Follow TV Tropes


Good Girls Avoid Abortion

Go To

"Abortion exists only as a faux option — something to choose against."

When a female character has an unexpected and/or unwanted pregnancy, someone may allude to the possibility of abortion (usually without saying the 'A' word). However, she will most likely not have an abortion for one of three reasons:

  1. She dismisses it immediately because of her religious/spiritual/moral beliefs or upbringing, or because she distrusts the procedure (especially if it would involve a Back-Alley Doctor).
  2. She thinks it over for a while, then decides to keep the baby. Sometimes the plot will twist the knife by having her pregnancy end in a miscarriage just when she's decided to carry to term.
  3. She actually decides to have it done, but somehow things don't turn out as she expects, and her attempted abortion is aborted.

If she actually goes through with the abortion, and doesn't suffer gruesome complications from the procedure or a certain amount of moral guilt and uncertainty afterwards, it's usually to show that she's a deeply damaged, screwed-up individual. If this happens, but it is played for laughs, it's a Black Comedy. If the male character who got her pregnant voices support for the abortion option, it's played as a Kick the Dog moment to show what a jerkass the guy is.

Part of the reason for this is to both avoid the wrath of the Moral Guardians, and as well as avoid polarizing/alienating a big chunk of the audience (though this can happen anyway if her decision not to abort is made in a hamfisted manner)note , but it's mostly because if the character had an abortion and everyone went home happy, it would make for an uninteresting and/or short story, or worse, imply that abortion is nothing special. Writing a character who has an abortion and feels ambivalent or uneasy about her choice is generally verboten. However, if the character decides to keep the child, a large avenue of potential plot lines opens up for the writer to exploit. For example, new Characters, all manner of Character Development and Wedding and Engagement Tropes, etc.


The other 'a' word (adoption) hardly ever enters into consideration even if abortion itself is ruled out. There are several reasons for this. In serial media such as television and comic books, a baby given up for adoption can be seen as a dangling plot thread that the audience will expect to be picked up some day. Also, adoption requires carrying the baby to term. If the woman merely needs to figure out what to do with the baby, this is irrelevant, but if she wants to conceal the fact that she was ever pregnant to begin with, it may not suffice. And abortion can be counted on to get a stronger reaction from the audience than adoption. Similar story logic applies to why we rarely see women taking advantage of the safe-haven laws that exist in all 50 states and simply allow them to "surrender" a child to the state without even contacting an adoption agency.


This trope's usage can be executed poorly by writers suffering of Critical Research Failure, mostly in the field of medicine, where they would show archaic methods used by a Back-Alley Doctor (mostly the use of a hook-like object) as being the norm of respectable clinics, as well as showing a fully formed fetus (8 months old or so) instead of a tiny mostly amorphous embryo when it comes to what resides inside the pregnant woman's womb early-on, when nearly all abortions take place.

The Trope can often contrast with Deliver Us from Evil, which shows that a bad girl would likely feel the same way.

Most importantly, however, is that this trope turns upon the false Begging the Question choice between responsibility and personal freedom. From a narrative standpoint, adoption is a kind of a cheat since it allows the woman to have both, thus allowing the author to resolve the conflict without answering the underlying question. If adoption is mentioned, it will usually be ruled out with some justification or other.

No Real Life Examples, Please! This is a very sensitive topic, and the term "good" as applied to a living person is very subjective.


    open/close all folders 

    Anime and Manga 
In general, anime & manga will play with this trope a lot more than Western media will. In Japanese culture, abortion is neither as culturally polarizing a topic (most Japanese accept it, and it is not taboo in either Buddhism nor Shinto, the dominant religions) nor as strictly legally restricted, and has been effectively available when required for centuries. Ironically, birth control is far more polarizing and legally restricted in Japan, which leads to the Japanese typically aborting unwanted pregnancies instead of using contraceptives to manage family sizes.
  • A fourth reason was used to justify Hinako giving birth to her second pregnancy in Bitter Virgin (her first was miscarried before she even realized she was pregnant)- the doctor told her that if Hinako went through with an abortion, her body wouldn't be able to take it and she might never be able to bear children again in the future. As a result she was made to carry the baby to term and gave it up for adoption.
  • In Ceres, Celestial Legend, Aya eventually learns that she's pregnant. Nothing is discussed for some time because the deaths of Chidori and Touya, who is the father of Aya's child, is in the foreground, until Aya returns to her home. She's still processing the news herself until her doctor friend asks her what she's thinking of doing. Aya quickly decides that she wants to have the baby, despite the circumstances being very difficult, and since the baby is 'part Touya', she doesn't want to get rid of it.
  • Karin:
    • Fumio went with reason 2, and carried the baby (Kenta) to term against her family's wishes.
    • Later we see Kenta's father with another woman, who is pregnant and demands him to pay for an abortion. He gets a little pissed off by that.
  • In Nana Nana K becomes pregnant with Takumi's child and thinks about getting an abortion because she and her boyfriend Nobu aren't able to support a child. However she decided against it when Takumi offers to marry her and help raise the child if she goes through with the pregnancy. Though Nana K admits that if her current boyfriend Nobu had asked her to get an abortion she would have gone through with it.
  • Kodomo no Kodomo:
    • Averted by Tomoko. When she realized that she was pregnant, other options are never discussed and abortion is what she plans on doing, and eventually does a few chapters later.
    • Abortion is discussed in Haruna's case. When Mika finds out, she researches things and tells Haruna that an abortion can only be done up to the 23rd week and that she should abort. But Haruna eventually realizes that the baby needs her, so she doesn't.
  • Played straight in Now and Then, Here and There. Sara becomes pregnant as a result of a rape and tries to induce an abortion, but Sis convinces her to not take out her hatred of the man who hurt her on the baby. This one's a particularly egregious case of this trope considering that Sara is a psychologically traumatized young girl living in a war-torn dystopian hellhole who has limited access to health care and has no family or parents to help her raise the child or support her financially. Her only parental figure is Sis, who dies shortly after talking Sara out of the abortion. In addition, the doctor who gave the option of abortion, and the only real doctor we actually see in the series, was shot dead a few episodes ago, so it may actually be a non-option without putting Sara's life at risk as well.
  • Averted in Wild Adapter. Pregnant teenager Saori runs away from home and befriends series leads Kubota and Tokitoh. They're investigating the mysterious drug W•A; she's looking for her missing boyfriend. Turns out W•A killed him. In love with her boyfriend but ambivalent about her pregnancy, Saori is strongly implied to have had an abortion by the end of the story. Kubota offers sympathetic acknowledgment: "women are strong, aren't they? Look at us men, we're hopeless."
  • Late in the School Days anime, Makoto gets Sekai pregnant, and alternates between claiming the baby can't possibly be his and pressuring her to get an abortion. This is used to drive home that Makoto's a Jerkass, as his main concern is that nobody else is willing to sleep with him after how he publicly rejected Sekai. However, it's also left up in the air whether Sekai was actually pregnant or not. Being School Days, it didn't end well.
  • Averted in Eternal Sabbath — when Yuri's mother finds out she's pregnant just as she's starting to rebuild her relationship with her daughter, she opts to abort, out of equal parts a desire to concentrate on Yuri and out of fear she'll love the new child to the point where she'll be unable to accept the one she has. The story is entirely on her side. When Isaac kills her — abortion is his Berserk Button for very valid reasons: it's not presented as karma, but as a tragedy, and is the crucial mistake that seals his fate.
  • This seems to be Madam Red's opinion in Black Butler. She actually kills and mutilates prostitutes who had an abortion and doesn't feel remotely bad about it. This is explained by the fact she can no longer have children.
  • In Akkan Baby, just about everybody suggests that Shigeru and Yuki may want to give up their child (as in, for adoption). "I don't want to kill the baby!" are practically Arc Words. However, this is played with a side character, Mika, as she initially intended to get an abortion after Shigeo, Puni's father, left, but she was too far along.
  • In Fruits Basket, this is used to show the differences in morality between Kyoko and Ren, though neither woman gets an abortion and they're portrayed in different lights because of their reasons for considering them. Ren threatens to get one to emotionally manipulate her husband into raising their future child as a boy, regardless of the baby's actual gender, because she's such a Yandere that she hates the idea of any woman, even a daughter, taking Akira's attention away from her. Kyoko, meanwhile, considers an abortion because she thinks it's better to not have a baby at all than to have one and possibly condemn it to a childhood as abusive and neglectful as her own was. She decides against it when her husband convinces her that she'll be a much better parent than her own were, and that he'll be there to help her. (He dies while Tohru's still little, but Kyoko is a good mother.)
  • Skip Beat! discussed this in the case of Saena Mogami, Kyoko's mother. She didn't realize she was pregnant for some time and thought of getting an abortion, but most doctors refused to do it because she was already in a weakened condition because of her strenuous job and malnutrition. While she was looking for a doctor who would go through with the abortion, the legal time-limit passed and she had no other choice but to give birth.
  • Double subverted and discussed in The Legend of Mother Sarah. The story's setting being a dystopian, After the End-like future where Earth is nothing a but a barren wasteland of warfare and power struggles, getting pregnant is inherently dangerous for a woman since you must be able to run away from bombings and gunfights anytime as these can happen anywhere, anytime. Double points when being a woman doesn't grant you any special immunity. The title character evokes the issue with the Mother Superior of the small religious community her daughter chose to join, saying that abortion and even child-killing aren't always avoidable in such a setting. However, it doesn't stop Satoko from carrying her own unplanned pregnancy to completion, as her newborn will also be a memento from her dead lover.
  • The Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service takes hard questions to the next level as usual with the question: do good girls avoid infanticide? A recurring character introduced late in the series faces this dilemma when her grandmother, a midwife who performed infanticide services for unwilling mothers, passes away. She is left with the question of whether to take over her grandmother's work in order to help the women who need it, even though she really doesn't want to. A vision from her dead grandmother tells her she should not dedicate her life to a course she doesn't believe in, and she goes on with her career as a nurse at the children's hospital instead.

    Comic Books 
  • Snow White in Fables dismisses abortion as a response to a magical (possibly dangerous) pregnancy via Rape by Proxy without even considering it. She's very old-fashioned, and it's implied that, as a whole, Fables refuse to even countenance abortion. Snow White offendedly asks if Dr. Swineheart is suggesting she's "gone native", adding that "some" (clearly meaning Fables vs humans) are still governed by duty and responsibility over their own happiness. She then threats to expel the doctor from Fabletown if he ever mentions the possibility again.
    • In one issue it's implied that Frau Totenkinder ('Mrs Dead Children'), who used to get her magical powers from sacrificing a newborn baby annually, instead does some kind of work related to abortion in the Mundy community for the same effect. It's mentioned that the entire Fable community might turn against her if they found out, despite there being several retired mass-murderers among them and many characters who are still perfectly willing to kill in cold blood.
      • When Lauren Beukes wrote a Rapunzel-centric arc in the "side stories about female characters" Spin-Off Fairest, it was revealed that Rapunzel helped Frau T make abortifacient herbal potions for village girls "in trouble", and had no problem with it. The bit in question was so irrelevant to what was going on in the story at that point that it came across as an Armed with Canon attack on the opinions expressed in the main series.
    • It later gets revealed that a particularly vicious move by Max Piper rendered Fables virtually sterile, meaning that pregnancies are extremely rare. Some fans consider this a Retcon possibly done to soften the Unfortunate Implications of such a harshly condemnatory attitude.
  • The Sandman averts the trope in one conversation, where a woman mentions having had an abortion in a way that makes it clear it didn't mess her up (though it's not a casual reference either). The pregnant woman she's speaking to eventually decides to have the baby, and is later seen wearing a button proclaiming "I chose to have a baby but I'm glad I had a choice."
    • In "The Wake" Lyta Hall advises Rose Walker to abort her baby before it can break her heart. Rose is rather understandably disturbed.
  • One of the first storylines in Milestone Comics' Icon had the teenage sidekick, Rocket, discovering that she was pregnant. Everyone she asks for advice — including the socially conservative Icon himself — is sympathetic to her situation, and offer no objection to the possibility of her aborting. Rocket eventually decides that she was really fishing for a trusted authority figure to tell her to do what she wanted to do anyway — carry the baby to term.
  • Averted in Exiles: Nocturne and Thunderbird begin a relationship while dimension-hopping and Nocturne gets pregnant, but Thunderbird is effectively rendered brain dead by a Heroic Sacrifice and is unable to jump with the rest of the team. Nocturne tells the team that she had a miscarriage at some point in their travails, but a later issue showing her reflecting on her relationship with Thunderbird implies she had an abortion (or used her powers to induce it herself) because she couldn't handle raising the baby alone.
  • Runaways takes this one step further by implying that even evil girls avoid abortion, as well as Hypocritical Humor since both are about to take part in a ritual that involves killing an innocent youth. It is part of a super villain plot to wipe out all of humanity in exchange for twenty years of unlimited wealth and power and a fifty-fifty shot at immortality.
    Leslie Dean: You're not going to keep it, are you?
    Janet Stein: Of course I am. What do you take me for, some kind of monster?
  • Chick Tracts:
    • In "Baby Talk", a man who dumped his girlfriend after he got her pregnant is convinced by his uncle and a doctor that abortion is murder. The guy finally repents to God and reunites with his ex just before she goes to the clinic.
    • In "Who Murdered Clarice?", God sentences a doctor who performed an abortion to hell along with his "accomplices".
  • Stephanie Brown (The Spoiler) is against abortion from the very beginning (the arc was written by conservative Chuck Dixon). At first it looks like it's also going to be Good Girls Avoid Adoption, but she changes her mind after realizing her life is not a suitable place for a child.
  • Cindy of Barbara Slate's Angel Love comic book series decides to get an abortion when she gets pregnant from a night with her boyfriend, and although her friend Angel is opposed to the idea, she nonetheless accompanies Cindy to the abortion clinic where she ends up having a change of heart and mind and decides not to go through with it, but instead will marry her boyfriend so that her child will not be without a father.
  • The graphic novel Aya by Margeurite Abouet is a subversion. One of Aya's best friends, Adjoua, contemplates getting an abortion after she becomes pregnant. Aya manages to talk her out of it solely because the woman who would be performing the abortion, one of the local medicine women in Yopougon, is said to do so with a knitting needle. Aya's sole concern was for Adjoua's welfare and not the baby's. As a further subversion, Adjoua's not much of a good girl since she tells the local rich kid that he's the father of her baby in order to marry him. When the baby is born, the guy's parents are immediately convinced their son's not the father because he looks absolutely nothing like him. And his mother actually met the guy who is the father. He looks just like his son.
  • Initially and pointedly averted, in the Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 9 comics. Buffy gets pregnant, and, knowing that the child would be a target for all of her enemies, would never have a chance to have a normal childhood, might prove a severe distraction to her ongoing world-saving efforts, and, in any case, is seriously not ready to have a kid, apparently decides that terminating the pregnancy is the best option. The revelation in later issues that Buffy had had her mind implanted in a robot body and, in fact, was not pregnant at all, struck many as a Writer Cop Out.
  • After Kathy in Shade, the Changing Man reveals her pregnancy with Shade's child, she and Lenny immediately begin discussing abortion, and Shade surprises them by turning out to be pro-life:
    Shade: But're a good person!
    • Shade suggests many Applied Phlebotinum alternatives that would've turned this into a Space Whale Aesop had they been accepted. After several issues of Kathy and Lenny arguing on the principle of their right to choose (with Shade outnumbered and sulking,) Kathy ultimately chooses to keep the child.
  • The Goon shows Goon's Aunt Kizzie being pressured into getting an abortion by her lover after she became pregnant. Here it's not the abortion that's the problem but the fact that she clearly wanted the child but he didn't, so she did it to hold on to him and it becomes a moot point when he's killed shortly thereafter in an accident while performing. As a result of this when baby Goon is dumped on her by her brother she decides to raise him in the place of the child she wanted to keep.
  • Averted in Invincible. During the course of their relationship, Atom Eve becomes pregnant with Invincible's child. Shortly thereafter, Invincible leaves Earth to take part in a cosmic war and is gone for months, with Eve never telling him she's with child. When he returns, Eve tearfully tells him that she had an abortion, feeling that she wasn't ready to have a child by herself since there was a very real possibility that Invincible wouldn't come back. Invincible doesn't criticize her for having the abortion, instead lamenting that he wasn't there for her during her time of need.

