The Hollywood take on constitutional rights usually begins not with the words "We the people," but with "If it feels good, do it." Its centralized location is the dropping zipper. In the vast majority of occasions that Hollywood's dramatists take up the celebrated right to "choose" abortion, the air is thick with propaganda.
Abortion has never been a major topic on the small screen, but when it does bubble up to the surface, the libertine left's urge to sermonize is as hard to resist as the urges that caused the unwanted pregnancies in the first place. The 1989 TV movie "Roe v. Wade" celebrated the lawyers and plaintiffs who wanted abortion to have the same moral weight as an appendectomy. Hollywood never bothered with a bio-pic on Norma McCorvey, the "Jane Roe" of the case, who later confessed her sins and converted to Catholicism. Why ruin a good plot with the historical truth?
In 1991, the TV movie "Absolute Strangers" starred Henry Winkler as a humble accountant whose pregnant wife was in a coma. The poor bloke just wanted an abortion to improve his wife's chance of survival -- that is, until two radical pro-lifers, the appalling "absolute strangers" of the title, tried to interfere and save the unborn child. In 1996, HBO rounded up stars for "If These Walls Could Talk," which painted a horrific portrait of Demi Moore as a straying 1950s widow who dies of a botched abortion, and Cher as a heroic abortion "provider" shot to death by an ignorant "anti-abortion" assassin.
So when the WB drama "Everwood" took up an abortion storyline for this year's May sweeps and TV critics hailed its balanced portrayal, it would seem like a refreshing change. Sorry, I'm not buying. Is it really necessary to win ratings points with plots that dangle on an unborn child's demise?
As with the much more routine promotion of homosexuality, parents often end up tiptoeing through the TV listings trying to avoid subject matter with themes too mature for pre-teens. How is it that Hollywood and most TV critics, who share the cultural worldview of Tinseltown, cannot understand this?
"Everwood" follows WB's family hit "Seventh Heaven." It features Treat Williams as a big-city doctor, Andrew Brown, who moved his family to a small Colorado town after his wife died, and focuses a lot on the children's struggles, so it's clearly pitched at young audiences.