'No One Wants to Be Pregnant, It's Terrible!' How Hollywood Portrays Abortion on TV

January 18th, 2019 6:00 AM

The 46th annual March for Life takes place in Washington, D.C. today as hundreds of thousands of pro-lifers brave the cold to stand up for the right to life of the unborn that the Supreme Court took away on January 22, 1973 with Roe v. Wade.

This weekend, liberal Women’s Marches will be taking place across the country, though in fewer cities than in years previous, and without the notable sponsorship of the Democratic National Committee. In addition to being pro-abortion, the anti-Trump march has been notorious for anti-Semitism amongst its leaders, this should be news to networks but the liberal Women's March has mostly managed to duck its negative press.

Nevertheless, the Women’s March is still a thing, taking place Saturday, a day after the much tamer pro-life March for Life. We already know that the liberal mainstream media will give the Women's March more press than the March for Life, but it’s not merely the news media pushing the pro-abortion agenda; they've gotten plenty of help from entertainment television in the past year.

Although we do still see the nauseatingly oft-repeated trope of “my body, my choice” to justify abortion, many shows go deeper with their propaganda, in ways their creators must surely think are creative and clever.


Justifications For Abortion

You used to hear abortion discussed as a hard, difficult, or painful decision no woman wants to make. But now abortion is pushed and promoted on television for reasons which one can’t help thinking didn’t have to do with much difficult decision making, if any at all. From not being ready, to thinking a child will derail plans for the future, to outright spite, the reasons women give for their abortions track with the "Shout Your Abortion" campaign's attempts to destigmatize and normalize abortion for any reason or no reason at all.

We’re supposed to believe that liberals support women. If they truly did, though, they would offer narratives that show how young women, such as those in Netflix’s Dear White People, are indeed capable of choosing life and to parent or place for adoption their children while also continuing and finishing their education; reminding young women of this is what true female empowerment looks like. For a moment the “Chapter IV” episode looks like it could do down that route, with Coco Conners (Antoinette Roberson), who has ambitions of being “really… needed on Capitol Hill,” dreaming of a future where she takes her own daughter to the fictional Winchester University.

It’s all a ruse, though. Coco’s name is called at the clinic, and she has the abortion, even though Coco had acknowledged to her roommate being “scared” and that an abortion procedure involves “hav[ing] some stranger literally suck the life out of me.” While she may end up on Capitol Hill, it won’t involve being part of the life-affirming projects of “Babies Go to Congress,” where mothers who received support from pregnancy centers were able to choose life for their children and even bring them to the halls of Congress.



Back on April 11’s episode of Empire, Sweet Sorrow,” Becky (Gabourey Sidibe) decides to not only have an abortion, but keeps it from the father, J Poppa. She justifies not telling J Poppa, because “I really don’t see what good telling him would do for him -- or me, for that matter. And since this is my body, it’s my choice.” Never mind that the child has DNA from J Poppa as well as from Becky. If that’s not enough for you, when Becky finally does tell J Poppa she's getting an abortion, she justifies it with a weak, “I can't be pregnant right now. I can't have a kid.”

Viewers can rejoice at there being no more of the twisted drama UnReal, which had plot lines one is glad were in fact unreal. The last episode of the series, which was dropped from Lifetime/Hulu last July, featured an abortion by a woman facing a “geriatric pregnancy.” The show even threw in paternity concerns, as well as slim chances the baby would even make it to full-term. Sure enough, we find out that Quinn King's (Constance Zimmer) baby, even if he or she does go to term, is not predicted to live long after birth. You can guess what happens out of that situation. Does the show go over options, like talking about perinatal resources for parents receiving such a diagnosis? Of course not. This is television, with an agenda to push. The abortion is not seen; the word isn’t even used. Afterwards her best frienemy visits and knowingly asks, “There wasn’t anything wrong with the baby was there?” Quinn coldly answers, “It doesn’t matter. I wasn’t meant to be a mother.”

A show like Sons of Anarchy spinoff Mayans M.C. is expected to contain gang warfare and violence, but abortion for spite? Yeah, we didn’t see this one coming, either. In lamenting the kidnapping of her infant son, in the October 2 episode “Uch/Opossum,” Emily (Sarah Bolger), a cartel member's wife, shares with her ex-boyfriend, EZ (J.D. Pardo), how when it came to “the abortion” she had when they were together, she “did it out of spite.” She tells EZ that “I did it to hurt you. I used it to hurt you.” The “it” she is talking about here is seeking out to have the life of an innocent party ended to get back at another. Emily seems to have a sense of wrong in this, as she sees a connection between losing another child of hers today in a different kind of way. Of the kidnapping, she sobs to EZ, “I can't help but feel... it is my fault, it is my punishment for what I did to you.”