  • The Pokémon Black and White fanfic Darkest Night involves Hilda getting pregnant after being raped by Grimsley. She decides not to get an abortion, for reasons that are discussed but not fully explained.
  • There are hundreds of fics written in the iCarly community, with a Fandom-Specific Plot being Sam(antha) becoming pregnant from Freddie unplanned, and usually as a result of a drunken one-night stand that isn't part of an ongoing relationship. There's probably a bare handful that even discuss abortion, let alone actually have Sam do it.
  • Abortion is referenced vaguely in this Avatar: The Last Airbender fic, in which Mai becomes unexpectedly pregnant. Mai's mother suggests that she get an abortion since at this point she and Zuko aren't married yet, making Mai's position in the royal court somewhat uncertain. Mai firmly asserts that she considered the option, but is going to keep the baby. A Justified Trope in this case, as the main plot—a conspiracy to usurp the throne—revolves around the baby's (eventually legitimate) birth.
  • Averted in this Dragon Ball Z fanfic, which Topless Robot found so disturbing that they refused to provide running commentary on it. Videl gets an abortion because she heard it would sexually arouse her, and it's possible that she had sex to get pregnant for this reason.
  • Harry Potter fanfic "A Different Dursley Family" briefly mentioned abortion. In that fic, Vernon Dursley was expelled from Smeltings and cut from his father's will, which resulted in Vernon getting a job as a mechanic for a living. Despite this, he and Petunia still fell in love and had a son (who was named Ryan because this Vernon feared the child would be mocked if named Dudley). Because Vernon and Petunia still weren't married by the time she became pregnant, abortion was briefly mentioned but they decided to keep their son.
  • Lost Innocence plays with this somewhat, as Ranma, having been drugged by Shampoo and shortly after, raped by Kunou falls into category 2, including the Convenient Miscarriage triggered by the mother showing off a special attack to confirm her story. The playing comes in, not because of the goodness of the mother, but rather that she did not want to bear the child of her assailant, but had to give birth to stop the Mode Lock.
  • Very much subverted in the Axis Powers Hetalia fic, Pickles and Peanut Butter. Through some unexplained phenomenon, the nations randomly become pregnant (sex not required) with the nation dying and the baby replacing them. Because it's considered to be too risky to leave any country under the protection of a child for any length of time, the nations all abort with some more affected than others. America, taken by surprise when it happens to him, as no one explained it, tries to keep his. The other nations first try to hold an "intervention", then resort to ordering an abortion when he passes out.
  • The Superjail! fanfic An Unexpected Child deals with the Mistress of Ultraprison becoming pregnant with the Warden's child after her debut episode "Ladies' Night" where she and her male counterpart did the nasty. She does consider abortion at first, but eventually decides to keep it.
  • In Christian Grey Vs Pepper Potts, while an actual abortion isn't discussed, when Black Widow ends up unexpectedly pregnant via birth control failure, she has to decide whether to have Bruce Banner halt her Widow enhancements or not (not doing so would have her body automatically have her miscarry early in the pregnancy). She's initially uncertain as she's haunted by memories of the first baby she had (stillborn), but decides to go through with it after coming to terms with it and realizing how much of a medical miracle it was that she and Hawkeye (who had a very low sperm count) could conceive any child at all.
  • A Law & Order: UK fanfic titled "Choices" features Alesha realizing that she's pregnant as the result of her rape. Despite not wanting to have a child conceived as a result of rape, she can't bring herself to abort it either and drags her feet on making a decision until it's too late for one. She ends up having a Convenient Miscarriage.
  • In Kiryuuin Chronicles, the issue isn't brought up but it does seem to be implied, considering Ragyou didn't see any other way out of marrying her abusive husband while pregnant with Satsuki besides being disowned, then again, the possibility that, if she didn't marry her abusive husband, her family might have disowned her anyway (whether she terminated the pregnancy or not) cannot be ruled out either. Either way, she elects to keep her pregnancy.
  • In the fourth of the Gensokyo 20XX series, this is played with and implied with subtly, as Yuuka notes that she is glad that society has collapsed because to think of what sort of advice a person could give to an emotionally fragile Ran would be horrid. Made a tad more explicit, all the while still being implied, later on, when Sakuya suggests she drink some herbal tea, to which she responds rather horrified, implying she knew what Sakuya could be talking about (we don't know if that was what a kid Sakuya really meant).
  • Pokémon Reset Bloodlines averts this in the Wicke & Nephew oneshot. Wicke is specifically noted to be a carrier of a Genetic Disorder, and due to the politics of her nation screening for a male embryo possibly affected is illegal. Because she doesn't want to gamble with a potential child's life, she sees the trope more as 'Good Girls Have Abortion' in her case, accepting that she'd only have kids by adoption or stepchildren.
    • Played with in the Misty Gaiden. The only reason Misty's parents didn't abort her was because of the bad press it would bring them.
    • Eventually we discover the trope was put in place to some extent in the verse, not by the author, but by the father of Ash Ketchum and his many half siblings using his abilities to make it so the mothers would not have abortions, with it being noted that a number of them would have done so without this in play.
  • In thisThe Hobbit fanfic, a woman decides to have an abortion because her lover implied that he won't marry her and she knows she couldn't provide for a child on her own. Just before she takes the herbs, her lover turns up and reveals that it was a misunderstanding - in his culture, women propose, and it is considered rude for men to do so. Then her mother enters the room, sees the (poisonous) herbs, scolds her for doing something so dangerous and states that she is fully willing to invoke a Shotgun Wedding as alternative.
  • In the Kim Possible fanfic A Small Possibility, Drakken devises a way to get Kim pregnant with Shego's child. Neither Shego nor Kim want an abortion despite hating each other and Kim being 17. Shego cites growing up a latchkey child whose parents were distant made her want to be there for her future children matter what. Kim doesn't want an abortion because she refuses to kill a baby. The two go through with the pregnancy, end up falling in love, and end up with twins.
  • Played with (neutrally) in the .flow Poem Fic "Lucky" (which is based off of a theory), where Sabitsuki (a prostitute in this fic) has had abortions in the past, however, it's not that she has them or whether she's a "good girl", it's that procedures are back-alley ones and, in one such occasion, the procedure (like at least one other before)is botched, which almost kills her and leads to a severe infection, ending her time as a prostitute.
  • Subverted in the Metroid oneshot Chaos and the Aftermath. After getting pregnant during a one-night stand, Samus debates what to do next. Just when she starts to come to terms with being pregnant, she doubts her ability to be a mother. Samus decides that, even if the idea hurts her, it's better that she have an abortion rather than be an unfit parent.
  • In Angel Of The Bat, Stephanie Brown's reason for chosing adoption in the comics stems from abortion going against her religious beliefs.
  • Double subverted in the Harvest Moon fic Mind Brigade. Eve ends up pregnant from a one-night stand she had while partying in the city. Being a single woman who works as a bartender, she tearfully decides that having an abortion would be the best solution. Jamie doesn't condemn her choice, but it is shocking and it only confirms his belief that life isn't fair. In the end, however, Eve decides to keep the baby. She names her daughter "Jamie" (which thankfully is a Gender-Blender Name), after the recently deceased man.
  • Played with in The Second Try. Asuka very briefly brings up the possibility of having an abortion, but it's shot down for practical reasons rather than moral ones. After all, where would the last two people on the planet (who are both teenagers with only basic self-taught medical training) get the skills or resources to perform one?
  • Warriors: The Days The Clans Died: Eeltail is a medicine cat who Really Gets Around, despite medicine cats being barred from taking mates or having kits. When she ends up pregnant, she tries to take abortion herbs but is stopped by Swanfeather. Swanfeather is very fond of kits, but he has difficulties having his own because he's only attracted to toms. He's horrified that Eeltail would think to kill her kits and he wants her to deal with the consequences of her promiscuity.
  • In the Empath: The Luckiest Smurf story "The Birth Of Psycheliana", no sooner does Smurfette discovers that she's pregnant with Empath's child does she get a visit from Tapper, the resident Christian Smurf, who tells her that she may be tempted into giving up the child (alluding to abortion) during her time of pregnancy. Smurfette, who at the time was married to Empath and actually wanted to have a child by him, assures Tapper that she has no intention of ever giving up the child, that she intends to go all the way through to the birth. The rest of the story has Smurfette go through the emotions of being pregnant with a child, but nonetheless delivers a healthy daughter at the end.
  • A similar situation occurs in the Hero: The Guardian Smurf series regarding Hero's two separate wives having their separate pregnancies with his two daughters, with Hero's friend Abloec being the resident Christian Smurf who engages in the talk.
  • In born of hell('s kitchen), Jessica apparently didn't consider abortion after falling pregnant from drunken sex into a school closet. By contrast, Kilgrave is obviously repulsed by her eight-months-pregnant silhouette and bemoans it's much too late to "fix" this problem — which is clearly intended to establish him as a monster.
  • In a "Doug & Carol" ER story, she is not pleased to find herself pregnant in her late-40's, citing both the risks of having a child at her age and not wanting to start all over at the same time they're almost ready to send their four kids off to college. She comes around and the story concludes with them looking forward to it.

