The abortion revelation in “This is Us” raises far more questions than it answers

By Maria V. Gallagher, Legislative Director, Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation

Every pregnant woman deserves love and support, and should be made aware of the fact that there are people who are willing to journey with her at every stage of her pregnancy. Even if the father of her child is unwilling to step up and be the father he is supposed to be. Even if she feels abandoned by family and friends.

That is what makes a pivotal scene in this week’s episode of the NBC drama “This is Us” all the more painful.

In the clip, which you can view here (https://ew.com/tv/this-is-us-kate-reveals-abortion-clip), the character Kate, played by actress Chrissy Metz, reveals to her husband Toby, portrayed by actor Chris Sullivan, that she had an abortion when she was a teenager. Toby, who was not the father of the unborn child, displays difficulty understanding why she kept the abortion a secret from him for so long.

She states that she made the decision “alone” and that she has lived with it “alone.” So very ironic for a program entitled “This is Us.” As a viewer, my heart went out to her, knowing that she felt so isolated during her pregnancy. 

In revealing her abortion, Kate states that she was “nowhere near ready to be a Mom.” But what if she had been offered comprehensive support, the kind of assistance found by the thousands of pregnancy resource centers throughout the country? Would she have found the strength within her to parent her child?

She also states that she could “not be tied to the guy for the rest of my life.” What if she had received loving, compassionate support for a life-affirming alternative–adoption? Where might the child who lost his or her life to abortion be now, if, instead, that son or daughter had been placed for adoption?

Kate states that the abortion was the “toughest decision I ever made in my life, but I don’t regret it.” The script fails to flesh out why an abortion would be the toughest decision in a woman’s life. 

Could it be because it involves an abortionist taking the life of an innocent, unrepeatable child? Sadly, the humanity of the preborn is not mentioned in this discussion. There is no indication that Kate saw an ultrasound of her baby prior to the abortion. 

The drama also fails to recognize the number of women who do have abortions and who regret them. The painful, traumatic aspects of abortion go unexplored.

Still, her husband Toby asks a haunting question: “If it (the abortion and her previous relationship) was truly in the past, then why would it take you four years to tell me about it?”

Sadly, with abortion, past is often prologue. It is not a once-and-done decision, but one that has repercussions for a lifetime. With help and healing, women who have lost children to abortion can find new life. But, as so many women who have had abortions tell us, they wish for all the world that they had never suffered that trauma to begin with. 

Their stories need to be told, on television and elsewhere.