Pro-life or Pro-choice?
The current presidential race in America has constantly harped on the issue. Needless to state that the debate is endless. Every religion or section of society has voiced the opinion on this issue. Irrespective of the current debacle, the decision around ‘abortion’ has become a centerpiece to grab voters. Moving away from the debate podium, the ruckus around abortion has made its way to the small screen.
TV shows are portraying different perspectives on the choice and circumstances involving abortion. Whether it is Olivia pope in Scandal or Cristina Yang in Grey’s Anatomy, Shonda Rhimes nails it every time. The bold decision of a woman to go pro-choice is a revelation for the audience still set in the old ways.
The latest show to join the league is Jennie Snyder Urman’s Jane The Virgin. The show received critical acclaim with its depiction of an accidental pregnancy. Jane’s circumstances surrounding artificial insemination and her decision to have the baby brought this hot topic to the fore. Hence, Jane The Virgin is no stranger to questions about pregnancy and abortions. The show stood firm on this in the second season’s finale, with a cliffhanger that had the viewers wanting for more.
A daring attempt that knocks on the door is Xiomara’s unwanted pregnancy. It comes as no surprise that Xiomara is vocal against having kids at this age. According to the creators, the thought is to represent different scenarios on abortion. Since the matriarch, Alba, Jane’s grandmother has been religious woman and a staunch believer in pro-life, the decision is especially difficult. Unlike Shonda Rhimes’ shows or even Marvel’s Jessica Jones, the abortion scene occurs off-screen.
The third season hit the nail with Xiomara revealing her pregnancy and the consequent abortion to her mother. At no point does she hesitate or question her own belief. The message is loud and clear, a woman’s decision to have a baby or not is her own business. It is crucial to understand her point, and respect what she chooses to do. Every woman feels different in her approach towards abortion, and the show seeks to strike a perfect balance. Strengthening the significance of pro-choice and a woman’s right to her body is the need of the hour.
The focal point of the season premiere is not on the abortion scene, instead, on the reactions she receives. Xiomara’s choice is her own, the expectation is for others to respect it and not hamper her with guilt.
The episode speaks out against pro-life in a subtle way that does not condescend those with a different point of view. The creators bring to life a realistic issue that rarely sees the light of the day. A woman who knows what she wants with her life, and sticks to her choice.
Jane The Virgin brings to the fore another emotional turmoil that a woman goes through in terms of abortion. While government policies make hollow promises to improve the state of affairs, the onus rests on shows like this to depict reality.