Unmentionables on Gilmore Girls


**This post contains spoilers for the most recent Gilmore Girls episode!**

I forgot Gilmore Girls was on and missed the first half of tonight's episode, so maybe this was covered then, rendering this whole post irrelevant, but...

Given that Lane is nothing but upset about this baby, given that Zack isn't keen on it either, given that both Lane and Zack are young and this pregnancy is unexpected and they're entirely unsure that they want to do this, and given that the entire Lane plot this episode consisted of her stressing and complaining about finding out that she's pregnant to a variety of young, socially-liberal comrades...

Why has noone even mentioned the possibility of an abortion? I'm not saying that an abortion is right for Lane, I'm not saying she should get one, but it's really odd that noone even brings the subject up. Again, I missed the first half, so maybe that's where Lane had an "Ohmygod I'm having a BAAAYBEEEE!!!" moment of joy and bliss, but the general tenor of what I saw from Lane was "I can't believe this fucking happened to me." And yet the attitude that she and everyone else takes is 1. well, I'll/you'll just have to endure. These things happen, and 2. you'll change your mind once the baby comes and you realize how awesome it is.

And yes, I know Lane has a strict Baptist upbringing (the flaunting of which has been the defining element of her character since the show started). And I also realize that Lane is pregnant in a life circumstance that is arguably slightly better than Lorelai's when she had Rory, and that it might be tricky to have an abortion discussion when so much of the show is built around the premise that Rory is smart and perfect and wonderful, yet was born under inauspicious circumstances.

Yet it's surprising to me that noone even brings up the possibility of an abortion. Star's Hollow has a liberal bent. Lane and her friends have a liberal bent. The whole show has a liberal bent. Rory used to have pro-choice posters on her wall at Yale, for Pete's sake. So why is abortion so taboo that noone dares speak the word?

Maybe (hopefully) they're saving an abortion discussion for a later episode. Perhaps this episode was meant to set up Lane's discomfort about the baby, with a future episode down the line handling the issue in full. Still, I would think it'd deserve at least a mention as a possibility. I don't necessarily think Lane should have an abortion (though I'd lean in that direction) but I think it would be unfortunate if the show just pretended the option didn't exist.

Postscript: Before anyone comments about it being a fictional melodrama, so why get into a snit about characters behaving out of character, I'd like to add that this ties into broader concerns about popular views on women's rights. This is a show that makes a hero of a single mom (and she's a single mom because of non-marital sex, rather than divorce). The show doesn't apologize for Lorelai, and in fact lauds her conventionally immoral behavior. Moreover, it's a smart show in which the women are fully-developed characters and the men are ornamentation (where most shows are the other way around). Gilmore Girls is arguably the most friendly environment on television for an abortion discussion, and yet it's not even mentioned in passing. I think it's unfortunate that abortion has become so stigmatized that it can't even be mentioned in a highly natural context on a very feminist TV show.

And again, all of this doesn't apply if they go ahead and have the abortion discussion next week, which they probably will. Still though! I am conditionally outraged!


I was thinking the same thing while i was watching it. especially when both lane and zach agreed on the face that, "the baby totally sucks!". although it could be that lane hasnt told an actual adult yet, mainly lorelai. i bet lorelai will bring it up and have the serious Dont-listen-to-anyone-else, just-follow-your-heart conversation with lane.

Of course they didn't talk about abortions. There was no room between Lorelai being 16 ("OMG I love everything my mom tells me to hate!") and Rory having text message sex with Logan.

Of course, having said that they might discuss abortion in a future episode, it's also quite possible that they'll get impatient like they did with Lane and Zack's marriage and just have her have the baby next week.

"Ohmygod I just got pregnant last week and now I'm having the baby and isn't this magical cue accoustic-guitar-and-'la-la-la' music!"

Can you come to Oakland, Calif. and talk to my husband about this!? He's a huge Gilmore Girls fan (and a pro-choice liberal) and won't admit that abortion should have at least been mentioned in passing when Lane found out she was pregnant. He thinks it's too heavy a topic to mention on such a light show even in passing. But c'mon--get real! I couldn't believe there wasn't even a reference to the possibility of abortion, like a simple, vague question from Rory along the lines of, "So, uh, Lane, are you gonna keep it?" (The implied alternative in that question could be interpreted as giving it up for adoption, for all of those paranoid, don't-dare-offend pro-life viewers perspective.) It really ticked me off and still does. So much so that I mentioned it to our friend the other day and then he and I debated it for a half hour. I told him that I'm sure other people noticed the mysterious absense of the A word, too, and am glad to have found your blog.


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This page contains a single entry by Zach published on October 11, 2006 12:14 AM.

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