NBC’s “Parenthood” episode takes teen to Planned Parenthood for abortion

The episode was called “Small Victories,” but “Parenthood” producers might have done better to call it “Small Dead Baby.” On Tuesday night, the popular NBC drama about dysfunctional people featured Planned Parenthood’s number-one service, abortion, in an episode where a teenage girl finds out she is pregnant and quickly has an abortion.

Parenthood is a continuing saga of angst and drama, but in a recent episode, teenagers Drew and Amy had sex and got caught in the act. In this week’s episode, Amy finds out she is pregnant. She tells Drew as they sit in front of their high school:

“I called Planned Parenthood, and I made an appointment for Wednesday before school.”

Drew asks, “Why, to have an abortion?”

“No,” Amy says, “they have to confirm the pregnancy before I can do anything about it. … It’s just like a consultation.”

He asks her if she is going to tell her parents, and she says she doesn’t know.

Next we see Amy’s appointment, where a Planned Parenthood worker tells her, “If you decide to continue the pregnancy, we’d be happy to refer you for prenatal care.” A random “adoption is always an option” is thrown in the spiel.

As they leave, Amy says to Drew, “There’s only one option,” and she decides to get an appointment for an abortion the next day, though Drew argues that there are other options. Emotional, she says, “If I have this baby, my life is over.” She asks for help paying for the abortion. He agrees, and in their next scene, they are in a crowded waiting room under the infamous Planned Parenthood logo.


As they drive home afterwards, both quiet, she tells Drew she needs time, then quickly sweeps her hand through her hair to smooth it and asks if she looks “normal” before she goes inside her house.

This scene, which makes abortion look like a quick and easy option, was a big deal to Planned Parenthood, who bragged in tweets that it was being featured on the show, and then said Amy could discuss all her options at Planned Parenthood.

twetsAnd even in the show, we see reality when the Planned Parenthood worker tells Amy that if she decides to “continue the pregnancy” (not “keep the baby,” of course; it’s always a “pregnancy” of a “fetus” to Planned Parenthood, even on television), they will refer her out for prenatal care. That’s because Planned Parenthood isn’t caught much caring for babies – only killing them.

This episode, obviously endorsed by Planned Parenthood itself, was more like a giant advertisement for the abortion provider than it was an entertainment show. What is shameful is that a network TV show would use its prized airtime to create a glorified commercial for teens to have an abortion without parental consent. Likewise, it’s irresponsible – though, admittedly, we don’t yet know where the show will take this. However, it’s probably not too big of a leap to assume they won’t have Amy became a pro-life warrior who speaks out for post-abortive women. And that’s too bad, since real-life situations like this lead to great trauma and regret.

It doesn’t seem like “Parenthood” is the place anyone would go for a solid family story, though, as the rest of the content Tuesday night included discussions of when men start ejaculating, “wet dreams,” and other sexual talk. Tonight’s show was not so much surprising as it was a sad commentary on today’s entertainment, and the norms we’ve accepted that not that long ago were taboos.

NBC and the producers of “Parenthood” have sold themselves out as entertainment and become part of the Planned Parenthood propaganda sweeping the nation, which is why many of Tuesday night’s viewers probably thought little of Amy in her local Planned Parenthood office. That’s why media presentations like this are a contributor to the view that Planned Parenthood is a normative center for care rather than the largest producer of abortions.

  • Christina

    This is tragic! Why don’t they show the whole truth about abortion? This episode makes abortion seems relatively trouble free. What an insult to the millions of women who suffer from post-abortion syndrome. There is real pain and trauma that many face after abortion. We need to let our young people know that abortion should never be an option.

