Scandal Abortion Controversy

Scandal Storylines Attract Planned Parenthood Praise, Conservative Slams

ABC’s Scandal on Thursday night dove neck-deep into some hot-button topics, and as such really, really got people talking — on both sides of the aisle.

For much of often timely drama’s fall finale, Senator Mellie Grant delivered a filibuster on the senate floor, in opposition of a bill that would decrease the government’s discretionary funding for Planned Parenthood. In the course of her historic spiel, Mellie cited examples from the bill — all of them actual and remarkable government expenses (see: talking urinal cakes) — to make her case for Planned Parenthood having a more secure financial future.

As if that wasn’t enough to stir the pot, the series’ central character, “white hat” Olivia Pope, was seen getting an abortion, of a pregnancy we didn’t to that point even know she had.

In a statement issued late Thursday, scandal-planned-parenthood-controversythe Planned Parenthood Action Fund’s Cecile Richards said, “We applaud Shonda Rhimes” for illustrating “that our rights to reproductive health care are under attack,” that without the organization’s services, “millions of people would suffer.”

“[This] wasn’t the first time one of Rhimes’ characters had an abortion, yet tonight we saw one of our favorite characters make the deeply personal decision that one in three women have made in their lifetime,” the statement continued. “We just hope those in Congress — and throughout the nation — who are steadfast on rolling the clock back on reproductive health care access are taking note.”

Offering up an opposing viewpoint on Scandal‘s soapboxing, the Media Research Center — which describes itself as a media watchdog with a “commitment to neutralizing left-wing bias in the news media and popular culture” — issued a detailed takedown of what it called a “ridiculously over-the-top” “hour-long commercial for Planned Parenthood.”

The MRC posits that Planned Parenthood has always been part of government’s discretionary budget (and thus wouldn’t have suddenly been “moved there”) — since a Title X program would never receive “guaranteed” money. They note that even in Mellie’s worst-case scenario, “the abortion behemoth will survive without government funding.” The watchdog also takes issue with many of the stats stated by Mellie, including the claim that abortions account for “only 3 percent” of Planned Parenthood’s services.

As for the in-episode abortion, the MRC concludes its piece by plainly observing: “Olivia Pope was randomly… out getting an abortion set to the tune of ‘Silent Night.’ Seriously.”

Do you think Scandal fairly explored the Planned Parenthood issue? Did the show go too far in having Olivia secretly terminate a pregnancy?

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. TAL says:

    I’m no right-wing looney but that scene was horrific. Olivia Pope is disgusting. And playing “Silent Night” while an abortion is being performed was the last straw. Nothing this character has done has made sense this season. If she wanted to be free, why did she public delcare that she was Fitz’s mistress? Why did she tell him, “Sit down and watch me choose you?” Did she ever love Fitz at all? Was she just using him for personal gain? If she loved him, why didn’t she feel the need to discuss her pregnancy with him? They could have mutually agreed to an abortion. And she knew he wanted children with her, that’s what makes it even more hurtful. He loves her and she constantly hurts him. What an utterly disgusting character! I guess you can’t turn a kitchen towel into a table cloth…

    At least now Shonda has freed up my Thursday nights. This show isn’t worth watching…any more.

    • Color Me Baffled says:

      I think she loved him a little, but she is her father’s daughter. Power and wealth are the things she craves the most….so there was no way she was going to follow Fitz to a rural retirement to raise kids.

      • Meh says:

        This show is a sad, desperate shell of itself. Why didn’t Olivia use birth control responsibly if she did not want children? I will never understand what is empowering about this “solution” for what basically boils down to irresponsible behavior. Why Shonda Rimes wants her adult, financially stable, professional characters choosing to have abortions to “fix” their irresponsible birth control habits grosses me out as a woman.

        • David4 says:

          Because she is the only wealthy smart woman who has ever made a mistake?

          • Meh says:

            I don’t believe they presented it as if anything other than the pregnancy was a mistake and really, the mistake and the focus should be on the irresponsible birth control use. The pregnancy is the natural consequence of that. The abortion is the “solution” and not one to take lightly. Believe it or not I respect a woman’s right to choose I just do not understand why we would ever want anyone to have to go through it. I wouldn’t wish that situation on anyone especially young women. Why are we so focused on promoting abortion vs. responsible birth control use? There would hardly be a need for them if that were the case.

        • MFL says:

          Wow…Only a man would have such an ignorant view point on birth control! My sister who is 18 years younger than me is a product of failed birth control. Birth control is not 100% full proof same with condoms. Plus missing even 1 dose can put a woman in danger of falling pregnant. Any woman can & will slip up at some point when it comes to birth control. This is why Planned Parenthood comes in handy when people fall pregnant when they do not wish to be.
          In the whole time we’ve known Olivia she never once mentioned to want to have kids…that whole Vermont dream was initiated by Fitz when he bought them that house. She did the responsible thing and took care of this situation she did not want to find herself in. It’s her right, I don’t know why people felt the need for her to tell Fitz..she knew he would force her to keep it and she was/is not ready to be a parent yet. Ultimately the decision is hers and there’s nothing gross about it. What’s gross is people who cannot accept the right for women to choose what to do with their own bodies! I applaud Shonda for this brave move

          • Meh says:

            If birth control was taken more seriously young people would be taught not to rely on condoms or would forego oral contraceptive in favor of something more reliable and less dependent on their remembering to take it everyday. Sadly, missing a dose and having sex is being irresponsible. Young people need to know that! This is the real problem, not whether abortion is right or wrong. It’s common sense that no one would wish an unwanted pregnancy and resulting abortion on anyone. Abortions are not empowering. They can take a mental toll on people. I am in favor of a woman’s right to choose, but would like to see the focus on birth control, choosing the most responsible method and thereby reducing the need for abortions.

