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Grey's Anatomy: Breaking the Silence on Abortion

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PeaceNikki Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-02-11 03:42 PM
Original message
Grey's Anatomy: Breaking the Silence on Abortion
http://www.aclu.org/blog/reproductive-freedom/greys-ana...

Thank you to Grey's Anatomy for daring to speak the A-word (abortion) in its two hour season premiere. In the episode, skilled hospital resident Cristina Yang (played by Sandra Oh) declares, in the clearest of terms, that she does not want to be a mother; she does not want children; she wants her career as a surgeon; and she wants to have an abortion.

Today, in 2011, long after abortion has been legalized, long after discrimination against women in many arenas became illegal, long after calls to end gender stereotyping, the Grey's Anatomy episode is sadly radical stuff.

In it, the word abortion could be spoken. A woman could want one. And perhaps most remarkable, a woman could want a life without children. We don't today, as a culture, send the message that that's okay.

We at the ACLU, can and do, challenge the laws that further restrict and stigmatize abortion laws that require women seeking abortions to go to an anti-abortion group for counseling; laws that stigmatize abortion by banning it from insurance plans; and laws that punish charitable organizations like domestic violence shelters for even referring for abortion services.

Through our efforts we hope to change restrictive and unconstitutional abortion laws, and that is important. But we also need to change the culture. Grey's Anatomy may provide an opening.

Today, when it comes to abortion, women are judged, not heard. There is little room in the debate for our dreams and our needs our need to care for existing children, our dream of the life we could give our child, our goal to finish school, a need to repair a marriage. There is no room for our visions of our lives. Cristina, on Grey's Anatomy, opens some space, by giving voice to her needs and hopes.


Not only did they say it, the character made the decision to go thorough with it because it was best for her. Kudos to ABC and GA for not turning it into yet another anti-choice lecture that speaks down to women and minimizes their wants and needs.


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Warpy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-02-11 03:55 PM
Response to Original message
1. I'm impressed
Too many shows out there show women being persuaded at the last instant by some man, usually the sperm donor but not always, that abortion isn't the answer and the episode ends with them being absolutely delighted at having their lives derailed by a pregnancy they never wanted because, gosh darn it, it is what they always wanted, women are just too scatterbrained to know things like this.

It's completely unrealistic. It's insulting beyond belief.

I'm glad somebody has finally stood up and said so.
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PeaceNikki Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-02-11 03:57 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. I agree. And in the show, her husband really wanted a baby.
They handled it very well. Shonda Rhimes and ABC deserve a nod for this. :thumbsup:
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tgearfanatic234 Donating Member (50 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-07-11 03:13 AM
Response to Reply #1
11. +1
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uppityperson Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-07-11 12:54 PM
Response to Reply #11
12. Tell us more, please. Why do you agree, +1?
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iverglas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-07-11 03:50 PM
Response to Reply #12
13. too many clues
letters/numbers
time of day
number of posts
nature of posts

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

and a host of previous incidents.

I'm on it immediately, thanks for noticing.
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uppityperson Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-07-11 04:18 PM
Response to Reply #13
14. yup. I did also
after searching and reading.
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uppityperson Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-10-11 11:08 AM
Response to Reply #12
15. it got ts'd, thanks mods
Edited on Mon Oct-10-11 11:22 AM by uppityperson
50
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no_hypocrisy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-02-11 04:10 PM
Response to Original message
3. I watched on Antenna TV a 1970-something episode of Maude where
Edited on Sun Oct-02-11 04:16 PM by no_hypocrisy
she gets pregnant at age 47 and is conflicted about whether to take the pregnancy to term or to get an abortion. The fact that Maude even had a choice back then is remarkable. (This is pre-Roe v. Wade and when abortion was legal in certain states, New York being one of them.)
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femrap Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-02-11 04:13 PM
Response to Reply #3
5. That's right....I totally
forgot about that episode. I remembering being in college and my friends would have to drive all the way to NY to get an abortion.

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uppityperson Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-02-11 08:58 PM
Response to Reply #3
7. That episode opened my mother's eyes to abortion. That it should be legal
even if she'd never chose to have one.

