Spoiler alert….if you are behind on This Is Us, this is your heads up that I will be revealing something that happened to Kate, but even if you aren’t caught up, I hope you’ll still read on because what I’m going to write about is more important than a TV show. (And even if you aren’t a TIU fan, I still hope you’re read on.)
Just an FYI going forward, I will be talking about abortion and briefly mention abortion procedures in this post in case this is a sensitive topic for you.
In last week’s episode of This Is Us, Kate revealed to Toby that back when she had been dating that awful Marc guy, she’d gotten pregnant and had ended up getting an abortion. If you’ve watched much of the show, you’ll have probably already meet Marc. He was an absolute jerk to Kate. He was moody and mean and not anywhere near the ideal boyfriend. You may have even seen the time where he drove off and left her on the side of the road in the dark in the middle of nowhere. (Been there, done that. My high school jerk boyfriend got mad and did the same to me once, but that’s another story for another time.)
Last week’s episode opens with Kate sharing with Toby about the fact that Marc had gotten her pregnant and she’d chosen to abort the baby. She tells Toby that it was the toughest decision she’s ever made, but that she doesn’t regret it. She goes on to explain about how horrible Marc treated her and how he made her feel and that her relationship with him was one the the lowest points in her life. She wasn’t ready to be a mother and she certainly didn’t want to be tied to Marc the rest of her life either. And that was kind of it about the abortion part. The whole rest of the episode relating to Kate surrounded her relationship with Marc. She searches him out on Facebook, finds out where he works and Toby drives her to find Marc and she tells him off. The end. She doesn’t even tell Marc about their baby that she aborted. And on the drive home, Kate mostly just talks about how empowered she felt putting Marc in his place.
But what about the baby? What about the child she destroyed? It really bothered me the way they just kinda skipped over that part. Three or four sentences about the baby, whose life is no more, and it was all about Marc and how Kate had been so broken by him and how destroyed she had been by their relationship. I wanted to give the writers the benefit of the doubt and waited until this week to see if they would address it further, but they did not. This week was all about Randall and it’s looking like next week will be all about Kevin. I am hoping that they will eventually delve further into the issue of the abortion itself because the way they’ve portrayed it so far, Kate had an emotionally abusive boyfriend, he treated her terribly, she took years to recover from it, all the emotional abuse she suffered played into her obesity and food issues…oh and by the way, she had an abortion in there somewhere too.
But then I think, why would they address it further? Hollywood tends to be so liberal in their agendas and blowing past an abortion to focus on Kate’s relationship with a bad boyfriend is the typical worldly response. The feminist response. It’s all about me and how I feel. The actual baby is mostly irrelevant. Because it’s my body, so it’s my choice. The child doesn’t get to choose. What matters is what’s convenient for me. What my plans for my life are. No regrets here.
But what about all those women out there that do regret it? This Is Us is a show that has become known for it’s tackling hard things, but here they just breezed by what is a lifelong, deep regret of many women who have had abortions. For many women, it as a memory that haunts them as long as they live. They carry overwhelming guilt and shame because of it. Some carry physical scars and are unable to have children later in life because of damage from the abortion procedure itself. What about the women who may not have fully understood what they were doing until later when they realized that they hadn’t just sucked out a clump of cells, but they’d actually killed a child they carried in their womb? How do you just skip over all that? How do you just brush all that aside and make it the lesser part of the conversation?
Because this isn’t 1980. There was a time when saying that an abortion was just removing a clump of cells from the uterus might have been somehow believable. Women could have honestly not really understood it or known any better. But we live in a world today that’s advanced well beyond blurry ultrasounds. You can get 3D images of your child in the womb. We see babies sucking their thumbs, hiccuping and moving all around. And we can see clearly what’s happening during an abortion. But still, the world manages to overlook all that.
If you go and read the description of an abortion on Planned Parenthood’s website it says this:
During a suction abortion procedure, a doctor or nurse will use a small, hand-held suction device or suction machine to gently take the pregnancy tissue out of your uterus.
Further down it says this:
During a D&E abortion, the doctor or nurse will use a combination of medical tools and a suction device to gently take the pregnancy tissue out of your uterus.
It all sounds so simple doesn’t it? But if you’ve ever actually watched a video showing via ultrasound what’s happening during an abortion procedure, it’s not nearly as simple as what’s being described here and that there is, in fact, nothing gentle about it. You’ll find that that small hand-held suction device is tearing your child limb from limb. You’ll find that those medical tools are used to crush your child’s head so that it will easily fit through the birth canal. How many women would choose life if they really understood what was happening inside their body to their unborn child during an abortion procedure? If abortion clinics are going to provide this “service” to women, let’s at least be honest about it so these women know exactly what’s going on here.
As much as I love This Is Us and have appreciated the way they’ve dealt with difficult issues in the past, I think they really blew it on this one. But then, I guess I shouldn’t expect mainstream media to actually call abortion what it is – taking the life of an unborn child. What the writers did though, was take what is an incredibly painful choice made by many women that carries with it lifelong guilt and regret and turned it into an afterthought. Again, I’m hoping they will eventually get back around to further discussions about Kate’s abortion and the emotional side of it, but based on the lack of regret she expressed, I’m kinda doubtful. And while it’s not surprising, it is beyond disappointing.
I’m just finishing up reading Help Her Be Brave by Amy Ford of Embrace Grace, a non-profit organization that helps churches provide support to women with unplanned pregnancies. It’s an incredible resource for us, The Church, in learning how to not just make abortion unthinkable, as Amy says, but also in giving tons of practical tangible ways for us to help mothers who are considering abortion to instead choose life. We have to do better in educating women about the truths of abortion, but it can’t just stop there. We also have to seek out and be ready to offer love and support to those mothers with unexpected pregnancies in real ways and Amy’s book has pages full of how we can do just that.
Click the image to purchase a copy of Amy’s book!
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