          • Meh says:

            I am not opposed to Planned Parenthood for a multitude of reasons, but your casual phrase of “Planned Parenthood comes in handy when people fall pregnant” is a disturbing reminder of the current state of sex ed today. Women don’t “fall pregnant” as if they fell ill or got a disease. Pregnancy is a natural result of unprotected sex and no, not all women will slip up using birth control. Why this need for abortion to be some common, “come in handy” solution? This thinking is what disturbs me most.

          • Angela says:

            @Meh: I agree young people need to be made aware of more methods of birth control. Unfortunately, a lot of schools in the U.S. refuse to even discuss the topic of birth control in health classes, instead favoring abstinence-only education programs (which have been proven not to work), out of a misguided belief that by merely talking about the facts and realities of sex somehow that equates to actually promoting or encouraging it. As a result, a lot of young people wind up frighteningly ignorant about how their bodies, sex, and birth control work.

          • Chris says:

            Me, and at least four of my sisters were all born as a result of failed birth control. My dad said nothing would stop us. But just because someone is unexpected doesn’t mean they’re not worth a life. And each kid added more financial strain. I’ve been homeless twice. I never had money until I started making my own. Sometimes, you gotta suck it up. Just because you’re unplanned doesn’t mean your life won’t be worthwhile. We’ve been through a lot, and we all persevered and turned out successful.

            And Planned Parenthood did admit to selling baby parts. There are other clinics that are reputable and don’t include such criminal activity. Planned Parenthood is criminal organization of monsters funded with our tax dollars.

        • Over Olivia says:

          Meh is right. Birth control is important. If you don’t take your pill on time you should also be using a condom, if you are not, you are being irresponsible. If you don’t want to get pregnant for a long period of time there are many long term birth controls that don’t have to be taken daily, which young women should be looking into, but are very often not… the hormones in these birth controls also have less risk for stroke and other side effects that occur with long term use of the pill because they use different hormones. Anyway, young women and women who do not want to have slip ups, should be looking into these methods… they should not so casually be falling back on abortion as a means of birth control… it is not a casual thing and should not be a casual decision, but due to the off hand nature it is currently dealt with in the media and in Hollywood it is sadly becoming just that, casual.

          • Tina says:

            Birth control is not 100% effective. My granddaughter is a result of the 2% failure of birth control.
            Women have the right to choose, IMO, but that choice is not always scientifically effective.

        • Angela says:

          To all who are suggesting “just use birth control!” well, you can lay some of the blame for that one on the politicians and religious groups who try to deny women the ability to even buy such things, or cover them under their insurance, in the first place. It’s not that they don’t want to use it, it’s that they have to fight to even attain it sometimes.

          • Over Olivia says:

            It’s true, some religious groups and sects are anti birth control and advocate abstinence only sex education, etc… however when it comes to access to these costly longterm birth control methods, women can get them through planned parenthood, or at least thats what pp keeps telling everyone.. also young women/teens who fall below the poverty line and qualify for state or federal healthcare can get them for free through their healthcare providers.

          • Angela says:

            @Over Olivia: Except that a lot of politicians are trying to shut down a lot of Planned Parenthood centers. There’s some states in the South where there might be one PP organization in the entire state, which, for women who might have difficulty driving to the town it’s in, will prove rather difficult for them if they want to use their services.
            And considering the way some politicians are trying to gut state and federal healthcare systems, a lot of women who’ve already struggled to afford healthcare might be in danger of having even MORE difficulty on that front if those politicians succeed. Look at how determined Republicans are to try and make it so Obamacare can’t be implemented in their states. Obamacare could provide a lot of those services to women who can’t afford them, but Republicans are hellbent on trying to fight it all the same.
            So yes, there are those options there, but they’re constantly under threat of being severely restricted, if not taken away altogether.

          • Over Olivia says:

            Don’t even get me started on the abomination that is Obamacare. It has and will do nothing for anyone… i won’t argue this point as it’s just my opinion, and is pointless. Anyway, people are trying to defund planned parenthood because of the casual abortions and seeming disregard for life, not because of their providing birth control. Perhaps if pp changed their platform, and instead primarily publicly focused on catering to women’s health, such as birth control, teaching women how to use it properly, and providing pap smears, instead of concentrating on abortions and acting as if they are the only thing that is considered a woman’s health issue, then maybe the charge to defund pp would die down.

          • Angela says:

            They can try and defund it all they want, it’s not going to stop women having abortions. And it’s stupid to try and shut down an entire organization that does provide services beyond that particular one. Even if that was all they provided, they still don’t deserve to be targeted, because abortion is a legal procedure and women are allowed to get them if they so wish. If people don’t agree with the idea, fine, that’s their opinion and they’re entitled to it, but they do not have the right to restrict or deny women the right to make that choice if they so wish. And if I recall rightly, federal funds can’t even go to abortions in the first place, so that makes politicians’ attempt to defund the organization that much more pointless and nonsensical, ’cause they’re fighting something that actually isn’t even an issue to begin with.
            Also, Planned Parenthood does not treat abortion as a “casual” thing, nor do they show a disregard for life. It’s not their fault that a lot of people think of them as an abortion-focused center, that’s the fault of people who try to make a political point by targeting something that is a small part of what they actually do.
            And I am all for advocating and promoting use of birth control. Which is why we need to keep telling the religious groups and politicians who get all bent out of shape at the very idea of advocating or selling birth control to people in the first place to back off.

          • Gwen says:

            Olivia has pretty much unlimited financial resources. One bottle of her precious special wine would pay for a supply each month. Come on. You can do better than that.

          • Angela says:

            Trying my post again…
            @Gwen: I know that. But I was speaking in a more general sense, because I have seen that attitude directed at some women who don’t have that kind of luxury, too.

        • We aren’t focused on promoting abortion. If you think that Olivia’s abortion scene was promoting abortion, you failed as a viewer.

