the drive-in in your badass van. The movie starts, you're about to make your move and *bam!* THE JOY OF LOVE is actually a gritty, depressing "report" film about the horrors of illegal abortions! That pussy done dried the fuck up.
During the opening credits we see a well-to-do woman getting an abortion. Followed by some short stories...
1) the trial of a young woman who has already given up a child for adoption. She gets pregnant again and goes to an old lady for a kitchen abortion. Naturally the procedure is all fucked up and the young lady hemorrhages and nearly dies. Now the two women are in court...
2) a 13 year-old girl is kidnapped and gang raped, The doctors tell her she must have the baby, since the law forbids abortion.
3) A local slut has been banging a bunch of dudes and she tells them she's pregnant. They try all kinds of crazy things to cause a miscarriage: riding a motorcycle on a bumpy road; jumping out of a barn; alternating cold and hot bathes and so on. Trouble is she's not really pregnant just looking to extort money out of the guys.
4) The trials and tribulations of a mobile illegal abortion clinic.
5) A secretary is molested and impregnated by her sleazy boss. He sends her to London for an abortion.
6) A husband takes his wife to a slimy doctor for an illegal abortion. Once the doctor gets her alone he drugs her, takes a bunch of pictures of her pussy, rapes her and then performs the abortion to buy her silence.
7) A free-spirited teenage girl bangs a boy and gets pregnant. She begs the local doctor to give her an abortion. He does and she gets sick, so the local priest comes along and talks shit.
... finally we get back to the court house where the judge sentence the old woman who performed the botched abortion to 3 years in prison and the young woman who nearly died to six months. The judge leaves the courthouse where, on the ride home, his wife (the woman from the opening credits) tells her husband that she just had an abortion. “The female revolution has begun.” the narrator announces.
For what it is, it's not a bad film. Everything was filmed well enough, but outside of historical curiosity I cannot think of a single reason why anybody would want to watch this movie. I do find it pathetic though that even though this movie is over 40 years old the subject matter is still relevant.