  • In Dirty Dancing, the dancing instructor tries to have an abortion, but because it's The '60s and they're illegal, it goes horribly wrong. Fortunately the heroine's father is a doctor, so he manages to save her, although it does make for a major misunderstanding. In this case the girl is still considered "good" both by the audience and the characters, and the blame is rightly placed on the rich snob who knocked her up and dumped her. Even the heroine's father blames him when he learns the truth.
  • The Life Before Her Eyes: She gets the abortion, but the film treats it as a very bad decision with lasting consequences.
  • In Fools Rush In, the father actually implies he would prefer an abortion (that is as long as the mother is choosing it, so he doesn't have to take any moral responsibility for the decision). The mother responds that she is going to keep the baby. While not explicitly justified, the fact that the mother is a devout Catholic probably justifies the "no abortion" aspect of the movie.
  • In The Fly, abortion is still depicted with a negative aspect, but the heroine's decision to get an abortion is given the defense that her baby might not be human. In the sequel The Fly II, she didn't, and it wasn't, but he got better.
  • Dogma has the protagonist working at an abortion clinic, but that doesn't stop her from getting "tapped" to do God's work. It's revealed in the deleted scenes that she chose that career because a botched abortion in her youth caused an infection, left her infertile, and led to her husband leaving her.
    The Metatron: I'm to charge you with a holy crusade.
    Bethany Sloane: For the record, I work in an abortion clinic.
    The Metatron: Noah was a drunk, look what he accomplished.
  • Discussed in The Doors: During Jim's breakdown toward the end, at least two women claim to be pregnant. In one scene, he talks over the matter with Patricia. She wants to keep the baby and raise it ("It would be a genius."), Jim is against raising it ("It would be a monster."). She says she doesn't like "the other fucking thing, either." Although Jim offers to pay for the abortion and support her through it the idea upsets Patricia, although she's so far been shown as a feminist and a practicing white witch (the very women who might have been persecuted for providing abortifacients in the past). The outcome isn't shown, and Jim flies to Paris shortly after.
  • In Juno, the main character goes to an abortion clinic but doesn't like the place when she gets there. After a protester tells her that fetuses have fingernails (which isn't actually true at that stage in the pregnancy, in case you were wondering), she decides she'll be putting her baby up for adoption. Her exact reason for deciding against abortion isn't specified, and is pretty much left up to the imagination of the viewer. The slightly more obvious meta-reason she didn't get one is that if she got the abortion, there'd be no plot, and much of the movie can be considered a love-song to adoption and non-biological parents (particularly adoptive- and step-mothers).
  • In Breakfast on Pluto, Patrick "Kitten" Braden's childhood friend Charlie travels to London to have an abortion. Kitten accompanies Charlie to the clinic, assuring her that she's making the right decision, fearing the child might end up a "disaster" like Kitten herself. Charlie decides against it at the last second — turns out she wouldn't mind at all if the child ended up like Kitten.
  • Averted in Murdoch Mysteries: Dr. Julia Ogden reveals that she had an abortion and suffered severe complications, which inspired her friend to become an illegal abortionist-in The Gay '90s in Canada where even contraceptive methods are against the law. She has no regrets, because there was no way she would want to marry her lover, and she wanted to pursue her studies and career. However, it's later revealed that the abortion has left her barren. It's not clear how much she wants kids herself, but she knows the man she loves longs for a family.
  • In Knocked Up, the female lead's sister mentions the possibility of abortion, but she decides to bring the baby to term. This was a bone of contention for many critics of the film, who pointed out that a) the father was a schlub she had no previous history with and appeared to be a less-than-suitable father figure b) she had no apparent religious convictions or prestated beliefs as to why she might keep the baby, c) she was an anchor at E! who was rather devoted to climbing the corporate ladder and d) the sister who suggested it and Jonah Hill were portrayed very unsympathetically, and the avoidance of the actual word "abortion"-Hill's character refers to it as a "shmushmortion." One unstated but possible reason she decided not to get one is because of the potential fallout of the public finding out she had an abortion, though the film never goes into this.
  • Averted in The Godfather Part II. Kay supposedly aborts her second son because she knows the kid is just gonna grow up to be a mafioso like all the other men in the family. This is what leads to her and Michael's final split when he finds out that she had the abortion. It's never really made clear whether we're supposed to root for her or not, which is just as it should be. There is also a possibility Kay was lying to Michael about the abortion and really did just have a miscarriage.
  • Averted in Baby Boy, when Yvette aborts what would have been her second child with Jody. She has sympathy on her side, however, since she's heartbroken over the procedure and her boyfriend Jody is an irresponsible jerkass who has a child with another woman.
  • The Romanian film 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days averts this trope, as the main focus is on a woman trying to get an abortion. And, since it's set in Ceausescu's Romania, it avoids the whole "neat abortion = no drama" bit, seeing as abortion is illegal and carries a hefty penalty.
  • Averted in the horror film Pin. Leon's sister, Ursula, discovers that she's pregnant as a result of constantly having unprotected sex. She immediately chooses to have an abortion, which is successful. Afterward, she cleans up her life and the incident is never mentioned again.
  • Averted in Fast Times at Ridgemont High. Stacy Hamilton is a flawed but fundamentally good person. However, when she gets pregnant by Mike Damonenote , an abortion is quickly decided. The drama revolves not on the controversy or ill effects of the abortion, but on Damone flaking on paying his half, and failing to provide a promised ride. It's then exacerbated by Stacy witnessing a demonstration of babies being born at a nearby hospital, which makes her feel very guilty about what she did.
  • The movie Bella is all about a (recently unemployed) single woman dealing with the knowledge that she is pregnant and making a decision of what to do about it. Abortion is certainly considered, with her saying things like 'I said I was pregnant; I didn't say I was having a baby.' In the end, she allows a friend to adopt her child, after seeing what a great family he has. Whether or not she is a 'good girl' depends on definitions, but she is certainly portrayed as a sympathetic character with good intentions.
  • Played straight in Saved!. It doesn't even occur to the main character to have an abortion when she falls pregnant, though this is in-character as a born-again Christian who lives in a very conservative neighborhood, attends a private religious school and was previously shown at pro-life protests. The subject of abortion is only brought up twice, and never actually named, both times by the rebellious Cassandra; only once to Mary's face, and by then, it's "too late."
  • Averted in Fame, at least in the 1980 version. The ballet dancer has to have an abortion in order to pursue her career. She's somewhat awkward about it, but realistically not devastated.
  • In High Fidelity, before the story takes place, Laura gets an abortion when Rob gets her pregnant, keeping it a secret from him until a long time later. On one hand, he finds out when he mentions having kids and she starts crying, indicating that she's not happy about it; on the other hand, Rob admits that it was probably the right decision.
  • In the movie Detective Story, Kirk Douglas plays Jim McLeod, a police officer with a jones to bust an abortionist (when, being in the '50s, abortion is a criminal offense). The doctor assumes McLeod is out to get him because the doc once performed an abortion of Mrs. McLeod. Not so! McLeod didn't know about that at all. When McLeod finds out, he's more upset because his wife had the abortion before they met. In an example of extreme Values Dissonance, the head of the Hays Commission tried to rain down hellfire on the film, saying that abortion was such an evil that you couldn't even discuss it in a film, even if you were portraying it in a fairly negative fashion.
  • The 1943 French film Le corbeau, made in occupied France and often celebrated for its Take That! against the Vichy collaborators, features a hero who is an atheist and abortion doctor who is sick and tired of poor women dying in back-alley abortions and so provides quality methods with a higher life retention rate.
  • In Manny And Lo, the delinquent teen figures she's just getting fat from her diet of convenience store junk food. When she finally goes into the clinic to "get it done," the doctor informs her she's too far along to get an abortion. Solution? Kidnap a baby store clerk.
  • An example of only thoroughly messed-up girls getting abortions: in the Dutch movie Godforsaken, the psychotic gangster's girlfriend finds out that she's pregnant and then does her own dirty work with a clothes hanger.
  • Averted in April Fools' Day when it turns out that the supposed Shrinking Violet Nan was pregnant and had an abortion. This comes after someone left a tape of a baby crying in her room. It's implied she got pregnant after a one night stand who dumped her, which serves to make her sympathetic.
  • Averted with Vera Drake, which is about a kind, loving 1950 London housewife who secretly performs illegal abortions. The film is entirely sympathetic toward Vera and presents multiple perspectives on the issue, both with realistic patients (including a careless floozy, an exhausted housewife who couldn't afford to raise another child, and a victim of date rape) and with her family when they find out the truth-her husband vows to stay by her side for better or worse, her son believes it's "killing innocent babies," and her daughter's fiancé thinks it's an act of mercy compared to bringing a child who can't be properly cared for into the world.
  • Averted in The Last American Virgin. Smooth Operator Rick gets titular good-girl Karen pregnant then dumps her. Protagonist Gary sells his stereo and takes heat from Nurse Rached to get Karen an abortion, and that's all that's heard regarding pregnancy and procedure. This film is based on the Israeli film Eskimo Limon which features the same pregnancy-abortion plot point. Although the ending shows that the 'good' part is rather debatable.
  • Subverted in A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child. Protagonist Alice knows she's pregnant. Alice has magic dream powers that let her dream while awake and affect reality through dreams, but she too can be affected. Alice soon realizes that her unborn son Jacob is exercising the same powers. Freddy Krueger can ordinarily only kill people in dreams, but he can use Jacob's dreams to start murdering Alice's friends pretty much whenever he pleases. One of Alice's friends suggests that she stop Freddy by having an abortion, which would end Jacob's dreams. Alice refuses to do so because she wants to keep the baby and thinks she can destroy Freddy through other means. Alice's other means aren't entirely successful and ultimately her unborn son Jacob has to destroy Freddy in the dream world by copying Freddy's powers. The film's final scene shows Alice and her father cooing over the baby. As the camera pans back, we see girls in old-fashioned white dresses playing jump-rope and singing a song that always heralds Freddy's reappearance in a Nightmare on Elm Street film.
  • Played with in Blue Denim: After a teenage couple, Janet and Arthur, find themselves expecting a baby, they seek help to pay for an abortion, and find a doctor willing to perform the procedure; however, because it takes place in the 1950's, there is some worry over the safety of the procedure itself and in the end Arthur, worried that Janet will die, breaks down confessing to his parents, and they go to rescue her just in the nick of time. They go home, and the parents of both teenagers have a discussion before agreeing, with Janet's consent, to send her to live with her aunt. The characters constantly skate around the word "abortion", but the euphemisms, and the characters' worry about the procedure, makes it pretty clear to the audience as to what it is they're planning to do. In the play Janet has the abortion after all, and lives through the procedure.
  • In the Lifetime Movie of the Week The Devil's Child, a woman pregnant with The Anti-Christ tries to get an abortion, but a mysterious explosion kills everyone in the hospital.
  • In Garage Days, Kate gets pregnant by Joe, decides to have an abortion, and then changes her mind. However, it's not clear how set she was on the abortion to begin with (the characters were in a bad patch.)
  • The film version of I Don't Know How She Does It has an assistant-who's single, working all hours at her job, and has sworn not to have kids-considering an abortion when she gets pregnant from a one-night stand. Kate simply plants her hands on her shoulders and tells her, "You are going to have this baby." She agrees.
  • In El Crimen del Padre Amaro (English title- The Crime of Father Amaro), the titular priest has an affair with good girl Amelia and gets her pregnant. Him being a Catholic priest in very Catholic Mexico, he of course wants her to leave town to protect his reputation. Instead she tries to reunite with her ex-boyfriend Ruben so she can pass the baby off as his. When Ruben rejects her advances, Father Amaro arranges for Amelia to have a back-alley abortion. The abortion, of course, goes wrong and Amelia dies. Ruben coincidentally leaves town at the same time and so is subsequently blamed for what happened to Amelia while Amaro gets to keep his good reputation. Amelia is portrayed as an innocent victim of Amaro's selfishness rather than a hussy who got what she deserved.
  • Played straight in Blue Valentine; Cindy goes to a clinic to get an abortion but backs out at the last possible second.
  • Discussed in Se7en. Tracy, the wife of one of the main characters, contacts her husband's partner to discuss her pregnancy. She isn't sure she wants to have a child given the environment of the city where they live. Somerset tell her about a previous relationship in which he pressured his partner into having an abortion and later regretted it. He does not actively try to dissuade her, though. Becomes a moot point when she is killed before deciding what to do about the pregnancy.
  • Enter the Void: Linda receives an abortion after getting pregnant from her boss, a seedy strip club owner. Linda is emotionally damaged and living a dangerous lifestyle, and her abortion plays into that.
  • Obvious Child is a very deliberate aversion. The filmmakers were annoyed with this trope, and intentionally made a film about a sympathetic protagonist who wants an abortion.
  • Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?: Subverted. It is implied that sweet, fragile Honey secretly aborts all her pregnancies because she doesn't want to have children.
  • Averted in The Big Chill: Meg is telling her old friend Sarah that she's fine giving up on the search for Mr. Right, but frustrated because she's always wanted a child. When Sarah gives her a meaningful look, she quickly adds "But it was the right thing to do at the time." The audience later learns that she's referring to an abortion she had after she and Michael conceived back in their college days. In the end, Sarah asks her husband to sleep with Meg and father her child. Since this was before IVF became widely available, this makes sense in context.
  • Z.P.G.: Inverted according to the law of the society in the film, which mandates abortion since reproduction is banned. The central plot comes up when the female protagonist Carole fails to have one and secretly gives birth to a child, making her go on the run with her husband Russ.
  • Rob Roy: Mary apologizes to Rob after telling him she may be pregnant by her rapist, not him, saying she couldn't bring herself to kill it. He tells her it's the rapist who needs killing.
  • Averted by If These Walls Could Talk in two of its three stories, all surrounding abortion. In the first, the woman gets one in the 1950s from a back-alley doctor and it goes badly wrong, with her fate left uncertain. The second, set shortly after Roe vs. Wade in the 1970s, ends with a house wife in her forties who already has children unexpectedly getting pregnant, considering abortion but ultimately not having one. The third, set in the then-current era of the 1990s, has a college student have an abortion in spite of her friend counseling against it, running a gauntlet of pro-life activists at the clinic and having the doctor shot during the middle of the operation when a man sneaks in. Despite the case where abortion was chosen against, neither of the women that had abortions is portrayed as bad-the film is quite clearly on the pro-choice side of the issue.
  • The killer in the film Criminal Law believes this to an extreme degree, murdering women who had abortions and eventually his own mother, who performs them (he discovered the rest looking in her records).
  • Adam's Apples: Sarah, who contemplates having an abortion due to being both a single mother and over the possibility that the baby would have Down Syndrome (given that she's forty). Ivan persuades her to keep it, (falsely) citing his own son who he says was supposed to be born disabled but isn't (he actually is). She goes on to have a son with Down Syndrome, but by then she doesn't seem to care.
  • Mr. Brooks: Strangely enough considering that he's a serial killer, Mr. Brooks objects when his pregnant daughter says she may have an abortion, although he backs down she fires back that it's her decision, softening it to how a grandchild would be a great gift to her mother and him. We don't learn what she decided before the film ends.
  • In Look Who's Talking, Molly gets pregnant as a result of her relationship with a married man. When she tells him about the baby, she makes it abundantly clear that despite the unfavorable circumstances, "This baby is you and me and I'm not having an abortion." He quickly assures her that he doesn't want her to.
  • Justified in A Place in the Sun (1951). While The Hays Code prevented the mention of it and it wasn't even legal then, there is also the fact that the vulnerable and very human Alice is apprehensive about obtaining an abortion and if she did, the film would end or spin into another plot.
  • For Keeps has Darcy and Stan, high school seniors, facing a Teen Pregnancy. Their parents suggest abortion and adoption respectively, and Darcy even plans for an abortion, but she ultimately decides against it.
  • Parenthood: When Karen tells husband Gil that she's pregnant with the couple's fourth child, she asks him point blank if he wants her to do this, given his less-than-thrilled reaction and the chaos their life is currently in—oldest son in therapy, Gil just quit his job, Karen wants to start working again, etc. They argue about it and Gil storms out without them having come to a decision, but several days later, he has accepted the pregnancy and they've decided to make it work.
  • This is the message of Where Are My Children?, likely the first film ever involving abortion, released 1916. It revolves around a prosecutor who, after securing a conviction against a doctor for performing a botched abortion, discovers his wife was one of the man's clients, along with several of her friends. All of them got abortions because having children interferes with their social life. When he confronts his wife, she is remorseful, and they are then shown as a sad, lonely childless couple. On the other hand, it favors contraception, then also illegal and very controversial. Abortions at the time were very dangerous given the illegal conditions which existed, although the film portrays them as inherently psychologically damaging too (which is not the case, however no one likely knew this at the time). The danger is shown with another woman that Another character who gets an abortion dies from going to a Back-Alley Doctor. It was banned in Pennsylvania for being "indecent".
  • A pretty disturbing example comes from the Christian pro-life movie Loving The Bad Man when our protagonist is impregnated from a brutal rape. Because of religious beliefs, she rejects the idea of terminating the pregnancy despite her family's insistence, but in fact meets up with her rapist who's in prison, makes friends with him and wants him to be involved in their child's life.
  • Code 46: Inverted. The authorities give Maria an abortion without her consent because William had got her pregnant, and wipe her memory afterward. It's because she's a clone of his mother, which violates the "Code 46" of the title.
  • Fatal Attraction: Alex decides not to abort ex-lover Dan's baby, though not on any particular moral grounds, just that pregnancy was highly unlikely for her in the first place (she wasn't even using birth control, having assumed she was infertile), and that time is running out for her to have children.
  • In Love with the Proper Stranger, Rocky helps Angie by scheduling and paying for an appointment with a Back-Alley Doctor, but when they both see the conditions of the "office", they flee in horror.
  • 1979 Russian film School Waltz: Abortions weren't as stigmatized in the Soviet Union as they are in some quarters of the United States, and Zolya's mother urges her to get one so as not to be burdened by single motherhood. But after making the appointment and going to the hospital and even laying down on a bed to await her turn, Zolya changes her mind and hurriedly leaves.
  • In Love, Rosie, the titular character gets accidentally pregnant, but doesn't have an abortion, explained as a vestige of her Catholic upbringing, even though she's not a believer herself.
  • Sound of the Mountain:
    • Played straight in the case of Kinuko, Shuichi's mistress, a war widow who insists on keeping Shuichi's baby because otherwise she might never have one.
    • But averted in the case of Shuichi's wife Kikuko, who sees what an ass her husband is and how unhappy Fumiko is, and aborts her pregnancy.
  • The Survivalist: Averted. When Milja becomes pregnant, she attempts to induce abortion with a copper rod, but it fails. She isn't portrayed as bad for this (and did it at her mother's advice), especially given the crapsack world they find themselves in. However, later she's accepted her situation. The movie ends with her discussing what to name the baby.
  • Flatliners: In the remake it turns out what Jamie did is abandon his pregnant girlfriend rather than going with her to get an abortion. When he later goes to ask her for forgiveness, it turns out she didn't go through with having an abortion (possibly because of him abandoning her) and they have a son that Jamie never knew about.
  • Subverted in Coach Carter, where Kyra is initially planning to keep her baby (despite being a teenager). It's later revealed that she got an abortion. Neither the movie nor her boyfriend demonize her for this.
  • The Irish film Dive deals with a champion swimmer getting pregnant while she's still in school. Heightening the tension is the fact that abortion was illegal in Ireland at the timenote  - meaning if she wanted one, she'd have to travel to the UK for the procedure.
  • In the Russian film Deal (Сделка), a ballroom studio owner learns that one of his top female dancers is knocked up only a few months before a major competition. After berating her for not using protection, he asks if it's too late to get an abortion. She says her parents are against it and runs out. At the end, the owner tries to reconcile with his wife, who demanded separation earlier in the movie, only for her to reveal that the real reason she wants to leave him is because he made her get an abortion early in their dance careers. Being young and foolish, she agreed and now regrets it.
  • Into the Forest: After Eva gets pregnant due to rape, though her sister Neil suggests an abortion, and even looks up how to induce one in a medical book she has, Eva decides against doing so, saying she doesn't want to lose anything else. She also had suffered a miscarriage in the past, and thus wants to have a child. In the end Nell helps her give birth and they intend to raise the baby together.
  • In the early Ingmar Bergman movie Port of Call (1948), the young working-class heroine picks up a friend from a Back-Alley Doctor abortionist. Something goes very wrong, the friend dies, and when the cops demand that she name the abortionist, she refuses, arguing that someone has to look out for the people society leaves to fend for themselves.
  • The Tribe: Anya is a prostitute who gets pregnant from her relationship with Sergey. Even so, her abortion was portrayed as more neutral than anything. Why she goes to a back-alley practitioner instead of a real physician isn't clear though-perhaps so her parents won't find out?
  • Discussed in the Christian film Deadly Choice where a doctor's daughter becomes pregnant and is considering an abortion and her father, a Christian, tries to talk her out of it, saying that it is murder. The daughter goes through with it anyway, but feels guilty about it.
  • Listen To Me: All the nuances are explored with the debate on abortion, and the protagonists argue against it. Monica however, who reveals she actually had an abortion, is treated sympathetically. None of the pro-life arguments made ever actually say women that had abortions were bad either.
  • Ladybird: A pro-life speaker is brought to the school and tries convincing the students about this with a story of her own mother who decided against getting an abortion. Lady Bird is not convinced by this, and tells the woman so quite rudely, resulting in her suspension.
  • Averted in Portrait of a Lady on Fire. Sophie has to abort, the other women help her do that, and nobody talks about it in a negative manner.
  • Stealing Heaven: The older woman who realizes Héloïse is pregnant says if she used the rennet of a hare, this could have prevented it and might even still work, clearly implying abortion. Héloïse barely listens to her though, delighted that she's pregnant with Abelard's child.
  • Blood Quantum: Zig-Zagging Trope. Joseph's girlfriend Charlie is planning on getting an abortion early in the movie, and Joseph is supportive, but it never happens because of the chaos caused at the hospital by the zombie outbreak.
  • In the 1949 drama, Not Wanted, directed by Ida Lupino, the whole social issue of unwed mothers is addressed. Sally, the unwed mother, had no other choice available to her other than to give birth.
  • Act of Vengeance: One of the women mentions her past abortion was used by the defense at her rape trial, painting her as bad in the jury's eyes.
  • Nocturnal Animals: Susan possibly aborting Edward's child, and him finding out about this, is the final straw where he stops trying to repair their relationship. Given that she expresses strong dislike of the idea, it's possible Susan didn't do it.
  • Portrait of a Lady on Fire: Averted. Sophie decides to abort her pregnancy, and this is an important moment in building the friendship between the two protagonists and her. Nobody talks about it ever in a negative manner. Marianne also mentions having an abortion in the past, which is also portrayed neutrally. This explains why she knows various methods for inducing one.
  • The Object of My Affection: The possibility of abortion is only alluded to briefly in the beginning when Nina gets pregnant, and she quickly decides on having the baby.
  • What to Expect When You're Expecting: Rosie briefly brings up abortion since she's accidentally pregnant and unhappy with the fact, but then decides against it. She then has a miscarriage later, by which time she's grown to like being pregnant, and is quite devastated (though hiding it). Rosie thinks it's her fault since she didn't want the baby at first.
  • Played with in Black Christmas (1974). Jess discovers she's pregnant and plans to get an abortion, even when her boyfriend proposes marriage. Her reasons are that she's too young to start a family, and she's presented sympathetically. The boyfriend is then implied to be abusive (and he's a suspect for who could be the killer), which helps make Jess's decision more sympathetic.

