Though the premise of Jane the Virgin is that its titular character was accidentally artificially inseminated and decided to keep the baby, the show has, in just over two seasons, handled abortion exactly the way it should be handled: with facts and enough nuance to show that, like all health decisions, what’s right for one person might not be right for another.
Monday night’s episode was no exception. Though Jane decided not to have an abortion in Season 1, and is now raising her son Mateo, her mother Xiomara is a different woman. She’s already decided she doesn’t want to have a child with Jane’s father Rogelio, so, after discovering that she is pregnant with his arch nemesis Esteban’s spawn, Xo doesn’t suddenly change her stance on having a child. She wants to live a life she feels she missed out on by having Jane so young, and as she tells Rogelio, if she wasn’t going to have a baby with him, it’s not like she’s suddenly going to change her mind (even if it would mean the telenovela could have yet another plot twist).
That message was echoed by show creator Jennie Snyder Urman in an interview this week with IndieWire, who described Xo as “not tortured” about her decision. “I felt that was something important for the series, which has had some accidental pregnancies,” she said. “If Xo were to have that baby, to me, that would be a really strong message that I do not want to send, which is that a 40-something woman who has raised a child and doesn’t want a baby should have it anyway.”
So, Xo ends up getting one, which the show’s narrator describes as simply as “a medication abortion, which caused cramps”—cramps Xo at first explains away to her mother Alba as a stomach flu, before guilt-tripping herself into accidentally revealing the truth.
That doesn’t mean Xo’s decision is simple, at least familially. Alba is a staunch Catholic, and Xo fears her learning about the abortion and judging her. When Alba does find out, she freaks out for a bit (the two have sparred about this issue before), but calms down, and the women settle on a point in the middle. “I don’t agree with your decision, but it’s your decision,” she tells Xo. Now on to other things, like all the sex Jane is apparently going to have with Michael in next week’s episode, making her a married virgin no more.