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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Sexual Ethics and Politics » Canadian TV with abortion plotline show postponed in U.S.

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Author Topic: Canadian TV with abortion plotline show postponed in U.S.
Dzuunmod
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Warning: if you're a Degrassi: The Next Generation fan, and you live in the United States, this post may be a spoiler.

So, a Canadian cultural institution has gotten relatively popular in the U.S., it seems. And this television series, about a multi-cultural group of young teens growing up in Toronto has a plotline that involves a student in grade 9 or 10 who gets an abortion. And she doesn't regret it.

And this is rare on U.S. television. Most of the time, if you think about it, characters on U.S. television are either talked out of their abortions, or ultimately end up regretting 'em. But not our Manny!

More on the overall topic here from the New York Times.

Kind of upsetting.

Anyone out there familiar with the show? Anyone have any thoughts on this?

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"Like a bat out of hell, time has come for you!"
-Ballad of a Comeback Kid, The New Pornographers


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froggy_dear
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I'm not familiar with the show, but I read the articles you linked. I'm always upset by the "if we don't talk about something that makes us uncomfortable then it must not exist" attitude. Especially when they talked about not using the word "abortion" in The OC. It smacks of not being able to call Lucille Ball pregnant.

I know that I'm more liberal than most people in the American veiwing public, and certainly more so than most in the network TV business, but I can't help but feel cheated. There's a line between honest depictions (like Degrassi seems to be attempting) and biased depictions where women are taught to feel bad about their right to choose. They're made aware that it's their choice, yes, but also that it is somehow not the right answer to choose to have an abortion.

Real life isn't shown on TV. I don't know if it ever was. But TV has a huge sway on society, even if we don't always notice it.

(Here I'd go into another rant about the lack of blue collar depictions on network TV, but this isn't the place. )

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I see you shiver with antici......pation


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Milke
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Wasn't there an abortion story with, umm, one of the twins about fifteen years ago? I think the other twin was very pro-life, but ultimately decided to support her sister. Spike, who'd gotten pregnant and kept her baby in a previous season, was in favour of her right to choose too.

If I recall right, some of the two-part episode just wasn't shown in the US, though it still airs on Canadian reruns. There's something to be said for delaying the episode in order to consider how to proceed, rather than just outright not showing it.

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Milke, with an L, Mrs BD to you, RATS, TMNTP, MF, CWCD, WAOTA

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Heather
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I'm a little sleep-deprived.

But I have to say, that seriously sucks eggs, especially when it's clear a balanced view is not being presented.

Slightly OT: in the rescource section of the book, I was going to include a small list of films and television shows which are both teen-friendly, excellent and really realistic. I'm a film junkie, so I can do decently there, but I'm not so down with the TV stuff. i was going to include the Degrassi's in the list (as well as Gilmore Girls -- which I've been watching on DVD and think is an amazing show -- Buffy, and a few others, but if y'all want to toss shows you dig my way, I'd be grateful. It's okay if they aren't US-based.


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JamsessionVT
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I'm very familiar with Degrassi...and I'm a bit surprised, but also a bit not. (Wow, talk about bad sentence structure )

I read the few posts on the matter, and I'm thinking to myself while reading "What point are the producers of Degrassi trying to make here?" And I think it might be this...

I would agree that many people who said that most girls, teenage or not, who have an abortion feel guilty or regret it. But the whole point of Degrassi is to delve deeper into issues teens face on a regular basis (i.e, for those of you who don't watch the show, these have all been parts of the show at one point or another: love, crushes, sexual ID/orientation, abusive relationships, drugs, ecstasy, alchohal, racial/gender/religious descrimination, pregnancy, divorce, and a ton of others...) and it seems abortion is now part of that list.

Until I see the episode, I cannot really comment on it very well (in my opinion anyway). But I feel that the emotions that come with abortion can vary quite a bit. I actually went to my mom to ask her about what she thought of this, since she likes Degrassi too, and thinks it has good morals and lessons, and she told me an interesting story about a friend of her's when they were in college:

It goes somethin' like this: The friend was goofing around with her boyfriend, ended up having sexual intercourse, got pregnant, and didn't find out until it was too late to get emergency contraception, so her only options were to have the baby and keep it, give it up for adoption, or abortion. Well, since the friend wasn't married, didn't have a reliable enough job to support herself and the baby, didn't own a house yet, and was still in college, she didn't want a child. She chose abortion, and, according to my mom, didn't have a second thought about it.

So, I guess my point is abortion isn't a one sided issue like I used to think it was. Maybe the producers of Degrassi are trying to show people that many different things come with getting an abortion, as do feelings, and Manny didn't regret it. That doesn't mean she didn't feel bad about it, (since it would seem kinda wierd not too, don't you think?) but she did not regret the decision she made...

Thats my opinion in a nutshell. Well, not really a nutshell. Maybe like a large walnut...


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Dzuunmod
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quote:
Originally posted by Milke:
Wasn't there an abortion story with, umm, one of the twins about fifteen years ago? I think the other twin was very pro-life, but ultimately decided to support her sister. Spike, who'd gotten pregnant and kept her baby in a previous season, was in favour of her right to choose too.

If I recall right, some of the two-part episode just wasn't shown in the US, though it still airs on Canadian reruns. There's something to be said for delaying the episode in order to consider how to proceed, rather than just outright not showing it.


This is correct. I think it was in the CBC article that I linked to - it was mentioned that when that plotline on the old <i>Degrassi</i> came up, the episodes weren't shown on either PBS or - get this - the BBC! I expect better from the Beeb, for some reason.

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"Like a bat out of hell, time has come for you!"
-Ballad of a Comeback Kid, The New Pornographers


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Heather
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MANY women do not regret their abortions.

On a personal note, I know I never thought twice about mine once I had it, either. It was one of the best choices I ever made.

There's a few good webpages with LOADS of first-person abortion stories. This is a nice one for younger women, and really gives a good idea of the range of feelings and experiences: http://www.fwhc.org/stories/story8.htm


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