  • In The Naked Sun, It is at one point revealed that the artificial gestation facility on Solaria is manually operated because robots would keep all the fetuses and embryos alive (including the imperfect ones). This, combined with the First Law Of Robotics (robots must never harm human beings) means that in the story embryos and fetuses are considered human beings by the robots.
  • Later in The Robots of Dawn, the physically deformed Doctor Fastolfe states that he would have been aborted had his physical imperfections been detected before his birth. Elijah Baley replies by stating that if Fastolfe had been aborted then humanity would have lost one of its best minds.
  • Averted as a plot point in Robert Silverberg's The World Inside, but it's in the subtext, since on several occasions characters talk about how their culture "values life",note  and particularly fertility, with the strong implication that contraception (see Deliberate Values Dissonance, above), much less abortion, would be unthinkable. "Good girls" in this novel get married at the age of 12 and within a decade have usually had several children, possibly by men other than those they are married to since all men are required to "nightwalk".
  • In A Brother's Price, due to male Gender Rarity Value and an inversion of STD Immunity, unwanted pregnancy is rare. Still, after the death of some family members, grieving Kij Porter went to a brothel and "didn't catch anything other than a baby". She keeps the baby. Subverted in that Kij Porter is not really a good girl, and the child's father is not who she claims; the truth is much grimmer.
  • The Alice Series has Pamela end up pregnant by her boyfriend in Almost Alice. While her mother discusses all sorts of options with her — having the baby and raising it, giving it up for adoption or even abortion — Pamela is too distraught over the news and can't decide on anything except that she doesn't want to be pregnant or even want to have to make a decision. She has a miscarriage a week later.
  • Theodore Dreiser's An American Tragedy explores the hypocrisy of this concept. Clyde Griffiths and Roberta Alden initially decide to abort her child but find it difficult to seek a sympathetic doctor, mostly because of religious notions. Roberta, already wracked with guilt, decides to keep her baby, an action which drives Clyde to plot her murder. After her death, she's portrayed in the media as an angel and a good woman, whereas if she had gone through with the abortion she would be judged more harshly.
  • The Phantom's Phantom, a modern novel retroactively set in The '50s, has a Back-Alley Doctor referring his poor patients to a prostitution ring in lieu of cash payment. And between the illegal abortion and the prostitution, blackmail opportunities abounded.
  • Katie Nolan gets pregnant three months after the birth of her first child in A Tree Grows in Brooklyn but declines the abortifacient the midwife offers her.
  • Bizarrely averted in one of Karen Traviss' Wess'har books, where the protagonist's God Mode is so strong that she can't have a normal abortion, so she has to cut the fetus out and blow it up with a grenade.
  • Completely averted in Lynn Margulis's Luminous Fish, where René, one of the main characters, has a back alley abortion in her college years because her boyfriend could not stand to see her future ruined. She ends up as a perfectly fine atmospheric chemist later, even if she can't have children (and is happier for it). Note that Margulis is the biologist who made symbiogenesis a mainstream evolutionary theory, and therefore doesn't fail biology forever.
  • In the final book of the Twilight series, Bella refuses to end her vampire/human hybrid pregnancy even though it seems very likely to kill her. Even when she's vomiting blood and the baby breaks her spine. Of course, every. single. female in the book is baby-obsessed; and no one is child-free in Forks, apparently. Also keep in mind that Meyer is Mormon. What's somewhat ironic is that a pregnancy that threatens the life of the mother is one of the few situations where Mormonism condones abortion (the other two being incest and rape, though the latter can be fuzzy depending on where you are and who you ask). The logic is usually that a.) if the mother dies, the baby dies anyway, and b.) odds are good the woman already has other kids, who would be left without a mother.
  • Similarly, in The Whitby Child, Nelda, one of a race of magical Fisher Folk, refuses a magical herb that will end her pregnancy, and the character who offers it to her is presented as evil for even suggesting it. This is even though 1) Nelda's people are under a curse that causes all laboring women and almost all their babies to die slow and agonizing deaths and 2) we're told that at in human terms Nelda's approximately eight years old. Got that? Good girls are willing to die to avoid abortion even if they're minors and there's no realistic prospect the baby will even survive.
  • Averted by Lyra Volfrieds, the protagonist in Ursula Vernon's Black Dogs. She is impregnated by The Dragon in an attempt to create a powerful and long-lived bloodline, and in a Heroic Sacrifice she uses a brand of magic to both abort the pregnancy and sterilize herself to prevent this plan from ever being carried through.
  • Two examples in Sword of Truth: Two examples-when Du Chaillu says she's going to abort her pregnancy (which was due to rape) Richard asks her not to, saying a child is not to blame for what it's father did (he was conceived this way himself). Verna also urges against it, due to her belief a child is a gift from the Creator. Du Chaillu concedes, and because they're married according to her people's custom, later considers the child to be also "his." Later Kahlan, having gotten pregnant by Richard, considers having an abortion due to having been told by a semi-reliable source that the child would be male, and the last time male Confessors were allowed to live past infancy they turned out to be Always Chaotic Evil; since then male Confessor children have always been killed at birth. Du Chaillu is then the one to say she shouldn't, but Kahlan still gets an abortifacient. She eventually decides against it...two minutes before she's beaten very nearly to death, which causes one from trauma anyway.
  • Averted in Stephen Chbosky's The Perks of Being a Wallflower, when main character Charlie escorts his sister to the abortion clinic after discovering she is knocked up by her abusive jerkass boyfriend.
  • While never stated directly, Ernest Hemingway's short story "Hills Like White Elephants" is about a couple discussing whether or not the woman should have an abortion: he wants her to, she doesn't but eventually agrees, saying she's willing to always do anything he wants. Nearly the entire story is dialogue without mentions of tone, gestures or thoughts, leaving the possibility for a lot of Alternative Character Interpretation (whether or not she's being angry or sarcastic at the end, for example).
  • Averted in Adrian Mole: The Cappuccino Years with Rosie, Adrian's teenage sister. While she's not exactly a "good girl", she's portrayed as being rather naive in some ways and thinks she wants to keep the baby. Adrian, in a rare moment of maturity, persuades her to spend a week taking care of a baby doll of the sort used to demonstrate the realities of baby-care to teenagers in school. After caring (after a fashion; at one point she chucks it out the window) for the doll for a week, Rosie opts to have an abortion. It's portrayed as being a good choice for her.
    • It's also averted by Pandora (although she's about as much of a "good girl" as Rosie is), whose dad points out that she "had a termination in her lunch break once".
  • In The Pale King, a teenaged Lane Dean secretly hopes that his Christian girlfriend will break up with him, but still keep their unborn child. It's eventually revealed that they're still together and raising the child.
  • Inverted in Lois McMaster Bujold's Barrayar, when an assassination attempt nearly kills Cordelia Vorkosigan, and does severe, permanent damage to her unborn child. Pretty much everybody thinks she should abort and start over. She doesn't.
  • Cannie Shapiro, of Good in Bed, is faced with this option, after her Sex for Solace with an ex ends with her becoming pregnant. She decides against it, after sensing the baby in her (and, for a time, believing that the decision was made for her).
  • In A Song of Ice and Fire:
    • Cersei Lannister reveals to Eddard Stark that when her husband Robert impregnated her, she had the child aborted — not so much because she didn't want children — but she didn't want Robert's children, and was perfectly fine bearing the secret children of her own twin brother who she passes off as Robert's children. In-story, this is used to show her villainous and petty side. Fans hotly debate the implications of this - but Cersei herself considers her abortion to have been "murdering" Robert's child, and she did it gladly, purely out of spite against him. She considers it a petty triumph against Robert.note 
    • Lysa Arryn nee Tully is revealed to have had an abortion when she was young. She was impregnated by a man she was not married to and who was below her station (Petyr Baelish), which resulted in her father making her drink "moon tea" to abort the child. Worse, Lysa says that she would've gladly born the child and didn't even know that they were giving her moon tea until it was too late. It's also implied that her later issues with multiple miscarriages once she is married might be a result of this, though it's not certain since this was also said to have happened to Lysa's mother as well.
    • Asha Greyjoy mentions that she learned how to make her own moon tea from an apothecary, due to being very sexually active with many men, "to keep her stomach flat". From the way it's phrased it is unclear if she had an outright abortion, as moon tea is both an abortive and contraceptive drug.
  • Youth in Sexual Ecstasy takes a strong pro-life stance. The protagonist of the novel mentions abortion as one of the main reasons for youngsters having sex freely, then after watching The Silent Scream he has a My God, What Have I Done? moment when he remembers breaking up with his pregnant girlfriend (who pleaded and begged him to help her keep their baby) and then giving her the money for aborting his child.
  • Averted in The Red Tent. Ruti has been suffering at the hands of her husband Laban, and she does not want to give him any more children, because she does not believe he deserves the honor of more sons and she knows he will molest a daughter, so she asks Rachel to help her terminate the pregnancy, threatening to kill the child anyway after it's born. Rachel agrees, and next month (when the women enter the menstruation tent), she gives Ruti an unidentified black brew that induces a miscarriage. The women are all supportive of Ruti's choice, on the grounds that they don't much care for Laban or the way he treats her either.
  • Built into the way healing works in Tales of Kolmar. Magical healers can cause a deformed embryo which wouldn't survive long out of the womb (if it got that far) to abort, same with most pregnancies that the body fights against, but this technique won't work against a healthy embryo. When Lanen's half-dragon twins are threatening to get her killed they are not themselves sick enough for this to work, and she's furious at the suggestion that it should.
  • Inverted in Brave New World. Linda is a social outcast for having a baby in a world where in-vitro fertilization is universal, motherhood is an archaic obscenity, and Abortion Centres are luxury facilities.
  • In John Barth's The End of the Road, Rennie is determined to get an abortion, but the quack who does it gets her killed.
  • Discussed in Memoirs of a Geisha when it's revealed that Sayuri's mentor Mameha aborts all of the children she conceived by her client, the Baron. While most of the characters treat it as normal if a bit embarrassing, Mameha has graves for her aborted children which she visits regularly.
  • In The Sleep Police by Jay Bonansinga this winds up being the motive for the killer, since due to his beliefs he decided that he would target women who got abortions and kill them in ways reminiscent of the procedure, including cutting them apart and laying them in a fetal position with their thumbs in their mouths. He also decides to target the main character's ex wife after he finds out she's had two abortions and very nearly succeeds at killing her.
  • In Rosemary's Baby, Rosemary breaks down crying at one point, out of confusion and fear over her extremely bizarre pregnancy. Her friends convince her that the constant pain she's been experiencing is not a normal pregnancy symptom and suggest she should see a different doctor about it (her current doctor is insisting that it's normal, though we later find out that this is because he's a Satanist in on the plan for Rosemary to give birth to The Antichrist). Rosemary's first thought is that they're suggesting she abort the baby, and tearfully insists she won't do that. Her friends assure her that they weren't recommending that, and just that she ought to get a second opinion to make sure there isn't a health complication she is unaware of.
  • In 1632, Julie Sims rejects the idea of abortion on the basis of her personal beliefs. Given that she's from West Virginia, that's not surprising.
  • Averted in Hometown. Good Bad Girl Vicki fears that she may be carrying a Child by Rape and is distraught by the possibility, but is much calmed when someone points out that abortion is an option. It turns out to be a moot point anyway, as she isn't pregnant, but rather suffering from an eating disorder that has stopped her from menstruating.
  • Both averted and played straight in The Diviners by Margaret Laurence. A minor character (who was abused and mistreated throughout her life) self-aborts with a coat hanger. The baby is buried at the dump and a nice boy from town marries her, although she can no longer have children. Morag, the protagonist, later uses the incident in a novel. Morag's character is a Broken Bird stripper type.
  • Played mostly straight in Honor Harrington. It is mentioned that this is a part of the Beowulf Code (the foundation for medical ethics across the known universe). When Honor becomes unexpectedly pregnant, she immediately rejects the idea of abortion, but does seriously consider adoption. Abortion isn't necessary anyway, as they can remove and "tube" fetuses safely (i.e. place them in a uterine replicator), which is what Honor ends up doing.note 
  • Played straight in Frostflower and Thorn, where Thorn is hankering for money to procure an abortion until a Type 3 option presents itself (a spell to speed up the pregnancy and birth), but also averted because Thorn has in fact had at least one abortion before and her current predicament is refreshingly presented not as some agonizing moral dilemma but rather a practical choice.