    • Anon

      Actually, the episode doesn’t really make light of abortion. If you watch the episode, it is clear that Amy walks away broken-hearted (she is so disturbed by the whole situation that she breaks up with the one she loves, Drew). The episode ends with Drew SOBBING in his mother’s arms. This show, unlike almost any other, actually portrayed the reality of abortion. It didn’t make light of it at all. I disagreed with several of the observations in this article. It does not seem that the author of this article is an avid viewer of the show, but only saw this one particular episode. I have seen all of the episodes and can attest that it is the most accurate and realistic portrayal of family life on TV today.

      • SM

        Aaron, the assumption that Drew is sobbing because of abortion is just that–assumption. Drew proved himself to be a wuss–argued for a second, then helped her get money, took her and then it sets in when she needs space. Now he freaks. He was a wimp who cared more about keeping his girlfriend. With the PP endorsed show it’s clear that they aren’t going to suddenly explore the mourning of a baby. And Amy was more concerned about “looking normal” for her family. What a travesty of truth. What an irresponsible show.

        • Anon

          I and many others interpreted it very differently. Did PP actually endorse the show before this episode, or are you just interpreting Cecile’s praise of their getting publicity on the show as an endorsement?

      • Janet Ackerman

        I agree with your perspective & would like to also mention the scene where Amy & Drew were in the waiting room: one courageous young woman got up & walked out of the clinic.

        Also, If this was PP Propaganda there would have to be a scene of a mob of Rosary weilding protesters outside.

        The only criticism I have of the script is I question whether counselors (or associates) really do give other options. I agree with the article’s author about the subtle coercion in the phrase, “if you wish to continue the pregnancy”. Of course she doesn’t WANT to be pregnant or she wouldn’t be there. What she needs & deserves to know is the truth.

        There are no perfect options. All of the options will leave a deep emotional scar. She will never be the same person she was before she got pregnant.

        If she gives up her child for adoption she may always wonder, are they happy? are they loved? are they safe? If she keeps the baby her life plans will drastically change, she’s incredibly unsure of herself: not ready to be responsible for caring for & raising a child, not ready to comitt, frightened of the look of disappointment on her parents faces of what a failure she is to them.

        Then there is the beguiling option of secrets & lies. Just get rid of “it”. Disassociate from the child in your womb. First mentally, deciding not to think of them as your baby, then literally. Remove them from your womb. There is no hiding from the truth written in our hearts. That kind of disassociative trama leaves deep, lasting, emotional scars.

        So my question is always, since there are no easy options, which option can she live with in herself.

  • Snapps izking

    I love watching the primetime show Parenthood and the real
    life situations that are dealt with. I’m a new parent myself and thanks to my
    coworker at DISH who suggested I watch. I find there are lots of things here to
    learn about how to tackle big life decisions. I’ve enjoyed more primetime TV
    this season and it continues to get better, now that I’m able to watch all of
    my primetime thanks to the DISH Hopper DVR. I can enable the PrimeTime Anytime
    feature and it will record the four major networks every night to one TV. This
    works perfect for me, since I work at night, and I no longer have timer
    conflicts or select priority of shows over another. I’m able to watch all my
    favorite episodes anytime and even new ones I’ve never watched.

  • Regina1959

    The only sad thing about this is the fact, that the so-called PP personnel in the script offered her other care services if she wanted to opt to adopt, etc. No one took that into consideration in this report. That being said, if she decided to keep the baby, they would refer her to other medical (gyn). It’s just like if a heart patient came in to a heart specialist and wanted him to do a procedure on his appendicitis. They have their own special training in their field, just like heart specialists, neurosurgeons, etc. You wouldn’t go to a foot doctor for brain surgery would you? clipped here:” …. Drew she needs time, then quickly sweeps her hand through her hair to smooth it and asks if she looks “normal” before she goes inside her house.

    This scene, which makes abortion look like a quick and easy option, ….”
    The simple answer is YES, is it quick and easy if done very early on. Everyone blames the girl and boy for having an abortion, but the fact of the matter is, they didn’t get “parental permission” to have sex. So it’s their decision, and they have to deal with it as they (girl and boy) sees fit.