Sunday, May 22, 2005

Desperate for an abortion

I watch Desperate Housewives. There, I said it. Let's move on.

One of the characters, the promiscuous Gabrielle, got pregnant when her husband tampered with her birth control pills. There is some mystery about who the father is--no surprise on a soap opera. She refers to her pregnancy as a "disaster," she repeatedly complains about how she doesn't want the responsibility, she tried to blackmail her husband into doing all of the baby-related housework so she can maintain her lifestyle. But one thing has been conspicuously absent from the whole literal-and-metaphorical affair.

Gabrielle never even considered an abortion.

Not only did she never consider it directly, nobody even mentioned the concept. Nobody asked, "Are you going to have it?" The unanimous reaction from the other titular housewives was the same "that's great/I'm sorry" reaction that accidental pregnancies always receive on prime-time television.

I'm not saying that Gabrielle should have had an abortion. I'm not saying it should have been a big focus of the show. As a theoretical Catholic, it probably wouldn't happen. But in the given situation, I would have expected at the very least a little "will she?" gossip amongst the friends. This is a child whose mother most assuredly doesn't want him/her, and whose father is either a violent criminal or a teenage gardener. If there were ever a situation in which people would for the slightest second think that abortion might be a possibility, this is it.

But abortion is a bad word. It doesn't even enter into people's minds. Actually, in the world of network television, it doesn't seem to exist.



  1. Good observation, bad expectation. We all know TV executives are chickenshits who will run like the wind at the mere mention of anything "morally controversial" that might get groups like Focus on the Family focusing on *them*. Course, eating worms and teaching America's 13 year-old boys new ways to endanger your life (like Fear Factor) seems A-okay.

  2. Jamies says: The OC talks about abortion...

    Luke says: Yeah, but it's the fucking OC?!?!?

  3. For the record, I've always hated the OC, even back when it was called Beverly Hills 90210.

  4. Believe it or not, there are some people in this world for whom abortion is not even a consideration, regardless of the circumstances. Given that the character wasn't raped, nor is she having sex with a close relation (I assume), I doubt the first idea to pop into most people's mind would be to abort the fetus, particularly if there's a possibility that the child in question is legitimate.

  5. As I said, it's not that the pregnant one didn't consider it, it's that there was no mention at all, by anyone... and these are people surrounded by murder, gossip, intrigue, and other meyhem.