The website Salon has published a year-end article commemorating the top ten “abortion moments” on television in 2016.
“At least it’s been a good year to talk about abortion,” opens the article by Mary Elizabeth Williams. “[U]ntil recently, prime time television has had a skittish relationship with reproductive choice. Pregnancy storylines have tended to end in either conveniently well-timed miscarriages or shark-jumping babies. But in 2016, that changed.”
Williams then rattles off her favorite moments in which 2016 television, fiction or otherwise, dealt with the matter of abortion. The first six entries involve characters on fictional shows choosing to get abortions, and Williams lauding the abortions for being portrayed positively.
“In a pivotal 2015 episode, [Scandal] protagonist Olivia Pope had an abortion,” reads one entry. “In the 2016 season finale, we saw the consequences of that choice — that she had continued to live her life, that the man who impregnated her understood and ‘supports your choice, not that you needed it,’ and that she remained, in her words, ‘not ashamed at all.'”
In another entry, Williams lauds “the spoiled, immature, occasionally stabby Lindsay” from the show “You’re The Worst” for doing the mature thing and getting herself “an ‘abo-bo'” after lunch with a friend.
The top four entries on the list, though, aren’t about fictional programs. Williams praises “The View’s” Whoopi Goldberg for explaining why abortion is legal, which is allegedly because “people got tired of tripping over women who gave themselves abortions in bathrooms.” Comedian Samantha Bee is praised for “school[ing] America on Ohio’s loathsome ‘heartbeat’ bill,” and PBS for its “Trapped” documentary on abortion regulations.
The top slot, though, goes to defeated presidential candidate Hillary Clinton for defending abortion during the third presidential debate, while Williams slams President-elect Donald Trump for his allegedly-ignorant attack on third-trimester abortions.
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