          • c-mo says:

            If you are part of the production, which based on the way you phrased your response you are, you failed in the delivery of the message, we as viewers didn’t fail. How on earth could we possibly come to any different conclusion based on the way the scene was presented on our television screens? Using Silent Night as the musical accompaniment was truly disgusting, blasphemous and insulting to your viewers of the Christian and Catholic faiths; you used a sacred hymn that is an exaltation to the birth of Jesus the Christ, written as a lullaby. Just because you use a lullaby, doesn’t mean you can lull us into agreeing with the propaganda you were spewing. Oh, maybe that’s what you meant as we failed as viewers, we didn’t buy your garbage so we did fail, but we won instead because we aren’t as stupid as you thought we were. Shame on you, members of the Shondaland and Scandal production families, that thought we could be fooled that easily!

        • Tony says:

          I don’t recall, but was it stated that she and Fitz weren’t using birth control?

        • pAloma says:

          Because even when you are responsible in your use of birth control, it can fail. Don’t assume that just because she was pregnant, that she didn’t use birth control and have her partner use a condom.

      • dj says:

        Well said. She’s definitely a “me” person

      • Cheyenne says:

        She never loved Fitz or anyone else. She only wanted him because he was unavailable and he wasted seven years of his life on a cold, scheming bitch. This is the woman who told Edison she wanted “painful, impossible love”? It all makes sense now. She only wants what she can’t have. Edison dodged a bullet. Fitz may be messed up but Olivia is a basket case. At least he can still love. Olivia can’t love anyone. The whole thing was a power trip for her, nothing more than that.

    • Tony says:

      Mutually agreed to an abortion? I’m not sure what your intent was. But I would just take a moment to think about how that comment comes across

    • MiaB says:

      So “you can’t turn a kitchen towel into a table cloth” is your version of you can’t turn a whore into a housewife? If you hate that Olivia had an abortion, I understand that and think it’s a valid point. But you think she’s disgusting because she wouldn’t settle down and be a good girl and have babies. Well, sorry to break it to you, but she didn’t want to. That’s her body, that’s her choice, and we as women have the right to make that choice. If you don’t like it, tough. The fact you can’t control other people is what’s pissing you off anyway.

      • TAL says:

        My disgust with Olivia is not about control. It’s all about her disregard for other people. She is selfish and has no regard for Fitz, who by right should have tossed her to the wind after she let her dad out of jail. She made Fitz believe she was all in, told the world she was his mistress, and keeps on running. She is a sociopath. She could have been honest with him and told him not to bother loving her so he could go away for good. Let’s hope he stays away for good because he does not deserve this. I hope she ends up alone…because that seems to be what she wants. It’s her body, yes, but it’s wrong to use other people and them toss them aside…

        • are u talking about the same Fitz who treated the mother of his children like she was trash???

          • Larc says:

            And murdered a female Supreme Court justice?

          • sol_daro says:

            i really hated Fitz for what he did to Mellie despite the fact that everything he despised her for she did it for him she even turned a blind eye to Olivia and Fitz at first just to keep him happy if its the same we all are talking about he deserves jack, Nada, zippo, zilch, basically nothing.

        • MFL says:

          Olivia said it best when she called Fitz ineffectual..he is inadequate in every aspect of his life. Everything Fitz got last night he deserved. After the way he treated Mellie…he deserves everything he got & has coming, He deserves to be alone. Olitz is poison and I hope Shonda will not be getting these two back together…I’m glad Olivia has come t her senses and will be the ‘big dog’ we know her to be. Seeing her help out Mellie yesterday warmed me up inside. They should both toss aside that sorry excuse of a man!

          • Cheyenne says:

            If Fitz is a sorry excuse for a man, Olivia is an even sorrier excuse for a woman. At least Fitz can still love. Olivia outed herself as a cold, soulless bitch with a block of ice for a heart. She never loved Fitz or anyone else. Edison should thank his lucky stars she wouldn’t marry him. Eventually she would have chewed him up and spat him out just like she does with all the men in her life. I can’t stand Jake but he was right after all. He is too good for her.

    • Will says:

      I’m no libtard looney, but that abortion scene was offensive. Given Olivia’s character however, I suppose it fits.

    • Meh says:

      It is okay to be disturbed by abortion without being a “right-wing loony”. I respect other peoples’ opinions on the matter and a woman’s right to choose, but am personally disturbed by the idea of a strong, adult, financially stable woman choosing abortion to “fix” what more than likely boils down to her irresponsible birth control habits. It really bothers me that anyone who personally opposes abortion is automatically labeled a “right-wing loony”.

      • Gwen says:

        total agreeance. My objection is that the woman Olivia is would ever find herself in that situation. Come on. She controls everything, and certainly her contraception. And I’m pretty damned ‘left.’

      • the girl says:

        Why are none of these comments focused on the MAN’s irresponsible birth control habits? What about Fitz’s responsibility to wear a condom or get a vasectomy, or to support his woman by reminding her of her birth control pills, or by NOT having unprotected sex without first discussing what she wants IF a pregnancy would occur? Women DO NOT MAKE BABIES ALONE.

    • Give me a break. You suddenly feel that this show is not worth watching because of last night’s episode? With the exception of the current vice president, every single character on this show is a somewhat or completely awful human being. They’ve pretty much all done things that have directly or indirectly resulted in someone’s death. They marry male prostitutes, blackmail each other, murder people, cover up scandals and deaths and do various other deplorable things. You are either a Fitz-Olivia shipper or anti-abortion but let’s not pretend that last night’s show was the most offensive one in the Scandal run…unless you think that an abortion is more offensive than, let’s say, sending troops to their death to save your mistress or passing along information that results in the death of an entire jury.

