40 years ago this week, Maude pondered abortion in primetime.
Forty years ago this week, Maude Findlay, a sitcom character played by Beatrice Arthur, had found herself unintentionally pregnant at age 47 and was agonizing over whether she should have an abortion, newly legal in her home state, New York. Well, not exactly agonizing. More like obsessing. Maude was, after all, a Norman Lear comedy, the first spin-off of his taboo-shattering All in the Family. Finding humor, whether rash or rueful, in hot-button social issues was already established as a hallmark of both.
The two-part “Maude’s Dilemma” episode — which originally aired Nov. 14 and 21, 1972 — has no shortage of cheeky repartee.
"Look, there’s only one sensible way out of this," says Maude’s daughter Carol (Adrienne Barbeau), a divorcee with an eight-year-old son. "You don’t have to have that baby."
"Well, what will I do?" Maude fires back. "Trade it for a volleyball on Let’s Make a Deal?"