  • Zig-Zagging Trope in Mickey Zucker Reichert and Jennifer Wingert's Spirit Fox. The heroine Kiarda, who's pretty clearly a good girl (though a moody teenager) is impregnated (apparently through rape when she was blacked out). She begs her healer friend Bevin to give her an abortion. Bevin tells her she can't do it, because it would be destructive magic that would endanger Bevin's healing powers (a White Mage who practices destructive magic will no longer be able to perform White Magic), and pleads with her to keep the baby. Kiarda reluctantly agrees. However, Kiarda isn't portrayed as bad for wanting an abortion, and Bevin later reassures Kiarda that she doesn't think ill of her for it. Kiarda eventually suffers a miscarriage anyway, because her Half-Human Hybrid twins are severely deformed and non-viable. Her pregnancy-by-rape was actually pregnancy through mating with a male fox when she was shapeshifted into a female one. It's a bit complicated to explain.
  • Heralds of Valdemar: Averted near the end of Arrow's Flight in which Talia allows a midwife to abort a young woman's pregnancy if she wishes it (which was due to her stepfather raping her, and she'd found that it was non-viable anyway since the girl was underage).
  • The Scream: Averted with Jesse, who's had two abortions and is pregnant a third time. Played straighter with thirty-seven year old Rachel, who is pregnant with her second baby in less than two years (she already has a much older teenage son).
  • Alluded to but averted in The Spy Who Loved Me. The narrator and protagonist, Vivienne, was pressured into an abortion by a lover who seemed considerate and sensitive up until she announced she was pregnant. Then, he blamed her for the situation and insisted on paying for her trip to Switzerland (abortion was illegal in Great Britain at the time). She doesn't want the procedure but goes through with it because she doesn't want to be a single mother, either.
  • Invoked and subverted in the 87th Precinct novel Lightning. The plot involves a Serial Rapist who keeps re-attacking the same victims. It turns out he's deliberately targeting pro-life Catholic women in order to get them pregnant and make them reconsider their views on the procedure.
  • In Fifty Shades Freed, Ana discovers that she is pregnant because her birth control wore off earlier than expected. It takes her less than a paragraph (in which the word "abortion" is not even mentioned) to decide she's not getting an abortion, including the clichés of declaring that train of thought "a dark path" and wrapping an arm protectively around her belly.
  • Subverted in Newes from the Dead: Anne tries to abort but it doesn't work, and when she miscarries it has nothing to do with her abortion attempt, which she gave up on several months earlier.
  • Averted in Guardians of the Flame: When Andy-Andy becomes pregnant, Karl (the father) gives his immediate support to whatever choice she makes, even saying he would perform a D&C himself, despite having no medical training (reasoning their healing potions will fix any damage). She ultimately decides against abortion, and they have a son, though it's made clear it would have been perfectly acceptable. In his internal thoughts, Karl specifically disclaims the idea that a blastocyst is a person.
  • Averted in Headhunters, where Roger Brown managed to bully his wife into having an abortion because he didn't want to have to compete with a baby for his wife's affections. He's literally been paying for it ever since, as his fears that Diane might leave him have driven him to buy her a house and a gallery that he knows they can't afford.
  • Played straight in the e-novel Steel Beneath the Skin. After the main character, Anika, and her girlfriend Ella were kidnapped and raped by a group dedicated to the "genetic purity of humanity" because Anika was a Human Popsicle from the 21st Century who was found 1000 years in the future (and the group didn't know that she was actually a Robot Girl and therefore had no DNA anyway), her girlfriend worried about the possibility of getting pregnant. When Anika asked why she couldn't get an abortion, she was informed that because society had few sexual taboos left with easy and reliable contraception readily available, abortions were outlawed because all pregnancies were considered voluntary even in the event that someone was kidnapped, given an anti-contraception injection against her will, and repeatedly raped. As it turned out, Ella wasn't pregnant anyway so it wasn't an issue.
  • In Stephen King's The Stand, Fran Goldsmith finds herself pregnant and unmarried. She basically ignores her boyfriend's offer to pay for an abortion, and never considers it again even as a worldwide plague decimates most of humanity.
  • In The Sinner, the third Rizzoli & Isles book, Jane Rizzoli learns that she's pregnant and even though the word is never spoken, she outright says that she can't keep the baby—she's not happy about the pregnancy, it's been established in the previous two books that she doesn't like children, and her relationship with the baby's father is uncertain. One conversation with her mother is all it takes for her to do a 180° turn and go from being miserable about the pregnancy to deciding to have the baby.
  • Played straight in the Maeve Binchy novel Circle Of Friends. Nan is horrified when her lover responds to the news of her pregnancy not with a marriage proposal, but with money and the name of an abortionist, wailing, "I'm a Catholic, I couldn't kill my baby!". It's averted in Binchy's first novel, Light a Penny Candle, where a character goes through with one. Despite the Irish Catholic setting and the time frame, she is never regarded as a horrible person by herself or anyone else involved.
  • Played straight in the Danielle Steel books that tackle this topic, usually in one of the ways laid out in the page description. Occasionally, either the woman who wants the abortion or the man who wants her to have one is portrayed as a selfish jerk:
    • Averted in the novel Changes, when a teenage girl has one. Despite becoming ill afterwards, she is never portrayed as bad or condemned for her decision. Later in the book, her mother becomes pregnant and contemplates having one, given the upheaval that the family is currently in, but decides against it.
    • In Heartbeat, a woman's husband wants her to have one (having been abused as a child, he doesn't want to have any kids himself). When she refuses, he divorces her.
    • In the novel Daddy, the titular character's wife intended to have an abortion every time she got pregnant—she didn't feel ready for a child the first time, felt overwhelmed at the thought of caring for two infants the second time, and simply did not want to have any more children the third time. Each time, her husband talked her out of it, and she is never portrayed as anything but a loving mother.
    • Jewels. When a man discovers that his wife intends to have an abortion, he is shocked, having thought she was just as thrilled about her pregnancy as he was. It turns out that she doesn't want children and that the child in question might not even be his—she's been having an affair with his brother. Her infuriated husband informs her that the child is his—his brother had a vasectomy—and proceeds to basically force her to play this trope straight by offering her money to have the baby and threatening to divorce her without a dime should she even legitimately miscarry. This is outright abusive behavior that is portrayed as completely okay because she's a horrible person.
    • The Apartment: When a woman decides to have an abortion since she doesn't want children, her boyfriend proceeds to do everything he can think of to prevent this—begging, demanding, threatening to break up with her, offering to take sole custody of the baby, even going to the courts to try and find some legal way to stop her from doing it. Despite this downright abusive level of control that he attempted to take over her life, she eventually changes her mind and the book concludes with them happily engaged and anticipating the baby's birth.
  • It's mandated under a future dystopian government in When She Woke, where after a sterility plague there is a surge in Christian fundamentalism, gaining enough power to amend the US constitution so abortion is banned. Women found guilty of abortion are sentenced to genetic alteration so their skin turns bright red over a certain amount of time. Instead of being sent to prison, all are free out in society, but shunned due to the stigma, and sometimes killed (other crimes get different colors), in a homage to The Scarlet Letter. Most live in shelters run by the fundamentalist Christians where they're made to confess and do penance in a creepy fashion. The author herself doesn't agree with this view regarding abortion, and the book reflects that clearly.
  • Played straight in Yulia Voznesenskaya's My Posthumous Adventures.
    • Anna, the main character, has an abortion at eighteen and at first doesn't think of it as anything bad, but she is left infertile, suffers bouts of depression due to it, and often secretly cries watching kids on a playground. After her clinical death she is judged (among other things) for the child's murder, and shown that had she kept the baby, her boyfriend whom she thought immature would have married her, and they would have eventually become a happy and loving family.
    • Anna's foil Tatiana also gets pregnant at a young age, by a married man from another country at that, but, being a priest's daughter, refuses to abort the baby. She atones for the adultery in prayer for the rest of her life, and ends up in Heaven. After she dies of cancer and her son's father in a plane crash, the boy gets Happily Adopted by Anna in the epilogue after they support each other in their losses.
  • Discussed in The Terminal Experiment and Mind Scan by Robert J. Sawyer. The former has proof of the human soul weigh into the debate (especially given it happens after abortion's allowed in the US). In the latter, Roe vs. Wade was overturned by the US Supreme Court. Characters who have had abortions in these novels are sympathetic.
  • The Asylum for Wayward Victorian Girls: Averted. Emilie had an abortion before her mental breakdown.
  • The Barsoom Project has a female character who (in the backstory) had attracted too much male attention at a young age, and ended up getting an abortion. The procedure left her sterile and caused her to gain a large amount of weight as a 'shield' against men. Her character arc involves forgiving herself for this.
  • Subverted in Robertson Davies 'What's Bred in the Bone'. In the early 20th century, a young unmarried woman in a prominent Catholic family falls pregnant and 'of course' abortion is not to be thought of! But she's been very stressed lately, so her mother says some very hot baths, large amounts of gin and plenty of castor oil would be good for her. Also jumping vigorously up and down. The young woman remains pregnant, a marriage is hastily arranged with another man, and the child is born with severe birth defects, which are prevented from ruining the family's reputation by faking the child's death and keeping him hidden in the attic until he really does die as an adult. Also, due purely to coincidence and without anyone in-story knowing it, the child's caregiver for that time is his biological father. It's a screwed-up family.
  • Downplayed rather delicately in Kris Longknife: Unrelenting. At least one of the women impregnated as a result of the sabotage of a shipment of contraceptive implants chooses to terminate. Kris encounters her in sickbay afterwards and the younger woman is clearly torn-up about it; the chief medical officer describes her as having had to make her first serious adult decision since joining the military. Kris, who got pregnant herself (by her husband) in the same incident also firmly stomps on a (male) admiral's suggestion that the pregnant women be made to abort.
  • Worlds of Shadow: Averted with Amy once she gets pregnant due to her rape. She decides to have an abortion quickly, waiting only until she's on Earth. Though she finds it unpleasant, she's not shown as regretting her choice or even hesitating much at all.
  • Fellow Travelers: Mary, a single woman in the 50s, might have been able to have an illegal abortion, but it probably wouldn't have been too safe. She instead chooses to leave town and quietly put the kid up for adoption.
  • In Left Behind, Hattie Durham becomes pregnant with Nicolae Carpathia's child, but since Nicolae shows no interest in marrying Hattie, she decides to ditch him and have her child with him secretly aborted. Nicolae has Hattie tailed by the Global Community Peacekeepers just in case her old friends, who are now part of the Tribulation Force, attempt to rescue her, which they do, although it does result in at least one Peacekeeper death. Her friends, being Christians, talk Hattie out of aborting the child, but as they find out that Hattie's been poisoned, she fears that her child may be in danger. Eventually she ends up delivering an undeveloped stillborn that has absorbed all the poison meant for Hattie, which the doctor and nurse attending the delivery end up destroying to prevent further contamination, though in the process the doctor ends up contracting the poison that kills him.
  • A version of this occurs in the Colleen [McCullough] novel The Touch when Elizabeth, one of the protagonists, discovers that her mentally retarded, 13-year old daughter Anna is pregnant (given her age and mental capacity, this can be considered nothing but rape). The local doctor refuses, but on medical grounds, not moral—Anna is too far along for the procedure to be done safely.
  • Earth's Children: When Joplaya gets pregnant, her mother Jerika urges her to have an abortion since she's worried that the birth will kill her. This is because her mate is apparently half Clan, and they have larger skulls. Joplaya refuses, as she'd been trying for some time to have children with no success, and in the end safely gives birth. However, she does agree to use contraception to prevent future pregnancies.
  • The Alice Network: Some of the characters believe that abortion is evil.
    • This belief is why Charlie and Evelyn have so much trouble getting abortions. Charlie has to go to Switzerland, where abortions are legal, to get a safe procedure, and Evelyn is forced to accept the services of a Back-Alley Doctor.
    • The Back-Alley Doctor tells a patient that she can borrow the tools she needs for an abortion from a doctor she knows, but that the doctor would never do it himself — he goes to mass every Sunday.
    • Charlie half believes it herself, and has mixed feelings about her approaching abortion. Realizing she's been pushed into the abortion, she doesn't go through with it, and ultimately decides to keep the baby.
    • The spy, Lili, is implied to disapprove of abortion. It isn't stated outright, but she's Catholic, and when one of the other characters needs an abortion, she doesn't talk to her friend, Lili, about it and no suggestion is ever made of telling her.
  • Olivia Hussey discusses this trope in her autobiography The Girl on the Balcony, revealing she was raped by actor Christopher Jones at the end of a toxic and abusive relationship. She discovered she was pregnant, and quietly got an abortion, and the public never found out. She takes the time to say she often wonders who the child might have grown up to be and occasionally regrets her decision, but ultimately feels she made the right choice. Rather prophetically, she played Jess in Black Christmas mentioned above (although she actually filmed it right after she welcomed her first child into the world).