      • Cheyenne says:

        What killed it for me was that fight between Fitz and Olivia which was not a dispute between two rational adults; it was between two kids flinging sand at each other in the sandbox and seeing who could do the most damage. If Shonda was smart she would have had Olivia say something like, “Look, Fitz, we’re in love and there’s no reason we can’t be in love in different locations, but I need my own space and my own activities and my own apartment and I’m out of here. I’ll call you from home tonight.” Or something like that. Instead of hurling accusations at each other about being controlling and insensitive and God knows what. It was just wearying to watch and ultimately a big bore. This relationship is stalled dead in its tracks and so is the show. I can honestly say I no longer care what happens to any of the characters, and when you’ve reached that point, it’s time to cut your losses and go watch something else.

      • ? says:

        Usually when the characters on this show do terrible things, I can be sympathetic to their reasons for doing so even if I would never do whatever it is they did, or else it’s portrayed as a mistake they have made, which I can also be sympathetic to. I am pro-choice, but I cannot be sympathetic to Olivia’s choice to have an abortion under these circumstances. Furthermore it came off as a highly contrived plot device, not a natural extension of the place these characters were in mentally. It was simply a terrible storytelling decision. Just like the decision to have Olivia’s dad keep slipping the noose and the awfully contrived kidnapping plot from last year. I think I might be finally done with the show now, not because it has offended me (it’s done that before, no big deal, I like watching things that challenge me), but because the writing is simply way off the rails now and I don’t think they can get the magic back.

      • sol_daro says:

        the only reason this abortion is getting much light is because it was Olivia and she did it alone without consent from Fitz no other reason because Fitz himself has done some pretty bad things like killing a female supreme court justice that were not highlighted or commented on in intent of damaging his reputation he even sent soldiers to die regardless that the mistress in question was Olivia.

    • Kristen says:

      It’s a television series and Olivia Pope is just a character. She is a character written imperfectly like every human in the world. Everyone makes mistakes, and everyone has flaws. She is flawed. She is broken. Survive her childhood, adolescence, and then some, and tell me you wouldn’t be rough around the edges or even worse rotting beneath the surface of this facade she has built. She buries herself in power and wealth and saving those around her because I think she is written to not see herself worthy, or capable of saving.

      Shonda likes her characters dirty and gritty and messed up. She loves the psychological intricacies of the tormented souls that she writes into her shows. It’s one of the most tell-tale signs of it being a series written by Shonda Rhimes. The more messed up, the better. She addresses the worst scenarios that are actually happening in everyday life head on and somehow still finds a way of telling a story that you can’t help but find a shred of empathy for. Obviously, you don’t agree with abortion, but imagine what it would feel like to be that person that felt that that was their ONE and ONLY option. Imagine being there. Yes, in your mind, there are many options, because your feelings on the matter are different, but what if they weren’t. Everyone is different, and everyone faces situations differently. You’re hardest day might be another person’s breath of fresh air… their new beginning. It’s not as simple for some as it may be for others.

      You are, as is everyone, entitled to an opinion. Regardless of what choices were made with the script and storyline of the characters, abortion is very real, and I for one applaud Shonda for addressing it head on, even if it was done in a manner that isn’t deemed socially acceptable.

    • sol_daro says:

      shes not used to just sitting and staring planning parties picking out the china ware and handing out recipes to other politicians wifes shes used to being the big dog so dont blame her for wanting more i hate olitz but anytime she chooses fitz i dont stop watching the show i just keep on watching looking forward to the next twist. keep watching i think olake might have a fighting chance.

    • Angie says:

      I agree with everything you said, my thoughts exactly. This show has strayed from what made it great and has latched on to the “latest-trending-topics” storylines and doing anything just for shock value and twitter feed. Hence, the abortion and Silent Night was a disgustingly, ill-placed song . The promise of a great love affair between Pope and Grant always seem to go from sweet to sour within a three episode span and the viewers are left wondering, why? As my husband and I watched Thursdays winter finale, I asked him, “Who do think is going to request to leave the show first, Kerry Washington or Tony Goldwyn”? We both said, Tony Goldwyn. Simple because the role of Fitz has no meat and no backbone. And no Fitz equals no Scandal. My Thursday nights are now free as well.

    • Leia says:

      Yup Maggie Sanger would be proud of her. Aborting a baby of color is exactly what she helped to found PP for. I’m pro choice but Shonda picked the wrong personage to gain buzz. I can’t believe that she has no clue as to the roots for Ms Sanger.

  2. Luis says:

    An abortion set to “Silent Night?” Seems completely Shonda to me!

  3. Lola says:

    I am not religious but playing a song about the birth of Christ during an abortion is tacky beyond words. Shonda Rhimes should be ashamed of herself. I don’t know what goes through someone’s head in post to make that song choice. It’s offensive and wrong. Shonda has sunk even lower and quite frankly I didn’t think that was possible. The Year of Yes is the name of her book, well I think it is time from ABC to tell her NO!

    • Color Me Baffled says:

      I’ve sung that song “Silent Night” as a lullaby many times when holding a baby…so it was more than a tad nauseating.

    • MLPR says:

      I haven’t watched Scandal since last season’s finale, so I don’t know exactly what happened last night. I thought maybe I’d watch the new eps OnDemand during the winter break if I was bored. I read the comments today because I was intrigued with the headline. That being said, I can now honestly say that I will never watch again. I’m not sure how an abortion to the tune of Silent Night is at all appropriate, and Shonda is fast becoming my least favorite show runner. And that’s really saying something as a former Castle lover.

  4. Melanie says:

    Just my opinion, but I was very happy with Mellie’s Planned Parenthood storyline. Even if that facts aren’t 100% correct (it’s a fictional TV show, after all), the right message was there – reproductive health care is much more important than talking urinal cakes or helicopter rides. Maybe we should be looking at some of those expenditures if we want to help the budget in the US.

