Issues

Television producer vows to put an abortion on the air

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According to pro-abortion advocates, there just aren’t enough abortions on television. It has become a constant refrain, in fact — abortions must not only be shown on television on a regular basis, but it also must be portrayed positively.

There are a few shows that talk about abortion, like Lena Dunham’s HBO series “Girls.” Dunham holds an extreme view on abortion, so it’s not surprising that she would feature abortion on her show. It is also not unexpected for Dunham to print an op-ed from television writer and producer, Leila Gerstein, vowing to put an abortion on the air in her newsletter.

Gerstein had written for a number of Hollywood TV shows, but she wasn’t the one in charge, so all of her pleas to put an abortion on the air were denied. Then she got her own show: the dramedy “Hart of Dixie,” about a New York doctor who moves to the south after inheriting a medical practice. But she wrote the show as a light, fluffy rom-com, which she felt wasn’t the proper vehicle to force an abortion plotline into. (You don’t say.)

For the show’s fourth and final season, Gerstein figured she had her chance. She was going to make the character, Zoe Hart, have an abortion… until disaster struck! The star of the show, Rachel Bilson, got pregnant.

So as I’m finishing my show and trying to serve my audience, I’ve got to concoct some scenario in which a smart, feminist, ambitious, 30-year-old doctor at the beginning of her deeply satisfying professional life, who we’ve seen teach BlueBell tweens about contraception, could not only plausibly accidentally get pregnant BUT ALSO opt not to get a simple medical procedure or take a pill and carry on with her life until some future time when she wants to actively choose to get pregnant.

But here is my lead actress, and she will be nine months pregnant when we wrap the season, and … let’s face it, it was a great way to end the show. Dr. Zoe Hart gave birth in our series finale. It was life-affirming and shit, there was a musical number, and everyone cried. But my eighth-grade Women’s Issues club would have been so disappointed.

How awful to have to endure a season finale that was “life-affirming and shit” that stuck to the integrity of the show. But heaven forbid her eighth-grade women’s issues club be disappointed!

Gerstein also admitted that she was jealous of writers like Dunham, who were able to put abortions into their show. So she tried to come up with a new vehicle: one where abortion would be the unspoken star.

So this year, I developed a pilot with Lena and Jenni that we sold to HBO that was basically M*A*S*H set at the last abortion clinic in Texas. But even though the script was (obviously) exceptionally excellent, HBO passed.

You’d think if the script was exceptionally excellent, HBO wouldn’t have passed. As Gerstein says herself, “Girls” has featured abortion storylines; so have other HBO shows, like “Sex and the City.” Maybe the problem is that HBO knows people won’t be interested in a television show that revolves around shoving pro-abortion rhetoric down their throats for an hour each week. But fear not! She’s not giving up:

One day we will show an actual clinic on the air, with kind, caring professionals, where women will go to take care of a problem and leave without guilt or anxiety but with relief. And maybe this woman won’t even be a teenager, maybe she’ll be a grown woman, a mother, like 60 percent of the women who actually do have the procedure, choosing to put the needs of her family before those of an unborn child.

At least Gerstein actually referred to the baby as an “unborn child.” The majority of Americans would agree with her — most people don’t see abortion as a harmless, innocuous procedure where a clump of cells is removed from a woman’s body. They understand it for what it is: taking the life of a preborn child.

The best pro-abortion advocates can get is that, while a very small majority of Americans are pro-choice, they support restrictions and see abortion as morally wrong. Gerstein may find some pro-abortion allies in Hollywood, but she’ll be hard-pressed to get a positive reaction outside of her pro-abortion extremist circle.

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