    Live-Action TV 
  • 21 Jump Street: Deconstructed in the episode "Whose choice is it anyway?" The main guest star is shown as a 'good girl', and she sees a counselor to explore her options, including abortion and seriously looking into adoption. The character ends up miscarrying after her boyfriend bombs the counseling/abortion clinic, not knowing she's in there. She outright states "It was my choice to make. [He] had no right to take that away from me!" It also reveals that regular cast member Judy Hoffs had an abortion at 17; when asked if she regretted it, Judy answers poignantly that she regrets getting pregnant, and she really regrets not sharing it with her mother, but she believes that she made the right choice. The episode itself shows either a serious exploration or an example of all the three main choices; keeping and raising the baby, adoption, and abortion, and all are shown as valid choices. It also emphasizes the need for counselling services, because every girl (this is Jump street after all) in this situation needs and deserves support in order to make the right choices for them.
  • All My Children:
    • Averted in 1973, where a young Erica Kane has an abortion. She did, however, gain a life-threatening infection from the procedure. This was later infamously retconned decades later into the abortion doctor harvesting Erica's fetus and implanting it in his own wife, resulting in the character of Josh Madden, Erica's son with Jeff Martin. Never mind that that's not even possible now, let alone in the seventies!
    • When Erica conceived after being raped, she hid her pregnancy from her mother. By the time her mother found out, it was too late for an abortion, though this was not due to moral grounds nor Erica's desire to have the baby — she was unable to talk about what happened. Because a teenaged Erica was too young to raise her baby daughter at the time and wanted her baby to have a happy life and to protect her from the painful truth, Erica and her mother place Erica's baby girl for adoption with a good couple.
    • When Erica's youngest daughter Bianca, conceived after her own rape. Despite the circumstances, she couldn't bring herself to abort and carried the baby to term, deciding to raise her daughter herself.
    • Despite Dixie Martin's husband and his family (several of whom are medical professionals) practically trying to browbeat her into having an abortion due to the serious health risks that a pregnancy will bring her, she refuses — and eventually miscarries due to these very same health issues.
  • Played with in American Horror Story, where at first college student Hayden's decision to abort the child she's carrying as the result of her affair with Ben is presented as a mature and rational choice, but she changes her mind right before she goes through with it in order to pull The Baby Trap on Ben, who's already married with one teenage daughter and another on the way, and plans to uproot her life to move to California and is clearly presented as being in the wrong for forcing this on him. Becomes a moot point when Larry murders her shortly thereafter. Likewise the girls who come to the Montgomerys for back alley abortions in the 1920s are not presented in a villainous light and instead as victims of the insane Dr. Montgomery, especially since they had no legal methods available to them at the time.
    • Also used for Kick the Dog purposes when Constance Langdon mentions to Vivien (who recently found out that she's pregnant again) that if they'd had "those tests" (i.e. DNA tests) back when she was pregnant with her daughter Adelaide, who has Down's Syndrome, that she probably would have aborted her. Needless to say, Constance isn't the best parent.
    • Used for Kick the Son of a Bitch purposes in the second season, when Lana is raped by Dr. Thredson and tells him that she aborted the child. She tries and fails once, and has an opportunity for a safe backroom abortion later on in the series, but she declines, not out of any moral standing, but rather that she was tired of death. Ironically, the child then grows up to be a serial killer who is directly inspired by his knowledge that his mother tried to abort him and his father was a sadistic serial killer whose victims were exclusively women. The whole season ends with Lana shooting him once they meet again forty years later, becoming not only a quite literal case of Shoot the Shaggy Dog but subtly supporting the notion that Lana should have gone through with the abortion if she'd wanted to prevent more deaths in the long run.
  • The Americans: Averted with Nina, who's mentioned to have had an abortion in the past but is not portrayed badly for it. In fact, she's probably one of the nicest characters. The father, her estranged husband, seems to not hold it against her or be upset, merely speculative as to how things would have been different if she had kept it.
  • Played with on Angel. Darla says that she tried to have an abortion when she discovered she was pregnant. It didn't work. Turns out the baby was mystically protected while in her womb. However, Darla is about as far as one can get from being a "good girl".note 
  • Arrested Development: Apparently, Lindsay Bluth was pregnant "loads of times"... just never with Maebe. Except she was.
    • GOB cautions George Michael that if a religious girl gets pregnant, "she stays pregnant."
      Narrator:When GOB was in high school, he had sex with these women. These women got pregnant. This one had a baby.
  • In As the World Turns, Liberty doesn't know whether to have an abortion, raise the baby herself, or give it to her mother or another couple to raise. She has a convenient miscarriage. Janet herself refused to get an abortion, raising Liberty by herself as a teenager.
  • Awake plays this perfectly straight... except with adoption. By the time the pregnancy in question is known to the protagonists, it's five months along, too late for an abortion.
  • Battlestar Galactica (2003): A season 2 episode deals with a girl who comes to Galactica's chief medical officer for an abortion. The Colonial representative for her homeworld raises a stink on religious grounds (besides the abortion question, children are considered the property of their parents on that planet). The girl gets her abortion, but President Roslin, who is pro-choice, is persuaded to outlaw abortion on the grounds of there being less than 50,000 people left of their whole civilization and they need babies. Which is really to set up Baltar running against her for President: privately, banning abortion was his idea, but in public he turns around and opposes the decision on personal liberty grounds.
  • Averted in series two of Bedlam: In one episode, Ellie reveals she's pregnant; in the next, she says she's had an abortion (offscreen) because her life is too devastating to bring a child into.
  • Being Human plays this straight in the third season. Nina gets pregnant after she and George have sex (the pill wasn't designed with werewolves in mind, apparently) and decides to abort despite George's objections. She changes her mind after meeting Sasha, a young female zombie whose body is rapidly succumbing to decay. Sasha tells them that her greatest regret was that she didn't do more with her life, like starting a family, because she assumed she'd always have time.
    • Incidentally, Nina's reasons for wanting to abort are similar to Kyoko Honda's — fear of repeating what she herself went through with an abusive mother, who constantly reminded Nina that she was the result of an unplanned pregnancy.
  • On Beverly Hills, 90210, Andrea gets pregnant and despite consciously deciding to have an abortion, citing the fact that she's only 18, has only just started dating the baby's father, and is only a freshman in college, she changes her mind at the last minute and has the baby (the Reality Subtext is that Andrea's portrayer was pregnant in Real Life and TPTB decided to write it in.) When Kelly got pregnant several years later, she decided on an abortion, with the support of her boyfriend Brandon, but sure enough, miscarried.
  • In series three of Big Love, Sarah discovers she's pregnant from her ex-boyfriend. She initially decides to put the baby up for adoption, then decides to keep it and raise it with her best friend Heather while she's at college in Arizona. However, she suffers a Convenient Miscarriage soon after.
  • Black Mirror: In "ArkAngel" this is averted against Sara's will. While she had no idea she was even pregnant then, the crushed pills Marie placed into the smoothies were meant to terminate Sara's pregnancy as the doctor revealed when Sara was vomiting at school later.
  • Black Sails: Anne helps Max induce an abortion after she's impregnated due to being repeatedly raped. It's portrayed sympathetically, even as a touching gesture from Anne, who up to this point hadn't shown a soft side.
  • The Bold and the Beautiful:
    • When Amber got pregnant (either from a one-night stand with boyfriend Rick or one with best friend Raymond), the myriad of unfortunate circumstances—they were all teenagers, neither relationship was very serious—made her decide to have an abortion, only for Rick to actually burst into the exam room and beg her to reconsider. They married, only for the child to be stillborn.
    • When Brooke got pregnant with her son-in-law's baby, despite her best friend warning her that an abortion was not only a good idea, but probably the best one, given the havoc that would undoubtedly be wreaked by the child's birth, Brooke decided against one, then spent the next nine months whining about how her daughter would hate her once she found out, precisely what her friend had warned her about. Even worse, this was not the first, nor the last time that Brooke would be in this kind of situation, the last one also being complicated by her advanced age, yet each time, she chose to have the baby.
    • Subverted with Morgan DeWitt, an ex-girlfriend of Ridge's who came to town still bitter about the abortion she'd had years ago. Flashbacks showed that she had wanted the baby, but had been browbeaten into terminating the pregnancy by Ridge's controlling mother Stephanie, who didn't feel that Morgan was good enough for Ridge, nor that the two were ready to take on the responsibility of parenthood.
  • Boston Legal: Missy Tiggs once tricked a man so he'd make her pregnant with his child and he hired Alan Shore to have the courts force her to abort. Alan accepted the case and believed he had a chance because ever since Roe vs Wade, the government has been waiting for a chance to have Roe vs. Wade overturned without being seen as anti-abortion for this (or so he believed — the series never hinted if he was right or wrong in that point). Alan's Freudian Excuse for this is that, back in college, he once got a woman pregnant and she, assuming he'd not want the child, had an abortion and only told him afterward. Alan took the case hoping to make it so the child's father would have as much right as the mother over the abortion issue.
  • In one episode of Call the Midwife, a teenage prostitute named Mary gets knocked up and realizes that if she stays with the pimp she's been working for, she'll be forced to have an abortion. Wanting to keep the baby, she appeals to Jenny Lee for help. Jenny takes her to a priest, who shelters Mary throughout the pregnancy. In this case though, it ends badly. The priest ends up putting the baby up for adoption without Mary's consent, arguing that a teenage mother would have no chance at all of getting a job, and thus splitting the two up was the only possible way for either to survive (the baby was adopted by a family able to support her). The episode also hinted that Mary wasn't entirely right in the head (she seemed unable to understand why it was worrying and not romantic at all that her boyfriend, who tricked her into the prostitution ring, was stalking her around the place she was hiding at) and that, coupled with a later episode where she kidnapped a baby (under the delusion that it was her own) and had no idea how to properly care for it lead to the hints that she would have been unable to care for her own child, had she been allowed to keep it.
    • A later episode subverted the trope as it followed Nora Harding's increasingly desperate attempts to induce abortion. Her story was played utterly for sympathy — she already had eight children and could hardly afford to feed and shelter them as it was — and everyone who finds out are only worried that Nora will inadvertently hurt herself in her attempts to abort. The episode dealt with the issue of the invention of birth control, and how that would have saved her all of the heartbreak and stress she went through. Ultimately, Nora resorts to a back-alley abortion and nearly dies from septicemia. Sister Julienne tells Jenny that this is far from the first time she's dealt with the situation, and knows exactly what to tell the doctor so that the woman can get the necessary care without being arrested for an illegal abortion. The end of the episode discusses how birth control was brought about soon enough that the woman's daughters and granddaughters were spared the same ordeals.
      • Another episode features a teenage diabetic getting pregnant by what her mother considers an unsuitable lower class boyfriend. The mother pressures her to have an abortion for her health, as being a pregnant diabetic at that time was very dangerous, but she wants to keep the baby. She and the father run away together, only for her to get terribly sick. When they're found, the mother puts her in the hospital to have the abortion. It's portrayed pretty tragically for everyone.
    • Yet another has a woman desperately seeking one as she and her husband already have two and don't want anymore. Indeed, she dies from septicemia. As this is the second such incident in as many episodes (the first woman didn't die, but will never be able to have children), the nurses/nuns suspect the same person is responsible and vow to find them before they kill or maim anyone else.
  • Catastrophe: Several characters, including Sharon, bring up the option of abortion. Yet she decides not to for no clear reason, despite her being forty one and only knowing the father briefly (the conception happened during a week of casual sex).
  • Deconstructed in Charite. End of the 19th century in Berlin, abortions are doable but illegal, and when nurse Stine brings her teenaged cousin Marie, who has been knocked up by a tenant, to the hospital, she can't find anyone willing to perform the procedure because no one wants to lose their license. Marie, who has been explicitly warned by Stine not to go to some back-alley quack, is too frightened to go home to her penniless family with yet another mooth to feed and attempts to kill herself.
  • Chicago P.D.. The team rescues a young woman who has been kidnapped and held prisoner for several months. She's horrified to learn that she's pregnant, outright declaring, "I can't have his baby!", but by the episode's conclusion, has decided to keep it, now saying "I want something good to come out of this."
  • Averted in Cold Case, which deals with abortion several times.
    • One first season episode centers on an underground abortion service during the 1960s. Both of the (highly sympathetic) victims worked for the service and two other sympathetic witnesses in the case also had.
    • One third season episode involved a high school couple who decide not to get an abortion after seeing photos given to them by a militantly pro-life (and hypocritical) nurse. It ruins both their lives (anvilicious, but on the other side).
    • One sixth season episode involved a character who had suffered through a botched abortion (the episode was again set in the 1960s-in both cases the botched abortions highlighted the trouble criminalizing abortion could cause, rather than serving to punish the characters).
    • The trope is played straight in "The Good-Bye Room", although Hillary indicates that her desire not to abort is less about concerns over her virtue and more about a (justified) fear of injury or death from the procedure, as this is another episode that takes place when abortion was not yet legal.
