How TV shows deal with abortion: A timeline
It’s been 40 years since Bea Arthur’s outspoken liberal Maude Findlay was the first television character to have an abortion in a 1972 episode of Maude, but televising the divisive issue still courts controversy. On Sunday night’s episode of Girls, Jemima Kirke’s free-spirited global nomad made an abortion appointment, but conflicted feelings kept her from showing up for it. Indeed, while the hot-button issue surfaces frequently on TV these days, says Mary Elizabeth Williams at Salon, characters rarely go through with abortions.
"Four decades after Roe v. Wade, are we ever going to able to talk about abortion on television and have more to say than, ‘Maude had one?’”
Here, a history of how TV series have dealt with the issue, from Maude to Girls