‘Girls’ Went There, Features Abortion Storyline

Lauren Duca and Emma Gray over at HuffPost have a revealing piece on the HBO hit series Girls’ recent storyline of a character who gets an abortion.

“I can’t go for a run because I had an abortion yesterday,” announces Adam Sackler’s new girlfriend, Mimi-Rose Howard. With that statement, “Girls” joined the (limited) ranks of TV shows that a) have a character follow through with an abortion and b) deal with the subject in a way that is both interesting and adds positively to the dialogue about reproductive choice.

Adam responds to the news with a very Adam tantrum (calling Mimi-Rose “evil” and knocking various things over), while she maintains composure. “It was a ball of cells,” she says calmly, when he asks if it was a boy or a girl. “It was smaller than a seed pearl. It didn’t have a penis or a vagina.”

This scene comes directly after a romantic montage that may as well have been plucked from a (Brooklyn hipster) Pinterest board. And the message is clear: This is not something Mimi-Rose did because she doubts her feelings for Adam or their future — it was simply not practical for her to even consider having a baby at this point in her life.

For some women, the decision of whether or not to have an abortion may come along with deep emotional turmoil, but for others the choice is an obvious one. This latter situation is one that we rarely get to see play out in pop culture, which is what makes the “Girls” storyline so groundbreaking.

The few abortion plotlines we do see on mainstream TV tend to play out in one of three all-too-predictable ways: the woman backs out of getting an abortion at the last minute (“Sex and the City”), the woman has an abortion and then promptly dies (“Jack and Bobby”), or the woman contemplates an abortion but eventually miscarries (“Girls”). In the last five years, shows like Grey’s Anatomy and The Fosters have begun to move the needle, showing abortion stories that feel more true to women’s real-life experiences, where the women who have abortions aren’t “punished” afterwards for their “transgressions.” Mimi-Rose’s storyline does both of those things.

This story originally appeared on Huffington Post.