Rare Pro-Life Message in Prime Time: ‘Does This Look Like a Few Cells?’

Last Sunday’s (January 17) episode of Shameless, Showtime’s dramady about the Gallaghers, a family living in Chicago’s South Side, which excels at scamming people and scheming to rip off government programs, featured a scene in which a teenager refused to agree to get an abortion.

When older sister “Fiona” (Emmy Rossum), who has taken over parenting since their alcoholic father largely abandoned the family, argues “you have a choice,” pregnant 15-year sister “Debbie” (Emma Kenney) retorts: “Yeah, and I choose to have the baby.”

“Debbie” soon yells: “I’m not killing my baby.” To which, “Fiona” counters: “It’s not a baby. It’s a few cells.” That prompts Debbie to hold her smartphone screen toward Fiona, demanding: “Does this look like a few cells? The Web site says my baby’s the size of an orange right now.”

A fresh episode begins a week of re-runs after its original airing tonight (Sunday) at 9 PM EST/PST.

> Earlier: “Star of Showtime Series Delights in Britain’s ‘Amazing...Free Health Care’”

From a scene set in the kitchen on the January 17 episode of Shameless, “Abortion Rules,” on Showtime:

FIONA: You have a choice.

DEBBIE: Yeah, and I choose to have the baby.

FIONA: You have your whole life ahead of you.

DEBBIE: And I don’t have my whole life ahead of me if I have a baby?

FIONA: You can have a baby when you’re older and finished high school and college and gotten a job.

DEBBIE: Right, so I should just stop being pregnant, then?

FIONA: Yes.

DEBBIE: I’m not killing my baby.

FIONA: It’s not a baby. It’s a few cells.

DEBBIE (holding up smart phone): Does this look like a few cells? The Web site says my baby’s the size of an orange right now.

Brent Baker
Brent Baker
Brent Baker is the Steven P.J. Wood Senior Fellow and VP for Research and Publications at the Media Research Center