    That said. I don’t think they needed to add in Olivia’s abortion. I found it counterintuitive to the message that they should be sending. Planned Parenthood is about much more than abortions, but that seems to be the thing that opponents focus on the most – so why remind people of an aspect that everyone already knows about instead of all the other good PP does?

    • Pointing out that other health services make up the majority of PP services is just a talking point to make the extreme right more reluctant to continue their political assault. The right to have an abortion is still an important right to have, or else it would not be a divisive issue.

    • Lucifer says:

      Sorry, but Planned Parenthood is a trash company and that president is making loads of cash each year. The fact is that PP not only has very little facilities, state-to-state, but there are many more women’s only health care centers. The website has put together an expansive and interactive map to hilight just how many PP centers there are compared to all the others that help women. And seriously, how can a corporation that claims to be the #1 destination for women’s health care in America not have mammogram machines in their clinics?

      There are plenty of other clinics in America that women can and are going to and PP lies through their greedy, capitalistic teeth to trick the public while playing the victim card.

  5. Guy says:

    I’m not even an anti-abortion or anti-Planned Parenthood person (more like indifferent to the issue to be honest). But the whole episode was basically a commercial for Planned Parenthood. And using Silent Night during that scene was in very poor taste. Why do I feel like the same people praising this episode would have slammed it had a different religion been mocked?

    • David4 says:

      A different religion? I’m sorry in the USA we all must be the same religion and pass a test, and then hail Hilter.

    • if the Mellie’s fillibuster was against cut in defense spending, nobody in this comment section would be saying that it was a commercial for defense department… when in television shows everybody gets information by torturing a suspect nobody here scream it’s commercial for torture…

  6. Color Me Baffled says:

    I agree that it was way too random….it didn’t make sense at all….all of a sudden Fitz is a creepy overpowering jerk (I never really liked him) and Olivia suddenly wakes up and realizes she doesn’t want him as her boy toy anymore, so she pops in to get an abortion (without any build up to help us understand her decision) to the lullaby “Silent Night” (so twisted) and pops back out to have a drink and breakup. WTH?

    • sol_daro says:

      you guys shouldn’t hate on the combination of silent night and an abortion from our own “white hat” the silent night was not a theme for the abortion it was a theme for the whole movie you guys her forgetting it was a Christmas day setting should Olivia had waited till after the festive seasons to get her abortion

  7. Where’d my Home Alone comment go? I was pointing out how often Silent Night gets subverted in pop culture. I’m sure most of us remember a slow motion scene full of machine gun fire in some movie we can’t remember the name of.

    • Tony says:

      I’m sure General Hosptial during its mobbed obsessed period had some shootouts to oddly chosen songs for that dramatic, contrasting effect.

      Also wouldn’t be surprised if Sons of Anarchy did the same

    • Lucifer says:

      The difference is that the song is about a mother and her newborn child. So in the context of an abortion scene, that’s far more disturbing than it being used in a horror movie or an action sequence.

  8. dft426 says:

    i liked mellie’s bit and loved that all those absurd budget items were real… but olivia’s abortion came out of no where… if we knew she was pregnant and were privy to her choice, i feel like it would have been more effective… instead, it felt rushed and crammed in there. i understand why she would have terminated the pregnancy. i just don’t think it landed in the right part of the arc… also, it seems like it was done just to give fitz a reason to hate her down the line.

    • Color Me Baffled says:

      I agree…if we had been able to see her working through her options and see her emotional journey, it would have been more effective. Instead, it just felt cheap.

  9. Deborah says:

    Brilliant, thought provoking and needed. Since women’s issues are being ignored , and women being treated like 2nd glass citizens – I found this to be a superb episode. With all the gory, violent horrific scenes on TV, not sure why this episode disgusted and disturbed people. Once again, people will cheer a character like Dexter, but jeer Olivia Pope abortion? Realty scares people. Strong female characters frighten people. God forbid women speak up or worse make decisions in regards to their uterus.

    • Lola says:

      A strong woman would have had that discussion with her partner. Fitz was not a one night stand. This was a man she went on national television and professed to be unable to stop loving. Olivia not telling him anything does not make her feminist or a strong woman, it makes her a coward! No one is questioning Olivia’s right to have the abortion they are objecting to how it was handled and then presented.

      • A lot of abortions happen without the father’s knowledge. There is no father’s consent law, although it wouldn’t surprise me if that’s been pushed before. The movie Grandma (starring Lily Tomlin, highly recommended) tackles this specific issue, but whichever discussion that could be had, any mutual decisions to be reached, the decision is ultimately the woman’s and the outcome of said decision is life altering. Because you don’t want to tether yourself to this person forever through a child is reason enough.

        • Sola Aduadu says:

          haha… just like the decision of a man ‘not wanting to tether himself’ to any one woman forever is reason enough to spread his seed everywhere

      • Check which year we’re in. It’s 2015. Last time I checked, women were no longer considered the property of their husband, father, or lover.

        And therefore, don’t need to ask anyone for anyone’s opinions on what to do with their body.

        Men don’t have to risk death (yes, death–pregnancy is a serious medical condition after all) when it comes to pregnancy–women do. They are the ONLY ones who get to decide whether they want to continue it and don’t need to “handle” it by asking permission first. Which is EXACTLY what’s implied whenever someone says, “but why doesn’t the daddy get a say so?”

        Because the woman’s body belongs to the woman alone. She gets to decide, ALONE, if she so chooses.

        • Lola says:

          You missed the point completely. I am not saying Fitz should have had a say in what she did. I said as a grown woman who chose to be in an adult sexual relationship with a man she claimed to love, she should have at least let him know what she was doing. I would LOVE to see what people would say if she pulled this with Jake the hero. Everyone would be livid.

