CBS highlights an episode of The Good Wife on abortion and shows famous photo of unborn child

The photo shown on The Good Wife (Photo credit: Michael Clancy)

In October, CBS put the “5 Most Pivotal Episodes” of The Good Wife* on its website, in anticipation of an explosive episode that aired on October 27.

One of these episodes, called “Heart,” (from Season 1) powerfully illustrates the hypocrisy of abortion. In “Heart,” Will Gardner and Alicia Florrick are fighting to make an insurance company pay for an in utero surgery** for their clients’ unborn son. He has been diagnosed with HLHS – hypoplastic left heart syndrome.

HLHS is a serious heart defect that involves several parts of the left side of the heart. In this condition, the heart’s lower left pumping chamber and the large artery that carries blood to the body are too small to support normal blood flow. In basic terms it means that the whole left side of the heart does not develop normally. 

In “Heart,” Will and Alicia’s clients have been told that their son will have a much better chance at living if he has an in-utero surgery to correct his heart defect. But they must act now. Their son could die at any time.

Arguing before a judge, Will says, “My client’s baby could be dead.” But the opposing counsel quickly interjects with, “Objection! Your client’s fetus.” It’s clear this other attorney is disgusted with the thought of calling an unborn child a “baby.” However, the judge seems disgusted with his objection, replying, “Well thank you, Mr. Harper. I’m sure we’ll all feel much better with that distinction.”

Later, Will questions a representative of the insurance company on the witness stand:

Will: As soon as Kate has the baby you’ll pay for the surgery?
Rep: Yes, that’s correct
Will: It’s covered, for a baby that’s born?
Rep: Right.

The photo shown on The Good Wife (Photo credit: Michael Clancy)

The photo shown on The Good Wife (Photo credit: Michael Clancy)

Next, Will shows what appears to be the famous photo of Samuel Arnas grasping his doctor’s hand during in utero surgery.

Will: In utero surgery for spina bifida at 23 weeks. So as far as Life State’s [the insurance company] concerned, THIS isn’t a baby. This isn’t someone who qualifies for surgery. This according to your denial letter is a ‘pregnancy complication’ not covered. Is that correct?
Rep: Unfortunately, that’s right.

But The Good Wife still wasn’t finished with the photo of little Samuel Arnas – or with its demonstration of the current hypocrisy in American law and medicine concerning the unborn child.

The insurance company’s lawyer puts Kate, the mom who was fighting for her unborn son to have a chance, on the stand.

Lawyer: To save a life. That’s right. Because this is a life were talking about.
Kate nods.  Next, the lawyer talks about how Kate had spent the last five years lobbying for abortion rights.
Lawyer: You spent years fighting to ensure that a fetus at this stage [holds up photo of Samuel Arnas] could be aborted legally.
Kate: Fighting to ensure that there was a choice.
Lawyer: And now that you’re the one with a fetus at 23 weeks, you argue that it should be considered a baby. In fact, it is a life worth saving. In fact, your baby deserves the most cutting-edge extreme life-saving measures possible.
Kate: Yes [crying]. This is my child. Of course, he deserves anything.
Lawyer: And you can live with that hypocrisy?

Here is the story of one baby who had in utero surgery for HLHS:

*The Good Wife is a legal and political drama in its fifth season on CBS. The show illustrates many moral dilemmas and does contain objectionable content.

**To read more about in utero surgery for HLHS, read about the team at Texas Children’s Fetal Center. Advances are continually being made in in utero medicine, so know that you can look into the possibility of in utero surgery if you are pregnant with a child who has been diagnosed with a defect.

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