On the third season of ABC’s American Crime, social worker Kimara Walters (Regina King) has been working to help keep former prostitute Shae Reese (Ana Mulvoy Ten) off the streets and discovers that Shae is pregnant with her second child.
On the April 2nd episode, we find that Shae wants to have an abortion, which is what she chose for her first child as well, though she refused to give details about the first abortion in prior episodes.
Shae: I want an abortion.
Kimara: Okay. Have you ever had one before?
Kimara: How far along are you?
Shae: I don't know for sure.
Kimara: I know someone at the courthouse. I can see about getting you in.
Shae: In for what?
Kimara: The procedure needs to be approved.
Shae: In a court?
Kimara: You're underage. You have to have a waiver from the judge, or permission from your parents. Do you want to call them?
Shae: I didn't have to go through this in D.C. I just went to Planned Parenthood.
Kimara: Well, this isn't D.C. This is North Carolina. Do you want to go in front of the judge, or do you want to call your parents?
Kimara: I'll see about getting us in front of a judge as soon as I can.
Thankfully for young girls like Shae who have chosen prostitution due to dire home circumstances or other young girls who are victims of rape or incest, North Carolina has these laws in place for their protection, not to inconvenience them.
Unlike in D.C., where a pimp or a family member who is molesting a young girl can just easily bring their victim to a Planned Parenthood for a quick abortion, no questions asked, North Carolina cares more about young women than to allow them to be victimized even further in this way.
But leave it to the Hollywood left to portray a rare situation, a prostitute who has been safely pulled off the streets only to discover she is pregnant, to try to portray laws designed to protect such women as intrusive and inconvenient.
The judge ends up granting the waiver as long as Shae is under 20 weeks gestation, but she must first undergo an ultrasound.
“Why,” Shae asks, with the same pitiful, despondent look on her face designed to make us feel enough pity that we’ll somehow overlook the fact that she wants to end the life of her child.
“Because you’re required to,” Kimara answers, without explaining that informed consent requirements are also designed to protect her by ensuring that she is fully educated on what her choice entails. This is so that women won’t later regret their decision because they didn’t have all of the information they needed to make an informed choice.
I was personally pro-life during my entire crisis pregnancy at 16-17, however, I unfortunately bought into the notion that I wasn’t allowed to “tell other women what to do with their bodies” even though the baby has a separate body and our laws exist purely to tell people what they can and cannot do.
I can assure you that seeing my baby on a sonogram completely shocked me and bonded me even further with my child. I knew there was a baby growing inside of me, but until I saw it on the sonogram screen, it just wasn’t as real as it was in that moment.
You can ask any woman who has ever made the choice of abortion without seeing what her child … her actual child, not a drawing or illustration or sonogram picture of someone else’s baby … looks like in their womb, and who is dealing with lifelong regret and psychological trauma because of it, if those informed consent laws should exist and you’ll likely hear a resounding “yes.”
Unfortunately for Shae and her baby, she is completely unmoved by the sonogram, most likely because she refuses to even look at it. Kimara however, who is with her and advises her to listen to the heartbeat so that they can “tick off more boxes” on the informed consent papers, has an unexpected reaction once she hears the heartbeat:
Lannie: Okay. You look to be about 14 weeks. Look at that. He or she's just bouncing away in there. I could print you a picture. You interested in hearing the heartbeat?
Shae: I know what you're trying to do.
Lannie: It's not required.
Kimara: The more boxes we tick, the better.
Kimara has tried and failed to have a child on her own through IVF and even approached her married ex-boyfriend to ask him to be her sperm donor out of desperation to have a child. Surprisingly, American Crime gave us a small pro-life glimpse in an otherwise pro-abortion storyline by showing her very emotional reaction to Shae’s baby’s heartbeat.
Perhaps Kimara will approach Shae to ask her if she will allow her to adopt her baby? It may only be fiction, but as Hollywood knows all too well, storylines like these carry weight in influencing viewers’ opinions, so for the sake of every baby at risk of abortion, I hope this storyline will turn into a pro-life, pro-adoption one.