Prime-time abortion and the need for a Pro-Life presence

By Megan McCrum

The other day NRL News Today editor Dave Andrusko wrote about the recent portrayal of a character’s abortion on the prime-time television show, Grey’s Anatomy. The New York Magazine revealed that Shonda Rhimes, the show’s creator and showrunner, is also on the board of Planned Parenthood, Los Angeles.

New York asked Rhimes if she saw her representation of abortion in television as advocacy. Rhimes answered that she doesn’t have an agenda and that she is trying to “do what’s right for the characters” and “portray all different sides.”

Yet as National Review Online’s Kathryn Lopez highlighted, it is clear that Rhimes’ belief in abortion clearly informs her depiction of it on prime-time television. A dramatic example is found in another Rhimes’ show, Private Practice, where the “pro-life” character ultimately concedes to the abortionist that by performing a partial-birth abortion, “you helped that woman.”

Kathryn Lopez encouraged readers that this particular example of pro-abortion influence in the media should serve as a reminder that,

… people who aren’t on the board of Planned Parenthood, as Rhimes is, ought to be sure they are part of the creative mix on television shows and throughout Hollywood. Someone on the board of the National Right to Life Committee …(or name your favorite pro-life group) ought to be writing story lines. Not a plant, just people who, with their success, have naturally sought to help out causes close to their hearts. We want them there, in the writing shops of ABC shows or wherever the viewers will be, not so much to explicitly advance an agenda, but to naturally infuse their values as they are creating good stories.

This appeal for pro-lifers to be present in and to help shape the entertainment industry applies broadly to all professional fields. Medicine, journalism, business, education — each field needs pro-lifers to bring to the table their worldview that values the dignity of mothers as well as their unborn children, the elderly, and those with disabilities. 

The generation currently entering the professional world is more pro-life than ever before. Youth who grew up coming to the March for Life in busloads year after year, participating in educational programs like pro-life camps and the National Right to Life Academy, and leading college pro-life groups, are now bringing their pro-life perspective into their workplaces.

As one graduate of the National Right to Life Academy put it, pro-lifers are vessels of truth, and so they must, by definition, carry the pro-life message with them wherever they go, whether the ABC writing shop, the lab, or the boardroom. 

For more information about the National Right to Life Academy, our summer educational course for pro-life college students, please visit us at or email