Random Blog A Musing Farf

Sunday, November 12, 2006

ART IMITATING LIFE

While Husband has been laid up following his surgery, we have taken the opportunity to catch up on all the television shows stored on our DVR. Husband convinced me to watch Everwood with him during the last year or so of its run and now that they are playing the shows on ABC Family from the beginning, we are watching them together in order. Actually, its very interesting to see the progression of the characters knowing where it will all end up.

Anyway, toward the end of the Everwood series, one of the teenage characters (Madison) became pregnant by her high school boyfriend (Ephram). Madison and Ephram break up with Ephram unaware that Madison was pregnant. Madison contacts Ephram’s father, the local doctor and asks his advice. Should she keep the baby? Should she tell Ephram? Should she have an abortion? The good doctor writes her a check for $500 and tells her to go away, have the abortion and never contact Ephram again. (Although, as an aside, if Madison had decent health coverage, she would only have to pay her co-pay for the procedure and $500 is too much money but if she has no health insurance, it will probably cost more than $500, so I am not sure where that figure came from). Of course, Ephram discovers this when Madison runs into him in NY and the storyline continues from there.

I was slightly annoyed by this storyline when I watched it. Not necessarily for the abortion aspect, but for the bad parenting exhibited by Ephram’s father. On the other hand, the entire show is pretty much based around Ephram’s father’s well intentioned by misguided actions so I was not altogether surprised.

I was surprised by the episode we watched last night though, which seems like it was from the second or third season. In this episode, a young girl and her father contact Ephram’s dad (Dr. Brown) who counsels her to wait a few days and think about her options. I was not thrilled with this advice, but when I got angry, Husband pointed out that the show made it look like her father was pushing her so thinking through choices for herself was the best thing. Fine. But then when the girl comes back and says that she does want the abortion, Dr. Brown decides he can not perform the procedure because he once did in-utero surgery and thinks of the 62 day old fetus as a baby. He claims to be pro-choice though and does find another doctor to perform an abortion on the girl.

The hypocrisy of these two episodes makes me really angry. Dr. Brown thinks of a fetus as a baby and says in asking the other doctor for his help, “I don’t know when life begins, but I know when it ends.” So, clearly, he does not support abortion in the young stranger but can’t encourage it enough when it is his family that is affected.

Sure, the show is fictional and I get that. But the thing is, I find many people seem to feel this way. In Law School, I was friendly with a guy named Peter. Really nice guy and generally liberal, he shocked everyone one day when he informed a group of us over coffee that he was not necessarily pro-choice. He explained that he believes in abortion when the fetus was seriously deformed or the health of the mother was at risk, but that he did not believe in abortion just to correct a “mistake.” Now to me, this is where I get confused. I grudgingly have to respect the beliefs of people who truly believe a fetus is a person from conception and accept abortion only to save the life/health of the mother, but to claim to be against abortion except when the fetus is deformed, sort of reminds me of the Nazis. Peter and I agreed to never speak of the topic again and continued our casual acquaintance. Fast-forward three years when the woman he was dating all through law school became pregnant. She figured he would propose or at least offer to have her move in and help support the baby. Instead, and without hesitation, he told her to call a clinic and schedule an abortion, because although he loved her, the timing just was not right for a baby. She did and he broke up with her a few months later because he could not bear the thought of what she had done. Ewwww.

When I told people this story, no one seemed surprised that he changed his mind about the abortion or that they eventually broke up. Why? Is it okay to switch you views when it directly affects you but then refuse to acknowledge your new thoughts publicly or apply them to anyone else?

For those of you who are wondering, Madison gave the baby up for adoption, Ephram attempted to locate the child and realized the baby would have a better life with his adopted parents, eventually forgave his father and everything ended all neatly. But life rarely ends as well as a neatly scripted television show and I wonder how, if it was real, Ephram would have reacted to know his father, who believe a fetus is a child soon after conception, was so willing to have his own grandchild disposed of.

7 comments:

mara said...

Ah, yes, the "I'm pro choice, but first let me put out all these restrictions first." Blah blah blah. Mayor Bloomberg quoted GW Bush once, saying that when it comes to abortion rights, you are either "with us or against us." As for your friend Peter, I once dated a real charmer, a Catholic who told me that "Every man is pro life until he accidentally gets someone pregnant." At least he was honest . . . .

Husband said...

Mara's friend, Peter, may be a real charmer and a Catholic (I don't know him), but one thing I am pretty sure of is that he's wrong about all guys being pro life. Not once in my life have I considered myself pro-life. "Pro-life" is a misleading term, because to not be "pro-life" might seem to indicate one is "pro-death," which, of course, I am not. I just think a woman should have a fundamental right to choose. When that right ends is a conversation I don't like to engage in or even posit ideas about, but suffice it to say I'm in favor of the most robust arguments on a woman's behalf. Those are my 2 cents.

Husband said...

A correction to my last post: I see upon a second look that Peter was not the name of Mara's friend but instead the name of Wife's friend (Mara's friend is unnamed in her post -- sorry about that).

Suzanne said...

I am pro-death for most people, as they consistently annoy the crap out of me. No one who reads or writes this blog falls into that category, though.

mara said...

Husband - I was not in anyway advocating that the ex was right, or advocating use of the phrase "pro life" Sorry if it came across that way. But very glad to see you have your messaging down!

Husband said...

Suzanne, I could not agree more. I am pro-death for most people as well. My comment went more to fetuses (feti (?) -- nah, that sounds too much like pasta to refer to a gestating child). With respect to fetuses, seeing as a fetus can't yet speak, drive slowly in the left lane, drag a roller-suitcase everywhere it may decide to walk throughout New York City (thereby cutting off walking lanes and generally getting in my way), clip its nails in public, stand obstructively and stubbornly in the doorway of a subway car, have bad coffee breath, make me wait 30 minutes for my check at a restaurant, force me to listen to a pre-recorded menu of telephonic options from which I can select, call me at home during dinner to offer me consolidations on my student loans, borrow money and not pay me back, kick me in the nuts or engage in any other of a very long list of lifelong, recurring annoyances, I'm all for letting the woman decide what to do with it. One it emerges from the womb, then it's a story for, well, a whole new blog.

Peg said...

I take hypocrisy very poorly...so the kind of hypocrisy that Peter showed in his views later, when it affected him directly, bum me out. I don't know whether I'm surprised...but ick. I'd have a hard time being pleasant to him, knowing that.

It's funny, too, because I do doubt that it could possibly have wrapped up so neatly for Ephram as all that, out here in the real world. Very interesting...

Hope your husband and your pooch are both healing nicely!