Last night’s episode of a popular prime time television show, Parenthood, dealt with the tragedy of fathers being legally excluded from the abortion decision.
In the episode, Drew, a high school senior who is madly in love with his girlfriend, Amy, is shocked by the news that Amy has unexpectedly become pregnant. Amy’s attitude throughout the episode is one of despair and stress. Drew, in spite of being confused and overwhelmed, remains supportive and loving of Amy while simultaneously developing an unspoken affection for his child.
Drew tells Amy that he wants to support her no matter what she decides to do about the pregnancy. He repeatedly insists that he loves her enough to support their new family regardless of hardships that may come their way. However, Amy becomes like a stone wall. Lyrics in the background aptly describe her demeanor: [she is] colder than a wave in the Arctic Ocean. A baby, she believes, will destroy her life.
Besides her confused and vulnerable boyfriend, the only resource she goes to for help is the local Planned Parenthood center. During her consultation with Planned Parenthood, adoption and parenting are coldly mentioned as options, but, as in reality, the abortion committer does not elaborate on those options.
Abortion counselors are notorious for presenting a one-sided view of the options: they have a reputation for leaving parents with the impression that abortion is their only option, and Parenthood captured this reality well. “Planned Parenthood’s mission is to pressure as many women into having an abortion as it can,” Catherine Anthony Adair, a former counselor from the business, confesses.
Kudos to the show, also, for depicting the pain felt by mothers and fathers after their children are aborted. Unlike what so many prime time television shows try to dupe viewers into thinking, a woman does not usually walk away from her appointment with a sigh of relief and a fresh spring in her step. She goes home a broken woman, and this is exactly what happened to Amy.
Finally, the show realistically portrays a loving father’s reaction to the death of his child: Drew is crushed. The cameras fade out on the closing image of a broken-hearted young father sobbing hopelessly in his mom’s arms.
This is reality. This is what abortion looks like when all is said and done. Fathers have no legal rights in the decision to keep or abort their own children. They have no say in a mother's choice, even though they are equally responsible for the child's conception.
Dead children lead to broken hearts, and Parenthood deserves credit for telling the truth last night.