  • Continuum: Kiera scheduled one, but decided against it, and urges her grandmother to do the same (of course, that was to save her own future existence).
  • Abortion comes up plenty of times in Coronation Street and it's usually done to escalate drama.
    • Tracy - Magnificent Bitch extraordinaire - pretends she's pregnant and that she aborted the child in order to get sympathy from her boyfriend who wasn't letting her actual daughter live with them. Her mother is at first horrified that she got an abortion, and later horrified that Tracy would fake such a thing.
    • Katy Harris was pregnant at eighteen (while dating a much older man). Her parents didn't approve of the relationship and told her when they suspected he was having an affair. He wasn't but Katy believed them and got an abortion. She's portrayed as a victim this time, and when she finds out she's Driven to Suicide over it.
    • Natasha gets pregnant partly out of The Baby Trap as she suspects her relationship with Nick is failing. They split up briefly - during which Natasha has an abortion. Nick then reconciles with her and Natasha tries to pretend she's still pregnant for a while.
    • David finds his grandmother's old diary and reads a passage where she tuts about Gail going to have an abortion. Gail is his mother, then he does the math and realises she nearly aborted him.
  • Criminal Minds:
    • Season two's "Aftermath" has a serial rapist that is attacking girls at a religious school, then switches to an older demographic when one of the religious girls "chooses the sin of suicide over the sin of abortion."
    • Averted in a third season episode. A stalking victim admits to having had an abortion about a year earlier, and though her fiancé is upset when he finds out, it does not seriously damage her or her relationship with him.
    • Averted again in the fourth season, we find out that Prentiss had an abortion when she was fifteen. Though this fact is mentioned in the context of revealing why she's screwed up, the abortion is never treated as the reason; it is instead the negative reaction of her priest which damages not her, but her friend. In neither of these cases does the character revealing the abortion or the character hearing about it imply that abortion is an immoral act.
  • One episode of CSI resolved a case with this as its motive. When the team investigates the deaths of a pregnant barista, her coworker, a casino magnate, his bodyguard, and a college student, they trace the spent casings to a gun owned by a local businessman. When confronted with the evidence, he confessed that he had an affair with the barista, when she got pregnant he reassured her that he would pay for her abortion so long as nobody found out about the affair. On the night of the murders, she told him she decided she was keeping the baby and was going to sue him for child support. In a fit of rage, he shot her, when the coworker went to investigate, he killed her as well. Just then, the casino magnate came in, and as the bodyguard reached for his gun, the perp shot them both, the college student, whose music drowned out the gunshots, was also killed.
  • On Days of Our Lives, Mimi has an abortion after becoming pregnant by Rex. This is shown to be difficult for her emotionally, but she decides she is too young to have kids. She is punished harshly for this decision-she is blackmailed into assisting a kidnapper, her relationship with Rex falls apart when he finds out, and she becomes a borderline villain for some time.
  • Both played straight and averted in Deadwood. It's made clear that Doc Cochran is the Gem's abortionist-in-residence, and Trixie mentions that she's had several abortions. But when widowed Alma Garrett becomes pregnant by a married man, she decides to keep the pregnancy. Ellsworth generously offers to marry her, and it's only after this marriage that the pregnancy fails and she has to have an abortion to save her life.
  • Dear White People: Played with. Coco is deeply conflicted about the decision, but ultimately decides to have one. But when she goes to the abortion clinic with Kelsey, she decides against it, leaves Winchester, ultimately becomes a lawyer, and raises her daughter (with Troy’s apparent help), who herself gets into Winchester. But it’s then revealed to be a Daydream Surprise, and Coco instead goes through with the abortion. She obliquely refers to the abortion throughout the rest of Season 2, but it’s not shown how much it truly affected her.
  • Defiance: Averted with Amanda, who is one of the least ambiguously good characters and had an abortion years ago. The abortion itself is treated as an understandable choice given the overall situation, but her handling of it — not even discussing it with the father, Connor Lang, beforehand, even knowing he would have a problem with it — led to the destruction of their relationship. It's later revealed that her pregnancy was a result of her rape by a stranger, but she had allowed Connor to believe otherwise.
  • In Defying Gravity, Zoe seems like a nice girl (typically set against the less conventional Nadia). She has a one-night stand with Maddux and gets pregnant. She blames him for lying to her about having a vasectomy (he did have a vasectomy, but it somehow reversed itself, presumably because of Alpha or Beta), but the only person she tells is her best friend Jen. Jen is the one who puts her in contact with a dealer, who supplies Zoe with a pill for a chemical termination (abortion is illegal in the States at this point, even though Jen believes that it's only a matter of time before the law is overturned). The pill ends up nearly killing Zoe, and she's rushed to the hospital for a hysterectomy (meaning no more kids, ever). Despite this, she remains in the space program and ends up on the Antares mission. On the ship, though, she starts hearing a baby cry, eventually revealed to be a hallucination created by the Beta object in one of the holds. The ultimate end for all this is finally revealed in the season finale (also the end of the show), where Zoe starts having full-blown hallucinations about Gamma being her baby, causing her to risk her life bringing it back to the ship and Maddux refusing to leave her behind after finally putting the pieces together.
  • Derry Girls plays it straight at first, as the main character James is the result of a pregnancy that his mother initially planned to abort - and in fact travelled all the way over to England for. Her family only find out she didn't get it when she arrives back home with James sixteen years later. Of course the 'good girl' part is subverted when it's quickly obvious his mother Cathy is a ferociously neglectful flake who only comes back to get James because she wants cheap labor for her new business.
  • Degrassi High averted this when Erica decided to have an abortion and went through with it. This lead to the repeats of Degrassi either cutting episodes 101, 102, and 103 ('A New Start' Parts 1 and 2, and 'Breaking Up is Hard to Do') or changing episode 101 so that Erica was never pregnant.
    • Degrassi: The Next Generation averted this with Manny (leading to a similar incident of the above: the episode in question didn't air in the states for years, and any references to Manny being moody afterwards was treated like she was just depressed over her messy break-up with Craig), but played it straight with Liberty—when JT suggests the possibility of abortion, she says she doesn't want to want to even think about it. However, she is three months along by the time she works up the courage to tell JT, so she's had enough time to think her options through.
    • Played with when Jenna got pregnant. She was in denial about it for so long that by the time she found out, she was already far enough along that an abortion would not have been recommended. The father, KC, was quite mad at her about that. Played very straight with Clare: when she finds out she's pregnant she immediately books an abortion. But after a scare with vaginal bleeding, she's relieved when the fetus is okay and the doctor informs her that it was quite a miracle that she was able to conceive at all so soon after beating cancer. This causes the very ambitious Clare to choose to keep the child, despite wanting to go to university and get back together with her ex-boyfriend, who is not the father (or so she thinks).
    • And when Spike was pregnant with Emma on Degrassi Junior High, she did briefly consider abortion, even at the protest of her boyfriend, but (obviously, or else there'd be no Next Generation) decided to have the baby.
    • In Next Class, Lola gets pregnant after taking her birth control wrong. She decides to have an abortion and the show actually follows her into the room for the procedure, and afterwards she says she knows she made the right decision.
  • Abortion was alluded to three times on Desperate Housewives and avoided every time:
    • Gabrielle becomes pregnant in season 1 (due to her birth control pills being tampered with) and remains that way until a Convenient Miscarriage midway through season 2. She dismisses the question by saying that she and her husband are good Catholics.
    • Danielle becomes pregnant in season 3. When she tells Austin (the father) about it, he tells her that he "knows of this clinic," but she immediately dismisses it with "Absolutely not!" She goes through with the pregnancy and gives birth to a son, Benjamin, in early season 4.
    • Lynette becomes pregnant with twins at the end of season 5. Early in season 6, she becomes depressed when she sees them on the ultrasound, telling Tom that she doesn't love them like she loved her other kids and doesn't want them. She has a change of heart after having a talk with Susan about it.
  • The third season of Dexter has Rita discover that she's pregnant and — despite coming to the conclusion that having the child would be a stressful, near-unmanageable complication to an already complex situation — she decides to have the child.
  • Subverted on Different Strokes. Kimberly's pregnant friend makes it clear that this is one of the options she's considering—"I don't know whether to have it or have an abortion". However, true to form, she's never seen or mentioned again after the episode, so even with her father assuring her that "we're going to work this out", viewers never learn what she decided to do.
  • On A Different World, when Kim fears she's pregnant, she outright weeps, "I don't want to have an abortion!", even though she's clearly upset about being pregnant. Understandable — she's a college freshman and only just started dated the baby's father. She turns out not to be pregnant after all.
  • On Downton Abbey, Edith considers having an abortion when she gets pregnant out of wedlock and the father of her child is her boyfriend, who is technically married to another woman and currently missing. The fact that it was even brought up is very progressive considering the time period, and her normally harsh aunt even supports her. However, the clinic is presented as a very dark, seedy place (probably Truth in Television for the time), and Edith decides against abortion, eventually choosing adoption.
  • In the UK mini-series The Duchess of Duke Street, Louisa Trotter becomes pregnant by her lover, Charlie Tyrrell, in 1903. When she and Charlie discuss what to do, they both dismiss abortion out of hand because of the very real danger of infection. The decision not to abort was justifiable given the time frame, but the decision to have the character become pregnant was less defensible given that she was very loosely based on a historical individual who never had a child and probably never slept with a man.
  • In EastEnders erstwhile single-mother Michelle matter-of-factly aborted her husband's baby, after rejecting abortion while she was pregnant the first time. The difference was partly that she loved the father of the first child, the notorious Dirty Den, and didn't actually love her husband, weedy Lofty. Sadly, Lofty had wanted the baby, and this led to the break-up of their marriage (and arguably a better future for all concerned).
    • Stacey also aborted Bradley's kid, and the show dealt with it unusually: instead of getting over it and everybody forgetting what had happened, Stacey was never comfortable with what she had done.
  • Laura from Emily of New Moon is horrified at the very idea of abortion, yet has little qualms about whoring herself out to the cruel factory overseer.
  • ER: Played straight by the women of the show despite the multitude of unwanted/unplanned/unexpected pregnancies. It's only briefly alluded to when Chen implies that she deliberately hemmed and hawed about what to do until it was too late for her to terminate (she gave the baby up for adoption), and when the cancer-stricken Mark asks his fiancee Elizabeth if she'll still have the baby if his diagnosis is poor (in both character's cases, the actresses were pregnant in Real Life and the writers decided to include it). The only aversion is when Abby admits to having had an abortion during her marriage, fearful of either raising a mentally ill child, or putting an innocent child through the same hell she went through growing up with a bipolar mother. Later, when she gets pregnant by Luka, despite still having the same fears, she decides not to go ahead with an abortion.
    • Played every which way in an episode appropriately titled Shades of Gray where the doctors treat the victim of a woman's clinic bombing. When Dr. Weaver orders Dr. DelAmico to complete the abortion that one woman was in the process of having, the Catholic DelAmico freezes, then leaves. In that same episode, Weaver lectures another young woman from the clinic, who was there for her fifth procedure, telling her that her behavior is irresponsible, citing that she could simply use birth control and avoid all this. Proving that she isn't a "good girl", the woman basically tells her to fuck off. The most sympathetic vignette is a 40-something year old woman who admits that despite being Happily Married and dearly loving her four daughters, she simply does not want any more children, nor does she want to start the child-rearing process all over again, having just sent the last of her kids off to college. There's a pro-life protester injured in the bombing as well, who naturally believes this trope to be true, although she's told off for it.
    • One episode featured a female patient suffering from malnutrition and gets mildly reprimanded by the doctors for not watching her health while pregnant. The woman admits that she knew about the pregnancy and purposefully starved herself in hopes of managing to induce a miscarriage, saying that she and her husband already have several kids and are financially on tight strings as it is. Another baby would make things worse. She also says that abortion wasn't an option she could bring up because she knew her husband would be against it. The doctors discuss things with her and she eventually gets sent up to OB/GYN to perform an abortion. Nothing is said about her choices being wrong, except that starving herself was unlikely to work. The closest to being 'wrong' is the husband, being shown to be vehemently against abortion for any reason.
    • Averted with Nicole, who briefly dated Luka. She tells him she's pregnant to keep him from kicking her out when he discovers she's a thief, but has an abortion after Abby chastises her for trying to pull The Baby Trap.
  • Euphoria: Cassie gets an abortion, which isn't portrayed as bad in itself, but she clearly had some mixed feelings about having it (McKay had pressured her into doing this).
  • Ezel:
    • Discussed by Bade and Azad after the latter reveals she is pregnant. Bade is aghast and upset to learn her friend is contemplating abortion, saying it would be terrible to kill a living soul who has no one but its mother. Azad in turn asks whether it would be right to keep the child, only to give it a life of loneliness and instability — an experience that describes her own youth.
