The CW’s musical comedy Crazy Ex-Girlfriend has always excelled at exploring topics through a humorous and laid-back feminist lens and Friday’s episode, which featured a character calmly carrying out an abortion, was no different.
Paula (Donna Lynne Champlin), best friend of Rebecca (Rachel Bloom), has decided that she wants to go to law school and become a lawyer. Soon after making the decision, she finds out that she’s pregnant. Already overwhelmed by her children and husband, Paula decides that law school is no longer realistic. Asked by her husband if she’s considered her options, she scoffs.
Scott: You, uh, sure you want another baby? There are options, you know. We just won’t mention it to Father Brah and he won’t tell God.
Paula: Scott, I am a married mother of two, okay? Those options are for teenagers the month after winter formal.
Scott: You know who I think you should talk to? Rebecca. She’s young. I bet she’s had tons of options.
Because Paula is married and because she has children, she’s determined that abortion is ruled out for her. But later, after filing a legal brief on Rebecca’s behalf, she realizes that, yes, she wants to become a lawyer more than she wants to have another baby.
The next time we see Paula, she’s lying in bed, looking resolved though a little tired. The procedure has already happened and she shows no signs of regret or shame, nor does her husband or children. In fact, when the pizza delivery man rings their doorbell, her typically lazy teenage son casually remarks, “Mom, I’ll get it since you just had an abortion.”
But when Rebecca arrives and asks Paula what’s been going on, she doesn’t mention the pregnancy or abortion. Instead, she brushes it off as nothing because—despite this being a procedure experienced by a huge percentage of women—she is either too caught up on the idea that married mothers don’t have abortions (they do!) or her role of playing second fiddle to Rebecca and her overwhelming problems.
Regardless of Paula’s reasoning, the CW aired a television episode that included a woman getting an abortion and not feeling guilty about her choice for the second time this fall. As threats on Roe v. Wade increase, so does the importance of normalized depictions of abortions and the women who get them.
In way less exciting news, it looks like Greg (Santino Fontana) is gone from Crazy Ex-Girlfriend for good.