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I recently read an article on National Review that reflected on a recent episode of Scandal, which featured the main character aborting her baby. The description of the scene – a woman on an operating table, prepped for an abortion, while Silent Night plays in the background – was more than enough for me to read. I have not watched, nor will I watch, this or any other episode of the show.
What caught my attention was the quote from Planned Parenthood’s official statement praising the show:
Tonight, the millions of people who tune into Scandal every Thursday night learned that our rights to reproductive health care are under attack. Never one to shy away from critical issues, Shonda Rhimes used her platform to tell the world that if Planned Parenthood lost funding for contraception counseling, STI testing, cancer screenings, and safe, legal abortion — millions of people would suffer. And this episode wasn’t the first time one of Rhimes’ characters had an abortion, yet tonight we saw one of our favorite characters make the deeply personal decision that one in three women have made in their lifetime.
We applaud Shonda Rhimes tonight — and every Thursday night — for proving that when women are telling our stories, the world will pause and watch. We just hope those in Congress — and throughout the nation — who are steadfast on rolling the clock back on reproductive health care access are taking note.
You know, good for Planned Parenthood. It is nice to see them embrace who they are, what they do, and what they stand for. You remember, I’m sure, that they and their supporters were much shier about their role in providing abortions following the series of videos exposing their clinical directors negotiating the sale of fetal body parts. In perhaps the most notorious of these candid videos, Planned Parenthood director,
Faust Dr. Mary Gatter joked “I want a Lamborghini,” while haggling over the price for intact organs.
In the wake of that scandal, we heard all about their mammograms, birth control, STD testing, cervical cancer screenings, etc. We were told repeatedly that Planned Parenthood was just a place for women to get standard medical care. In the midst of this PR crisis, proponents only mentioned abortion when pressed, and defensively explained it away as an uncommon practice.
It seems this organization has found heart again — figuratively, of course; they’re sold out on their stock of human hearts — and is embracing the image and implications of all their services. In this little gem of pop culture, we see a black heroine get an abortion, and Planned Parenthood couldn’t be happier. Why should they hide their support? There is no doubt or confusion about what their organization does or what their stance on life is. Planned Parenthood’s founder, the eugenicist, racist Margaret Sanger, would be thrilled to see the killing of a black baby normalized and promoted on a national scale. So why hold back, Planned Parenthood? Cheer loudly for this moment and don’t be ashamed of who you are. We’ve all known your character from the beginning anyway.
I wonder if on the next episode of Scandal they’ll show this brave character struggle with the depressive grief that many women suffer after aborting their babies.