As if abortion being the direct taking of an innocent human life isn’t sad enough, many women who get abortions don’t even want to do so, despite how television portrays them. Even though the short-lived American Woman was supposed to be all about the female empowerment which supposedly took place in the 1970’s, hence its title of “Liberation,” this reality is explored all too well. Divorced mother Bonnie Nolan (Alicia Silverstone) finds out her dinner partner, Margo, is pregnant. Margo doesn’t even want anybody to know. “Paul [her husband] wants me to get rid of it,” she says. “He says it's not a good time. And he's right, you know. He's just starting out in his career and he doesn't want a family right now.” Even though Margo admits, “I would like to have a baby,” she says, “It’s not about me. It’s about Paul” because “We have to support our husbands, right?” If you think such coerced or pressured abortions are a thing of a bygone era, think again. A study published in the Winter 2017 edition of the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons found that 73.8 percent of the 987 women surveyed had experienced pressure to have their abortions.

The reasons behind the abortions themselves or the way in which they’re discussed - the banality of it, the casual treatment - makes it all the more shocking. But even worse is how they speak about the unborn…


Treatment of the Unborn

If you’re looking for laughs from NBC’s Superstore, you had better think it’s downright hilarious for surrogate mothers like Dina (Lauren Ash) to refer to babies they’ve agreed to carry as “a horrible parasite just eating and pissing inside me” while comparing to the baby to a “bag of garbage” who should “figure out its own gender.” The episode from last April doesn’t actually involve or show an abortion, beyond it being considered, but it is certainly one of the worst when it comes to how to inaccurately it portrays the joys and challenges of pregnancy.

When Amy (America Ferrera) shares with Dina “how amazing it felt” to be pregnant, she later reveals (upon finding out she is pregnant again) that “I was obviously lying” and that “No one wants to be pregnant” because “it’s terrible!” Speak for yourself, Amy. As a mother of two, yes, I did face some pain and some challenges in being pregnant, as I have in many other parts of my life, but I truly did consider it an “amazing” experience.

But truly the worst has to come from TNT's Claws’ second season June 17 episode “Cracker Casserole.” If you think using the father, Dean Simms (Harold Perrineau), who is autistic, as a pro-abortion parrot by saying, “Women have the right to choose,” is shameful enough, just you wait. Dean is also used as a mouthpiece to tell the crazed pro-life protesters outside the abortion facility that “you only care about babies in the womb,” which is obviously false, but he also implies that being on government assistance and facing other challenges in life is somehow worse than being aborted. But wait, there’s still more.

When Dean proposes to Virginia (Karrueche Tran), who had just aborted his child, the protesters think this means Virginia didn’t go through with the abortion after all. As Dean tells the happy crowd, “We’re still getting married, everybody,” a woman present says, “God is good! He heard our prayers.” Virginia crushes her prayers over an innocent unborn life by letting her know that “We still D&C'd that shit, bitch!,” referring to the Dilation & Curettage abortion procedure which involves suctioning out an unborn baby with a powerful vacuum or scraping the baby out with a sharp curette. Disgusting on so many levels!


As the mainstream media celebrate those who will take participate in the Women’s March, it’s important to keep in mind the barbarism of abortion when it comes to what is truly being celebrated. In the world in which many television shows take place, it’s not merely that abortion is justified and often shrugged off, but that anyone who dares say otherwise is evil and insane.

How Pro-lifers Are Portrayed

In television shows featuring women having abortions, these women are often shown to be heroes braving and coming out against the adversity of pro-life protesters who are not shown as the loving and supportive people they are, but as those who hate, control, and judge women.

Perhaps one of the most outrageous examples of portrayals of pro-life protesters was shown just last week in the new Netflix series, Sex Education. It only took the second episode for there to be a positive pregnancy test for character Maeve (Emma Mackey) and the third episode for her to have an abortion. Among many sickeningly pro-abortion aspects, pro-life protesters are shown saying, “Termination is murder” in the same breath as, “God loves you.” One asks, “What is wrong with you? Do you hate all life?” And another tells Maeve’s friend, Otis (Asa Butterfield), who doesn’t even know she’s having an abortion until he comes to collect her, “Your friend’s gonna burn in hell,” an unhelpful sentiment that is repeated again later.