          • Tony says:

            I get it. It’s not the abortion. It’s the not keeping Fitz in the loop. Though I think either way, it’s gonna be a divisive reaction on his part. You tell him and he turns into a big bully, trying to convince her not to do it. With how it’s gone down, he’ll probably do his usual judgemental, holier than thou routine when he finds out. I can understand why Olivia just wanted to avoid his reaction all together

          • MFL says:

            Jake the Hero are you kidding me…everyone would have loved it had it been Jake’s baby being aborted. It’s the fact that precious ditzy Fitz ‘sacrificed’ everything and did not get to have a say in Liv’s decision. Ultimately what Olitz fans wanted was for Liv and Fitz to be tethered for life with a child. Liv did not want that and it’s her right.

        • Say what? says:

          Are you serious? Pregnancy is a serious medical condition thus equating it to death, as justification for having an abortion and not telling the father, or getting his opinion before hand?

          I understand this is the century of everyone (men and women) slutting it up, so a good number of the women getting pregnant don’t even know who the dad is so having to have the father’s consent can’t be made into a law, but saying that a father has no rights to his own baby just because it’s not inside him is insanity. They can get custody after the child is born, so why would he have no say while you are pregnant? Unless you don’t know who the dad is, then that’s a whole different story…

          A man can’t help his predisposition to having a penis and not overies… so of course he can not help that it’s your body and not his that your baby is in… You are not asking permission and you get the final call, but he should at least know. And yes, a woman’s body does only belong to her, but that baby inside her, it doesn’t, it was not, and could not be, made only by her… it has a mother and a father… so while your body is only yours, your baby is not,

          And as far as the ridiculous medical condition claim, pregnancy is hardly a health hazard anymore, in America with current medical technology… if your doctor finds out that there is something medically wrong with you or the pregnancy, you could always reevaluate the pregnancy at that point…

          By your reasoning, you would have every woman abort every baby bc it’s a serious health risk and never talk to the father about it because it’s not his business because it’s your body… this makes no sense.

          • Courtney says:

            Here’s what: a fetus that isn’t viable, that cannot survive on its own, is entirely dependent on a host. There’s a reason why custody laws and the like only apply to a living breathing child that’s actually been born. If something can’t physically live without my body, I have all the say. Period.

      • Bazinga says:

        This right here.

      • arial2 says:

        What show are you watching? Over the past few episodes, Fitz has made Olivia a prisoner, dictated what she would wear, where she would go. Had she told Fitz, he would have locked her in a room to be sure she did exactly what he wanted. By the end of the show, I was so glad Olivia finally said “No!” to her imprisonment, especially using the word slave because that’s what I was thinking. I did find humor and irony in how much the people doing the party and dinner planning for the White House appreciated that they finally had a “First Lady” who knew exactly what to do. I’m a little flabbergasted at Huck and Jake putting Rowan back in charge, though. I kind of saw it coming, but don’t feel the logic was very well explained. I mean, Lazarus didn’t do a good enough job and leave it at that? There’s a part of me that keeps saying “please bring back Mama Pope!” And I loved Mellie’s actions. As much as I find every one of these characters very disturbing, I love that Shonda Rimes keeps finding ways to continually switch out the power dynamics. I take a step back, often in horror, then start laughing at how wonderfully she does it.

    • Christopher Erny says:

      You are so pathetically cliché I am stunned I am even giving you a second thought. The consummate low information ideologue with regard only for your own selfishness. I actually just threw up in my mouth. if you want some reality

  10. so much butt hurt over silent night being used, ive seen that song used in numerous murderous montages in movies.

  11. Et al. says:

    I’m glad the right has something new to be outraged about. I was sick of hearing about Starbucks cups.

    • Guy says:

      As if the left isn’t outraged by something new every day too. Morons on both sides. The sooner everyone realizes this, the better off we’ll be.

    • Lucifer says:

      Don’t worry, I’m sure when a fictional female character is raped off-screen, the left with call for another boycott of a tv show or movie just like they did with Game of Thrones.

  12. Color Me Baffled says:

    All of a sudden…I’m randomly wondering where Teddy is all day.

  13. robandco says:

    Ok, the filibustering thing was great. But the abortion should’ve happen in another episode, because now people are linking both and PH is not just about abortion.

    • Color Me Baffled says:

      My problem isn’t so much that Olivia had an abortion…it’s that the show didn’t have any buildup….it was just all of a sudden she’s doing this and it’s out of nowhere.

  14. Ella Jasper says:

    Just because Shonda keeps being heralded as the Queen of Thursday nights, she sure isn’t the queen of life. What a sad, ridiculous story line!

  15. D says:

    the show has become too political for me and there’s too much racism in them now

    • :-) says:

      There’s too much racism in the real world. If you can’t handle a TV show you would not make it as a minority. Some people face this stuff everyday from childhood. I’m glad you have a choice about facing it.

  16. Liz says:

    So disclaimers: I don’t watch scandal and have no opinion on the characters at all. I’m conservative, which means i usually try not to have political debates on entertainment sites. First, because it’s useless trying to have an actual exchange of ideas. And second, it’s usually not long before you’re called a nut, homophobe, racist, sexist and whatever ist can be thrown at you. So with that out of the way, the song silent night song has been used in the background of violent images usually to up the emotion of horror. Here’s this peaceful, loving song standing in contrast to the violence of whatever scene we’re showing. Soooo….I wouldn’t be using that as a defense of song choice here unless you’re saying that the goal was to up the horror/emotional gut punch of what we were seeing.

  17. Riverboat Gambler says:

    I was extremely disappointed that ABC chose to air an episode of Scandal so overtly offensive to Christians. Not only did Scandal’s writers positively portray the murder of a developing human being, they coupled that murder with a song sacred to anybody belonging to the Christian faith. Just because you can offend a group of people, doesn’t mean you should.

    I will be boycotting all ABC and ABC related (Disney, ESPN, ABC Family) programs, films, and properties until an apology is offered.

