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‘Scandal’ shocks with abortion plot line, slams GOP efforts

NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

Friday, November 20, 2015, 3:19 PM

Women’s advocates were hailing the shocking pro-Choice plot twist on Thursday night’s “Scandal” featuring the Republican president’s live-in girlfriend undergoing a procedure that many Republicans want to restrict.

Show creator Shonda Rhimes used her ABC political thriller to address reproductive rights by showing the drama’s lead character Olivia Pope (Kerry Washington), getting an abortion.

“This is a conversation we need to be having. I’m beyond proud of @ShondaRhimes for one of the bravest storylines I’ve ever seen,” tweeted Portia de Rossi.

“Orange is the New Black” star Laverne Cox agreed, tweeting:

“Love that @ShondalandTV never shies away from the important issues like women’s health being under attack in this country right now.”

The minute-long scene showed Pope – who is sleeping with Republican President Fitzgerald Grant (Tony Goldwyn) – lying on an operating table, legs in stirrups undergoing one of the most common surgeries in the U.S. Earlier in the episode, ex-first-lady and Sen. Mellie Grant (Bellamy Young) wages a filibuster to save Planned Parenthood and women’s health.

Taking the floor, Grant tells fellow senate leaders she can’t vote for funding the bill and calls Planned Parenthood’s services “basic human rights.”

Show creator Shonda Rhimes used her ABC political thriller to address reproductive rights by showing the drama’s lead character Olivia Pope (Kerry Washington), getting an abortion.ABC

Show creator Shonda Rhimes used her ABC political thriller to address reproductive rights by showing the drama’s lead character Olivia Pope (Kerry Washington), getting an abortion.

After the episode, Planned Parenthood applauded Rhimes’s decision to address the real life choice that one in three women have made in their lifetime.

“Shonda Rhimes used her platform to tell the world that if Planned Parenthood lost funding for contraception counseling, STI testing, cancer screenings, and safe, legal abortion millions of people would suffer,” the organization said in a statement.

But other critics bashed Rhimes for using the soundtrack of Christmas song “Silent Night” during the medical procedure.

“Really?? @ScandalABC sets Olivia Pope’s abortion to ‘Silent Night’ #prolife,” tweeted the National Right to Life. National Right to Life.

Other pro-life organizations were equally outraged.

“Dear Christians: F—k you, Sincerely, #Scandal,” mocked the Media Research Center Culture account.

It’s obviously not the first time TV has tackled abortion as an issue — but the medium has has come a long way since the 1972 episode of “Maude” that featured Maude Findlay’s unplanned pregnancy at age 47 and subsequent termination.

Then as now, the abortion episode came as the nation was debating a woman’s right to choose. “Maude” aired one year before the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade ruling legalized the procedure as part of a woman’s right to privacy.

Today, “Scandal” looked at the ongoing political ramifications of that ruling, with the Republican-led House voting to defund Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest provider of women’s health care services, including abortion.

It was the second time ABC’s political thriller addressed the topic of abortion — an episode on season four featured a story line in which a female Navy officer was raped and needed help getting an abortion.

“It’s still a controversial topic after all these years. We’re in a presidential campaign and she [creator Shonda Rhimes] tapped into something that was going to get people talking whether you agree with it or not,” says Marc Berman, of TV Media Insights.

jsettembre@nydailynews.com

Tags:
scandal ,
shonda rhimes ,
laverne cox ,
abortion


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