That show and the one where Edith Bunker gets raped, powerful and dealing with issues that weren't talked openly about.
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iverglas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-05-11 01:06 PM
Response to Reply #3
10. in case you want to pass it on to youngsters or anyone
Part 1

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Aa8bU4xdASg

Part 2

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JL1MgN7WjBo

Also, Norman Lear on the controversial abortion episode of Maude

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bfIi96S1UrM


In 1970, three friends and I crossed the border from Ontario to NY state for an appointment with Dr Lippes (inventor of the Lippes Loop), who was offering the Copper T IUD (precursor of th Copper 7). It was not yet approved for use in Canada. Abortion was also still difficult to access in Canada under the law that required approval by a committee.

We were in a friend's VW van, belonging to and driven by yer typical guy with a beard and a bandana around his head, and we were interviewed by the US border guy. Where were we going, why were we going there, why were we going to see a doctor, was that guy going to see the doctor too, was there something wrong with us? ... He obviously thought we were on an abortion run. ;) We just smiled. ... Actually, now that I think about it, his questions were perfectly reasonable: four people crossing the border to see a doctor might have had plague!







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femrap Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-02-11 04:11 PM
Response to Original message
4. Thank you for posting...
I watched the show this past week and told my mother that this was a FIRST. I had never seen a TV show 'allow' the woman to have the abortion.

I was so happy!!!! Glad that others are as well.


Wish I could K and R this a million times.
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lindysalsagal Donating Member (444 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-02-11 07:30 PM
Response to Original message
6. Best part was that Cristina did have mixed emotions, and took her time to decide herself
It didn't become a struggle between good and bad or what anyone thought of her. The character had survived stanford and med school and 4 years of grueling internships to become a heart surgeon. She was married, which also pushed the stereotypes aside. She had invested so much in her career that she made a decision that was absolutely true to her and only her. She also knew she'd make a terrible mother at this point in her life, because heart surgery was all she could think about.

It kept the point where it should be: In the woman's heart, period, without making any judgments about the woman.

Brilliant.

I read the message board for the show, and there were several hysterical female reactions. It seems there were a number of fundies who loved watching all the unmarried sex and hospital politics, affairs, gay marriages with children and even a medical suicide. They were fine watching it all happen, until the woman made her own decision. The decision is what pissed them off.

Religion takes the responsibility away: You do what you're told, you aren't allowed the benefits of belonging if you put anything of your own self-determination in your life. You must surrender to dogma.

These messages made me think these judgmental fundies joined the church because of a lack of empowerment, and are mostly resentful of women who still have their own power.

But I could be wrong.
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Kath1 Donating Member (60 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-02-11 09:26 PM
Response to Original message
8. Thank You
I haven't seen the episode but will now make a point to do so. Sounds truthful, refreshing and sooooooo overdue.
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iverglas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-04-11 09:48 PM
Response to Original message
9. I slept through the second hour ...
Hopefully, they'll rerun it during the Nov or Dec blahs.

It sounds like they didn't do what the Brit soaps I watch (Coronation St and EastEnders) always seem to do.

The woman (always young) has the abortion, but is influenced into it, doesn't really want to, is all-round confused and apparently unable to engage in any self-examination or thought other than "oh no he has left me", regrets it ... and never looks back on it with even the relief that is the almost universal reaction among real women, let alone the realization that this was a good decision. Which it is, for a large majority of women.

If only there were anything else remotely realistic or interesting about the damned show.

Of course, we must remember that Sandra Oh is the mandatory US-prime-time-drama Canadian lead. ;)
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JimmyS1985 Donating Member (4 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-18-11 07:41 PM
Response to Reply #9
16. check out my bumper sticker
I joined this forum, because I had to show off my bumper sticker on my miata to some democrats. I get yelled for it, I get compliments, both almost exclusively from women.

I never could have the requirements for an ego so huge that you can make the correct choice for every woman in America's pregnancy in your own mind.

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PeaceNikki Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-11 01:20 PM
Response to Reply #16
17. Welcome to DU!
I also like "It's a zygote is not a child!"

:)
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