Thursday, December 4, 2008

Private Practice Tackles Abortion

I know many haven given up on Grey’s Anatomy, and I was well on my way too until the re-surfacing of Denny Duquette (ok I know having the dead fiancé come back to life is a lame story line, but he’s beautiful to look at so I’m ok with it for now), but I have found a whole new love for its sister show Private Practice. This season the show has tackled a number of ethical issues and last night they did something I’ve never seen on TV before – an abortion. Ok, they didn’t show the procedure or anything, but abortion was an unfolding theme throughout the entire episode and I have to say that this sticky topic was handled beautifully on the show.

In the episode, a young woman, Renee, comes in for a termination and of course there is disagreement between the doctors as to whether their practice should perform the procedure. While I would have preferred for all the doctors to have welcomed the idea with open arms, this is not what happened and in reality this wouldn’t have happened either. Instead, the decision divided the doctors, as it divides Americans and people around the world on a daily basis. What was most interesting to me was that two of the doctors – Addison and Violet – shared that they’d had abortions in their past. Violet even expressed that she wasn’t ashamed of her choice and Addision said, “I was. I had one and I was embarrassed and scared. I was everything a woman shouldn’t be.” Right on!

The exchange between Meg, the doctor who would be performing the procedure, and Dell, the intern who was unsupportive of abortion, was also very interesting. Check out the exchange below:

Dell: “We work really hard to create babies here. We are in the business of bringing babies into this world”

Meg: “I don’t know you very well. I certainly don’t know you well enough to judge you for this but you don’t know Renee [the patient] very well yet you were quick to judge her.

Dell: “Was she raped?

Meg: “Would it matter if she was? Would that make it ok? Does that make her more or less worthy? We don’t get to know why. That is her business; that’s her choice Dell. That woman agonized over a difficult choice, made it, and came in here. I guarantee you she was already worried about people out there judging her only to have you make her feel ashamed, but we are medical professionals. It’s part of our job to support her after she has made the hardest choices imaginable.

Meg couldn’t have said it any better! Like her I’m unapologetically pro-choice too and believe it’s a woman’s choice, and no-one else’s, to decide what is best for herself and her body. On the other hand, I understand that this is not a black and white issue and I am tickled pink that Private Practice took the issue of abortion, with all it’s complexities, head on. There are not many other shows or movies that would have done the same. Bravo!

Check out the episode on!