    • Ken says:

      Good luck with that boycott. Let me know how that works out for you. To all you complainers – tv shows are NOT yours. You do not OWN them. If you don’t like what you see, change the channel. In no way, does Shonda Rhimes or the writers owe anyone an apology , nor should they bow to public pressure from christians to change their artistic vision of their show. And furthermore, you don’t own the holiday, or the songs and this is not a christian nation no matter how hard you republican neocons try to make it.

      • Riverboat Gambler says:

        I need neither your blessing nor your luck to participate in a boycott. As a consumer, I have every right to place demands on businesses that serve me. That includes ABC. Furthermore, I am not a Republican. I am a Libertarian. I find that exercising my right to select which businesses I patronize is all that is needed to affect change. The power of the market is an amazing thing.

      • NJMark says:

        Right. Haven’t we learned anything? TV shows should bow to pressure from gays!
        And what do “neo-cons” have to do with this? This isn’t about foreign policy! (I don’t think you know what “neo-con” means, you just know you’re supposed to say it – and say it with a sneer.)

      • sol_daro says:

        i am a christian but i agree with you if you don’t like the show write your own show or change the station you are not being held at gun point to watch the show and why do they owe you an apology they didn’t force the show on you.

    • robandco says:

      You are talking about a show that have people murdered on a weekly basis, people having sex outside of marriage, married people cheating, people divorcing. And now that we’ve seen a single abortion it is suddenly unwatchable because of your beliefs? Hypocrite much?

      • Tony says:

        This hypocrisy is what kills me

      • Claire says:

        To me, it wasn’t the abortion. We’ve seen abortion dealt with on TV before, and that made sense in terms for story and what Olivia would do. I wasn’t happy that they used Silent Night for the scene, that felt like a low blow to me. I can be a Christian and still support women, but you don’t have to knock that part of my life to tell a story.

      • Babygate says:

        The people that are killed are often violent individuals with a history of getting involved in nefarious activities which lands them in trouble. And when an innocent person is killed, the show presents the victim in the appropriate context of loss and grief. Planned Parenthood is a real organization, not a fictional character and the babies being killed are innocent. But no one mourns for them exept those ‘radical nut jobs’ of the right who dare fight for those who cannot fight for themselves. There’s no hypocrisy here. You are comparing apples to oranges.

    • :) says:

      I’m a Christian. Was not offended. Didn’t like what happened but not offended. The juxtaposition was a plot device. We’ve seen it done to death. The birth of my Savior sacred. The song not so sacred. Offensive is people boycotting a TV show over a song but not not boycotting political candidates that would deny aid to widows and orphans when the Bible makes clear those are two groups that should be protected.

  18. Claire says:

    The abortion story wasn’t offensive to me, but the fact that they played ‘Silent Night’ in the background was. Was that just to offend and to shock people? I wish Shonda could just tell a story well, instead of resorting to things that offend even the people who would normally support her shows.

  19. Zoe says:

    Wait… a female television character actually had an abortion? About time!

    • the girl says:

      Cristina had an abortion years ago on Grey’s Anatomy. Unless you were being sarcastic, in which case, I know right???

    • John says:

      For years Hollywood-types have been pro-choice/abortion (chose your term depending on which side of the argument you’re on)…but aside from Maude back in the 70s, producers never put their money where their mouth was by risking the alienation of viewers by having a character have an abortion. Instead, they had female characters suddenly display a never before seen (or even hinted at) maternal streak by having a child the character probably would not have wanted.

      I applaud a show taking on the issue…but I hope it wasn’t just PP propaganda.
      I’ve donated money to PP, but I’m all for the public discussion of where government money goes in relation to private organizations. Abortion is a topic where good people can disagree, and just because one is against it…or government PP funding…does not make them a bad person.

      Any attempt to brand another legitimate viewpoint with pejorative terms is wrong…and something we have too much of in America today.

  20. Whatevah says:

    I couldn’t care less that Olivia had an abortion. I’m mad that she and Fritz broke up.

  21. James says:

    I love how people still get shocked by the actions of the characters on this show. Nearly every character on this show can be directly linked to a murder of some sort. I mean we have a guy who literally loves taking the skin off of people, but god forbid this show tackles abortion.

  22. Jonathan Carpenter says:

    This is a Liberal version of being beaten over the head with the Bible. Nothing more and just as subtle!

  23. leo21 says:

    Of course Olivia didn’t tell Fitz. He would have tried to use the situation into strong arming her into marriage and having the baby. Fitz’s sweet talk doesn’t have the sway over Olivia it used to and she realized she needed to be completely out.

    I am discouraged over the judgement on someone having an unwanted pregnancy – birth control fails for many reasons – and I don’t think that being rich or successful or in a relationship means that you are supposed to go through with a pregnancy. This was not the right situation to bring a child into and Liv may never be ready for children. I respect the choice.

    • :-) says:

      you are the first person in this thread that actually gets it in my opinion. She has moved mountains to not have to marry him for the wrong reasons. A baby would’ve forced their hand. There is side of me that wish things could be different. In being true to the story and characters this is what she would do to protect him and them. She no longer has the option to dissappear with their love child until the clock runs out on his presidency. She made a choice. Any other choice and she would end up like drunk Mellie or fried chicken Mellie. Olitz would end the same as Fitz and mellie.

  24. Dude says:

    I’m pro choice but I found that scene unnecessary. It didn’t serve a narrative purpose. Live and Fitz were headed for splitville anyway. If this is explored further when the season comes back I might change my mind but if it’s not addressed again, it was highly unnecessary.

  25. MGL says:

    I thought it was disturbing and went a little too far. I liked the story of her and Fitz. That first season it was a love story; now it’s a train wreck. It’s a story and not “real life” and whomever is writing it, needs help. If this was real life, once Fitz finds out, and he will eventually, he will hate her. He lost one child, which in real life is pretty irrecoverable, and now she ends what may have been another child for him. The love story is over. All that is left now is a group of power hungry people.