Sex Education does include factual pro-life points with the protesters discussing how unborn babies have beating hearts, can feel pain, see light, and it shows how pro-lifers are also harassed by pro-aborts. This isn’t taken as seriously as it deserves, though, since they’re shown as just some crazy born-again Christian protesters.



HBO’s Here and Now's February 18 episode “It’s Coming” continued the previous episode’s plotline of Kristen Bayer-Boatright (Sosie Bacon) losing her virginity to a stranger while wearing a horse’s head mask. She’s not pregnant, but she did contract Chlamydia, and even though there are many other community centers she can go to, she goes to Planned Parenthood. The protesters present there assume she’s had an abortion, including one charming bearded fellow who has a baby nailed to a cross and says “of course you are” a slut and calls her a “dumb whore.” He tries to tell Kristen abortion isn’t a joke and that “they butcher it while it's still inside you, and then they suck the dead baby out, and they sell it for parts!” This man is clearly a religious loon, though, and his line isn’t said to highlight Planned Parenthood’s selling of aborted baby body parts, but to attempt to convince viewers that “that's been completely debunked.”



Kristen later gets arrested for how she “kicked some Jesus freak who called me a whore at Planned Parenthood.” It’s no problem, though. “But don't worry. He's not pressing charges,” she tells her parents who don’t react to that act of violence, except to share how “they have both been arrested.” Great parenting.

By the way, Planned Parenthood got a huge assist from Hollywood this year, as Netflix's Big Mouth partnered with the organization for an episode of their animated adult comedy about sex-obsessed children, The Alec Baldwin Show invited former President and CEO of Planned Parenthood, Cecile Richards, to promote the organization, and UnReal had one contestant donate $100,000 to Planned Parenthood as a romantic gesture to get back in the bachelorette's good graces.

But it's not all bad news. Sometimes, television ends up diving into, if unintentionally, revealing the horrible truth about abortion.


The Truth About Abortion

Netflix’s House of Cards, even without Kevin Spacey in its final season, has consistently contained outlandish plotlines, including President Claire Hale Underwood’s (Robin Wright) abortions. Claire’s calculated justifications of her abortions and her “private life” throughout the series and the final season in particular, are not the only depiction of the abortion debate which viewers are treated to. To be sure, House of Cards was likely depicting Annette (Diane Lane) and Bill (Greg Kinnear) Shepherd as political opponents for Claire to toy with. But, that doesn’t take away from the fact that the Shepherds show how sickening a 16-week abortion truly is when they get a news commentator to say, "Think about it, that’s not a few cells or a collection of cells, it’s more like four and a half inches long and three and a half ounces. At 16 weeks, the president’s baby would have been the size of this" and an avocado is held up to demonstrate the scale of a baby at that gestation. That's probably the most truth you'll get in the entire 6 seasons of HOC.

In last year’s second season of HBO’s Crashing, comedian Bill Burr presents a rather hilariously blunt pro-life argument in the episode aptly titled “Bill Burr,” although he is quick to emphasize he’s “not a fucking right-to-lifer.” His conversation with Pete Holmes takes on many pro-abortion talking points, including the consequences of abortion (“you got to deal with the death of that shit, right?”) and dismissing non-sequitur arguments from Pete of how race and gender have to do with it (“Just two white men on a golf course discussing reproductive rights”) with how one really ought to “just own up to it.”

Burr’s biggest point though is that what one ought to “just own up to” involves how abortion “really isn’t” this “complicated issue” and that “you're aborting a life… like, for those people who fuckin' you have an abortion, to sit there and say they didn't kill somebody, it's bullshit. 'Cause it's like, if you didn't do what the fuck you did, there would be a kid... They're just sayin' because it doesn't look like a baby yet, it's not a baby. It's like, 'Well, let 'em finish.'" He even gets Pete to see his point more clearly with the example of cake batter, when it comes to letting the preborn child grow and develop to the point of being born. “Yeah, and then they look at the batter and go, ‘Well, that's not a cake. I just didn't ruin your birthday.’ It's like, ‘It was gonna be a cake!’" Explicit, but true!



The pro-death culture is still strong out there, but there are many signs of hope, with several courageous characters choosing life despite difficult circumstances. On Fox's Star a young, unwed singer chooses life for her child, new ABC show A Million Little Things has a widow gets off the abortion table and keep her baby, and on The Gifted on Fox a mother refuses a doctor's advice to abort because of a medical condition. With Hollywood on a mission to normalize abortion, the fact that these storylines exist means more than ever. The fundamental truths about the humanity of the preborn and horrors of abortion remain, no matter how much the left wills them away.