I have a guilty pleasure; I really enjoy ABC’s Private Practice. Twice I have come close to boycotting Private Practice when the issue of abortion came up. The first time abortion was addressed, two of the female doctors confessed their history with abortions and spouted off pro-choice view points. The third doctor, Naomi, told her story of refusing to even learn the procedure during medical school. She explained that as a fertility specialist, and someone who believes that Life begins at conception, she would not allow abortions to ever be practiced in her clinic. She chose Life.
This week, I came close to walking away again. The same doctor with the pro-Life stance was faced with every parent’s worst nightmare. Her 15-year-old daughter announced that she was pregnant. Much to my horror, Naomi abandoned her values and forced her daughter to have an abortion. Her daughter, while on the table preparing for the termination, could not go through with it. When she told her mother she refused to abort her baby, a distressed Naomi dragged her into a delivery room and forced her to watch a screaming mother in labor. All the while, Naomi was telling her daughter that a baby would ruin her life and to “look at it!” hoping that viewing the pain of birth would scare her daughter into having the abortion. When the baby came out, the scared, pregnant teen looked at the newborn baby and the elated, albeit exhausted, new mother, and declared, “Yeah, but look at that.” She chose Life.
I know this is just a television show. Naomi is not a real doctor and her daughter isn’t pregnant. But, this show is entertainment that millions of people tune in to watch every week. This show is a part of the Hollywood machine. Twice, the pro-life message has prevailed. Private Practice is by no means a culturally conservative show, but when faced with the question of Life, IT CHOOSES LIFE!
Private Practice is not alone in portraying a pro-life message. In July 2009, Brent Bozell wrote a column for Townhall.com, MTV Acts Responsibly?, about the MTV series 16 and Pregnant. This series followed the tumultuous lives of several pregnant teens and in every story, the pregnant teen chose life. Bozell was particularly impressed with the story of “Catelynn and Tyler.” This couple made the wise and difficult choice to give their baby up for adoption. I had never seen 16 and Pregnant, so I went online and watched the episode of Catelynn and Tyler’s story. I was incredibly moved and impressed with the maturity of the two teens and the fact that MTV was not glamorizing teen pregnancy at all. Shockingly, MTV chose Life.
Popular television shows like Private Practice, Glee, and 16 and Pregnant, along with movies like Juno, Bella, and Knocked-Up have portrayed messages of Life. Since when does the ultra-liberal Hollywood media-machine portray traditional conservative values? It seems that maybe these liberal outlets intrinsically understand when Life begins and they are not-so-subtly finding ways to spread the message. Maybe they just recognize that the majority of American people hold conservative values and that viewership would suffer if they promoted something as controversial as abortion. Either way, they are choosing to depict Life. These portrayals of conservative values are few and far between in popular culture, but when they do pop up they are not insignificant, and I believe they do make an impact.
What do you think?