  26. Tony says:

    The funny thing about all this “outrage” about the use of the song is that it wasn’t as if there wasn’t other stuff going on during song. It wasn’t like some 20 minute scene of Olivia getting an abortion to “Silent Night”. And you could barely hear the song

    • Tennisnsun says:

      For me the song playing was a study in irony. Look at all the dark things that were happening to the other characters at the same moment while the rest of the world properly sat together around the fireplace blissfully singing Silent Night.

  27. Kevin W. says:

    I feel really bad for the intern you make moderate the comments on this article.

  28. Babygate says:

    This episode was disturbing at many levels. Most people will buy the propaganda they were fed without questioning the validity of the statements made. First, PP funding is already discretionary, as is most of the entire federal budget. Which includes funding for over 9,000 clinics which provide health services to poor and disadvantaged individuals. Second, it was completely downplayed that PP is the biggest abortion provider in the nation and that they are a cash cow for them. 3rd, the federal government is not the sole source of funding for PP, 4th, they never mentioned that the vast majority of babies being killed are minority babies which is exactly what Margaret Sanger, the founder of PP and an avowed racist, wanted to accomplish and lastly, Shonda Rhimes is a board member of PP so she merely used her platform to spread their propaganda. Bonus: when Wendy Davis tried this in real life, it backfired on her. And personally, I think that it takes two to make a baby and Olivia should have told Fitz. I was ok when this was tackled in Grey’s because both sides were put forth, but this was just shameful. Especially with a Christian themed song playing in the background.

  29. dj says:

    I sure hope Fitz finds out. Everything is always “Livy, Livy, Livy”. He has a right to know.

  30. John Davis says:

    Nobody cares about the conservatives.

    We’re a diverse country. Alicia (TGW) is an atheist, Olivia (Scandal) had an abortion, and April (Grey’s) is a christian. There will always be different people on every TV show, and in life. Get over it.

  31. NolaNola says:

    What do you mean secretly had an abortion? It’s her body. Nobody else’s business!

  32. arial2 says:

    If Olivia’s doctor’s appointment was some procedure other than an abortion, then I applaud Shonda Rimes for schooling us in not making assumptions without knowing all the facts. Mellie’s speech mentioned abortion, but it also mentioned PP uses most of its funding for ensuring the health of women; federal money approved by Congress CAN’T be used for abortion. Maybe the whole point of “Olivia’s abortion” was to show us a health scare follow-up, which is really what PP is about, and had nothing to do with abortion. Although Olivia Pope has no need to visit PP for her health care, many women rely on PP for all kinds of testing.

  33. Maranda says:

    Ok you got an abortion but why are you so smiley,sipping wive and feel like celebrating.Being pro-choice is one thing but making it feel like it’s a great choice is nuts.No women is ever this cold after getting an abortion. It’s a life altering decision and you are not a bit conflicted.You chose to give viewers no justifications,nothing that if she is hurting.Just for career drive you abort,but even then show some human side.A tear rather than a smile would have been better.They are making us realize that strong women are senseless and cold.I am taking a bck seat about all my activism because it’s a women rights.Next up they ‘ll be saying don’t even use contraception just simply abort. Both methods are similar. Basically a fetus is a useless cell to which not even a bit of emotions should be attached to,and discarded on a whim.Bravo!

  34. Bridget says:

    The scenes with Olivia getting an abortion while Christmas carols played in the background was graphic, disgusting and over the top.. The machine being turned on, the instrument being inserted under the sheet was all way too much and I found upsetting and disturbing..

  35. CeliaMuenos says:

    How embarresssing for Olivia, a motivated, intelligent woman who craves control, to know that the epilogue shows her child’s tiny, pink brain slid into a petri dish by a hunched, bespectacled white guy in a lab coat, eating a BabyRuth and laughing with the balding, sour-smelling techy next to him that he hopes no one will notice the crumb of peanut he can’t seem to scoop out with his gloved finger.

    Oh and by the way, Pour Some Sugar on Me is playing in the background.

  36. Jay says:

    I only like the show when Olivia and Fitzpatrick are together. But she seems crazy lately… And the abortioñ just makes her seem more crazy. And every season she’s back with Fitz in the beginning, by mid season their fighting.

  37. Audra says:

    The series broke my heart. I have watched it through a lot of weird, unrealistic plot changes, thick and thin, but that episode was my last straw. Having had my own abortion, and it being the worst decision I’ve made in my life- the only decision I truly wish I could take back and be better educated on (prior to making it), tears flowed from my eyes during the scene. It was extremely unrealistic and the way they showed her on it was as if nothing was happening to her and it was as simple as getting your teeth cleaned. It is nothing of the sort. It is extremely painful. It is emotional. It is devastating and watching it brought back the worst memories I’ve tried to suppress for many years.

    I wish they wouldn’t have taken it there, pretending like it was simply the female character’s choice without consulting the male who impregnated her. The children are 50% hers/his and it bothers me that women’s rights are “more important” simply because we are the one carrying the child. Men’s rights in these situations are equally as important. Women have taken feminism way too far and it makes us look like we don’t care about men receiving equality. If the people who have never been in the situation to have abortions would just shut up and let the rest of us talk about our experiences, we might actually have some good information on the topic.

    Abortion is not able to be described simply as a right, or a wrong choice. It is a choice that will change your (father and mother & your families) lives forever. You will be reminded of it often, by media, billboards, and daily conversation. People will talk about it as if it is “no big deal.” They lump it into conversation about taxes, immigration, and gay marriage. But it is so much more than that. It is the decision to end a human life- a decision that can NEVER be unmade. It WILL change you- it may even haunt you. If anything, we need more education and pre-counsel from Planned Parenthood instead of their quick eagerness to perform the operation not being concerned with the patient’s future. Not hour-long television episodes bragging about how helpful and wonderful it is.