Jane the Virgin Did the Damn Thing and Discussed Abortion

Jane the Virgin has quickly become one of the most beloved new shows on television in its first season, both for its deeply enjoyable telenovela narration style, and the way Gina Rodriguez's Jane contains multitudes. But on last night's episode, Jane the Virgin had a frank, very real, very emotional discussion about abortion, breaking more unspoken television boundaries than just being a show starring mostly Latinos, speaking Spanish and Spanglish.

The discussion happens after Jane gets news from her doctor that her sonogram shows there is an irregularity with the pregnancy. He says it might be nothing, or that it could be something, but the next step is the procedure where they remove amniotic fluids to test. However: the test has a one in three-hundred rate of causing miscarriages.

In the clip above, Jane, her mother Xo, and her abuela discuss what she might do if the test shows an abnormality. Xo asks, "Would you have an abortion if something was seriously wrong?" To which abeula responds "Xiomara!" with shock and mild horror. Xo responds, "What? That's part of the question at least, right?"


"Yeah, it is," responds Jane, in a thoughtful, concerned way that shows the real emotional turmoil many women face when considering abortion. "And no, no I wouldn't, not at this point." It's not sensational, it's not done in a way that is objectable by anyone who is not a maniac, but it is something that is on the table, and it is real.

This isn't the first time Jane the Virgin has discussed abortion, though. When Jane first got pregnant, she considered having an abortion at first, but chose not to. And her very religious abuelita confesses that when Xo was first pregnant with Jane as a young teenager with no prospects and an absentee partner, abuela told her to have an abortion. This new clip is just another example of the way the show portrays women—generations of us!—in a complex light, and its willingness to engage with abortion is part of that. Keep it on our screens forever, CW.

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I would love it if one of these shows actually showed someone choosing to have the abortion. That would be something.