In the August 8 episode of Somewhere Between, "Fate Takes a Holiday," the writers got surprisingly real about abortion. While popular culture largely tries to portray abortion as something a woman can simply do casually and forget, or even as something empowering, this ABC drama was honest about how a woman's choice to abort is not always her own and the trauma that "choice" can leave behind.
Somewhere Between focuses on TV newswoman Laura Price, (Paula Patton) who sees a vision of the future in which her daughter Serena is murdered. Knowing when and how her daughter will die, she is working to solve the crime that will keep Serena safe. She's working on the story with her co-worker and friend, Mara (Erica Carroll), who Laura thinks has been behaving differently lately. In this scene, she voices her suspicions as to why.
Laura: Did you terminate the pregnancy?
Mara: How did you know that?
Laura: I know. Did the father pressure you to do it?
Mara: Out loud? [ Scoffs ] Oh, no, he would never. But, uh, he did make it clear that if I didn't, I would be twisting in the wind. I just keep thinking about this little munchkin that I'm never gonna see and who's never gonna skin her knee, who's never gonna have her first kiss...
There is so much honesty here about abortion. It is honest about the fact that she did not want to have the abortion but was made to feel that she had to. This wasn't a woman who felt empowered to make a choice, but a woman who was made to feel that she didn't have a choice at all. Mara is also clearly upset about the decision she made, haunted by images of the baby who will never grow into a child or a woman. She knows that her pregnancy was a baby, a human person, who was quite real. Later, she refers to the abortion as "my trauma," which is exactly what it is for so many women.
It is time we got honest about what abortion is and what it does to women, and scenes like this are a great start.