Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Abortion on TV

33 years ago, a strong, determined, and independent female character on TV had an abortion -- with no regrets, no devestating consequences. Maude (and the writers, directors and producers of the show) were definitely ahead of the times -- remember, this episode aired in November 1972, 2 months before the Supreme Court ruled on Roe v. Wade (Maude lived in NY, where abortion was already legal).

33 years later, it still seems as though those writers, directors, actors, (and characters) are still "ahead of the times." It took 32 years before another character on network television even had an abortion (all the other "accidental" pregnancies ending in adoption, deciding to keep the baby, or the "lucky break" miscarriage) -- but even then, they had to tack on some corny "confession" scene for the doctor.

I remember when that episode of Everwood aired. I had never watched Everwood, but even I knew what happened. Everyone seemed to be talking about it.

Which makes it even more surprising that I have seen so little mention of the recent "abortion episode" of Jack and Bobby. In fact, I only found out about it on "accident" -- I was watching a tape, which ended about 10 minutes before Jack & Bobby ended, so I was able to see the last 10 minutes of the episode. I figured out what was going on fairly quickly, and was intrigued. So, I watched the rest of the episode. Sure enough, the girl (who I later found out is named Missy) went to Jack's & Bobby's mom for help (apparently, her parents had kicked her out of the house for getting pregnant). The mom takes Missy to the clinic and waits for her until after the abortion, and they walk out together -- end of episode.

I sat there thinking, huh, wow. But then...(and you knew it couldn't last long, right?) I see the previews for the next week's episode. Seems that a bunch of the characters (high school students) all go out partying after prom, and [dum dum DUUUMMMM] one of them will die.

I knew it, I just knew it, right then and there that the girl who got the abortion was being killed off.

I didn't tune in to witness it, but I kept an eye out on various websites, and sure enough, Missy is killed in a drunk driving accident.

When will these TV characters ever learn -- in this day and age of right-wing conservative thinking, if you do something like get an abortion, you will suffer the consequences -- like being killed off by the writers.