    • While she eventually chooses to keep her baby, Azad ultimately subverts the trope. She has no moral qualms regarding abortion; instead, her inner conflict comes from the tension between what she wants (having a baby) and reality (whether she is able to give her child the life he or she deserves). It is only when she has promise of support and stability that she finally shelves the abortion option.
  • On The Facts of Life, Blair's mother visits her and tells her that she's pregnant, but not going to go through with it. Blair is very disappointed with her mother's decision and how little thought she put into it (this was very true-to-life for Lisa Whelchel, as she is a devout born-again Christian). Blair eventually talks her mother into going through with the pregnancy, and the baby (a girl) is born later in the season in a Christmas Episode.
  • Flesh and Bone: Averted. Claire did not abort her child of incest, but reveals she used to punch herself in the stomach in the hopes of a miscarriage. This suggests she would have had an abortion, had her father permitted it.
  • The Frankenstein Chronicles: Flora's desire for (and later procuring) an abortion is disapproved of by everyone else (even herself, eventually) except Hervey. It turns out he not only performed the abortion, but is the real culprit in the murders.
  • At the beginning of Roz's unplanned pregnancy arc in Season 5 of Frasier, the possibility of abortion is brought up only very briefly and indirectly by Frasier. Roz makes it clear that she never contemplated abortion as an option.
  • Averted on Friday Night Lights, where a minor female character falls pregnant from a one-night stand, and spends an episode considering all her options before ultimately going through with it. The episode does a pretty amazing job of never making the story a political issue, and keeping it focused on the characters that are affected.
  • Just barely alluded to on Friends, with Rachel's pregnancy. When the rest of the gang asks how and what she plans to tell Ross, she responds, "I'm going to tell him that I plan to have the baby", etc.
  • Fringe has Fauxlivia having some sort of illness that eventually almost certainly kills both the mother and the child (her sister had the same syndrome and died from it). So, for her, abortion is the only way out, and she's definitely doing it (even if the term itself, as usual, is never named). However, before she can go through with it, she's kidnapped and her pregnancy is accelerated. Ultimately, both she and her baby survive-the kidnapping was orchestrated by the baby's scientist grandfather who needed the child's DNA for his own nefarious purposes.
  • In Frontline, hard-nosed bitch reporter Brooke finds out she's pregnant, and wants to keep the baby. However, she's not married and the producers blackmail her with mentions that she's being considered for the star of a new show — but that would be impossible if she was pregnant on-air. They mention that she could discreetly deal with the problem and call the absence a family emergency. At the end of the episode, she's absent for a day due to "a grandmother's funeral."
  • General Hospital. After cheating on husband AJ, Carly is horrified to find herself pregnant with her lover's child (she knows she can't pass it off as her husband's, thanks to their Sexless Marriage) and while she makes arrangements for an abortion, she ultimately can't go through with it. Sure enough, she miscarries after falling down some stairs.
    • Laura Webber feared she might be pregnant following her rape by Luke, but tearfully declared that she wouldn't have an abortion if that were the case. Whether for personal/moral reasons or because there was a chance the baby could be her husband's rather than her rapist's is never clear. It became a moot debate when she wasn't pregnant after all.
  • On a Gilmore Girls flashback episode, when Lorelai was pregnant with Rory, Chris's father (who had been established as a jerk in a previous episode) tacitly suggests to the other parents that Lorelai simply "get rid" of the baby. This leads to a rather stunned silence, which makes some sense, since both sets of parents are upper-class conservatives.
  • Quinn of Glee is briefly asked whether she's going to get an abortion, but she promptly says no without a single thought. This fits into her character, who has been set up as a very devoted Christian, canoodling aside. Later on, Rachel has a pregnancy scare and the issue might have been addressed, but they sidestep it when it turns out she wasn't pregnant.
  • Averted on Good Girls Revolt with Angie. She tries to end the pregnancy by drinking tansy tea at first because she doesn't have the money for an abortion. Then all the girls at the office give money so she can have a proper procedure, and she isn’t portrayed negatively at all. At the same time, we find out that Cindy's had abortions in the past. However, this is The '60s / The '70s, so everything is done very secretively.
  • The Good Wife: Discussed and averted. Diana is a supporter of abortion rights, while her client R. D. opposes it, and they have an informal debate about it, but later respectfully agree to disagree. On the other hand Nisa, Zack's girlfriend, is the only character mentioned to have had an abortion. This is treated neutrally, with no comment either way. Alicia is only upset that she didn't know Zack was having sex, and if the reveal could be bad for Peter's political career given the controversial issue.
  • Played straight in Graceland. Having become pregnant by Briggs and realizing that Briggs is a sociopath, Charlie considers having an abortion, but can't bring herself to actually do it (though she pretends that she did because she knows that it would hurt him.) She later loses the child anyway after someone tries to poison her while she's undercover.
  • Grey's Anatomy has Cristina get pregnant and have a miscarriage before her scheduled abortion. The second time she gets pregnant,note  she actually has the abortion. It causes a lot of trouble between her and her husband, though her decision is perfectly in-character. This time it's contrasted by Meredith and Derek unsuccessfully trying to conceive after Meredith's previous miscarriage, which happened the day she found out about the pregnancy, so she didn't have time to make a decision.
    • When April has a pregnancy scare, she decides that she would keep the baby. Justified as she's very religious and had been a virgin until a few months before.
  • In season four of Grimm, Adalind learns she is once again pregnant with a baby she doesn't want. The father is someone she despises and she still hasn't found her last child (still a baby), but her first thought is to quickly sleep with another guy in order to pretend it's his. The only reason she kept her first baby was in order to sell it to the highest bidder, but ultimately changed her mind once maternal instinct kicks in. And as her character arc was moving her from villain to sympathetic antagonist and, eventually, to a genuinely good character (she becomes Nick's One True Pairing after Juliette turns into a Hexenbiest).
  • Averted in the second season of Halt and Catch Fire. Donna gets pregnant and between her husband's increasingly erratic behavior, Mutiny's persistent money problems, and the fact that she's already got two daughters to take care of, decides that it's not a good time for her to have another child, and thus she has Cameron drive her to the abortion clinic.
  • Hand of God: Alicia backs out of having an abortion at the very last minute, though she was mostly getting pressured into one by Paul to begin with so his reputation would be spared.
  • The Handmaid's Tale: The fundamentalist regime certainly thinks so, blaming abortion (among other things) for the current demographic crisis. A former abortion doctor is also seen hanged from the Wall later by Offred and Ofglen.
  • Heroes Reborn (2015): Averted in the flashback when Erica's father finds out that she's pregnant and says he'll support whatever decision she makes. She continues her pregnancy though.
  • Parodied in Hex in which Cassie vacillates but is finally persuaded to have an abortion after becoming pregnant with The Antichrist. The humor comes when the fetus's demonic father uses undiluted religious pro-life rhetoric to persuade the gynecologist to secretly save the life of the (unnaturally grown) premature infant.
  • Frequently subverted in House, usually when there are medical implications:
    • In "Kids," the pregnancy was the underlying cause of the Patient Of The Week's condition. House tells the mother (who is 12-years-old) it has to be terminated.
    • In "Sports Medicine," the patient's wife wants to have an abortion so she can donate a kidney to save her husband. The father so desperately wants his child to be born, though, that he tells House to tell her he'll kill himself if she won't stop considering it. Fortunately, the subsequent confrontation between House and the wife leads to him solving the mystery.
    • In "One Day, One Room", House's patient (after much persuading) adheres to the one exception — that abortion is okay when the pregnancy resulted from rape.
    • Played straight(ish) in "Fetal Position", where a woman refuses to terminate a life-threatening pregnancy, forcing House to perform a risky operation on the fetus in a Shout-Out to Real Life Samuel Armas. He maintains that they took an unacceptable risk to their patient, but starts using the word "baby" over "it" from then on.
  • Somewhat averted in season seven of How I Met Your Mother, when Robin hints that she will probably have an abortion if her pregnancy scare turns out to be real, which distresses Barney, the potential father. However, it never actually comes to a head because she turns out not to be pregnant after all.
  • Humans: Matti wants to have an abortion until Niska reveals the baby is going to be a unique synth-human hybrid, the wave of the future, which convinces her not to.
  • Played straight in Inspector George Gently, when a progressive student falls pregnant and decides not to go to Scotland for an abortion (it had been decriminalised there but not in England) even though she has the money and contacts and not having an abortion would mean dropping out of university and returning to her working-class parents to be a single mother, effectively ending her dreams of becoming a lawyer to support the progressive cause.
    • Played straight again in another episode, where Gently arrests an abortionist he catches about to begin the procedure. She had previously discussed it with him, as a hypothetical scenario, and claimed that abortion was for the general good because most of the women coming to her were unable to care for a child, and claimed that abortion would soon be legalized anyway. Unusually Gently, who is for racial tolerance, gay rights, and multiculturalism, is completely opposed to abortion, whereas Bacchus, who would be somewhere between Jack Regan and Gene Hunt if he weren't on a tight leash, is more open to the idea of legalization (perhaps because of his own Shotgun Marriage).
  • Charlie Kelly's mother on It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia had an abortion that didn't exactly work out, since three months later Charlie was born. Yes, three months later.
  • Averted in Jack & Bobby. Missy gets an abortion after accidentally getting pregnant and it's portrayed as being the right thing for her to do. Ironically her devout Catholic father was more upset about her being pregnant in the first place than he was about her getting an abortion, which is the opposite of how it usually is with religious families on TV shows.
  • Jane the Virgin: Jane gets pregnant after her doctor accidentally artificially inseminates her instead of another patient, and ironically Jane has never actually had sex. Despite this, Jane continues with the pregnancy after she learns that the father's only remaining sperm sample was used on her, and she intends to give the baby to the couple. Eventually though, the couple breaks up and Jane and the father, Rafael, decide to raise the baby together. Despite Jane not getting an abortion though, the trope is still sort of subverted. She heavily considers getting one and it is portrayed as an equally valid option.
    • Also that Jane's mother, who isn't considered the "Good Girl", turned down Jane's devout Catholic grandmother's and father's request that she get an abortion when pregnant with Jane. This haunts them.
    • Completely averted when Xo gets pregnant in season 3 after very firmly deciding she didn't want any more kids. She decides to get an abortion and the whole affair is treated matter-of-factly.
  • Jessica Jones (2015): Averted. Hope Schlottman is the epitome of the good girl archetype who adamantly refuses to give birth to a child by Kilgrave, and pays her cellmate to beat her up so she will miscarry. When that does not work, Jessica helps her procure abortion pills, and after she physically recovers from the experience she's shown to stand by her decision not to go through with the pregnancy. Considering that in the comics, all of Kilgrave's children inherited his Mind Rape powers, this was probably the best course of action....
  • In a Russian teen TV series Kadetstvo, a Good Girl ponders over the option of abortion, decides to go through with it and sticks to that decision. Her Good Boy boyfriend objects to that, and she promptly breaks up with him. Considering how common abortion is in Russia, around 2.7 million annually, this could be Values Dissonance.
  • The Knick: Discussed and mostly averted. Sister Harriet is an abortionist and reassures one of her patients that God would understand. Cleary doesn't like it, but his scruples don't stop him from extorting part of Sister Harriet's payment when he finds out that she performs them. Later, when Cornelia becomes pregnant after having sex with Edwards he initially reluctantly agrees to perform an abortion so that it will be safe, but then backs out. So she goes to Sister Harriet. He isn't happy with this, but knows that being together is socially impossible, and them running away would mean giving up their lives in New York forever. People who don't know that Edwards is the father suggested Cornelia pass off the baby as her fiancee's, which she knew wouldn't work.
  • Law & Order: SVU:
    • In "Persona" Linnie/Caroline admits to having an abortion in the 70s after getting pregnant due to being repeatedly raped by her then-husband (whom she killed to stop the abuse). Her current husband (who she never told about her past) is upset at her for this, since she knew he wanted children, and says Linnie denied him that (along with grandchildren). Due to this, along with keeping her past secret, he leaves Linnie.
    • In "Dearly Beloved" Kitty became pregnant by her rapist, and thus wants to have an abortion initially as a result. Olivia has mixed feelings about it due to having been conceived by rape herself, as it brings up bad memories about her mother telling saying she shouldn't have kept her. In the end though Kitty decides to go through with the pregnancy. Olivia lets Amanda think that she had an abortion once in the past and regretted it too, but then says that didn't happen the next episode.
    • Another victim who was impregnated on orders of her father (not by: he was running something of a one-man Breeding Cult) tells Elliot after her father is convicted that she plans to abort. Elliot expresses no specific opinion, and roll credits.
  • Liar: Makeda takes drugs to induce abortion. Nobody in the know disapproves, but they cover it up because her father would, and send Makeda back to Ethiopia.
  • Line of Duty: Lindsay Denton tells Steve she had an abortion once as her then-lover refused to help her and denied the baby was even his. She says it's the worse thing she's ever done, and deeply regrets it.
  • Little Fires Everywhere: In the series Lexie has an abortion, though she's shown to have pretty mixed feelings about it, but no one else (who knows anyway) tells her this was wrong.
  • Luke Cage (2016): Mama Mabel took this view, forbidding Mariah from having an abortion when she'd got pregnant due to Pete raping her. Thus her daughter Tilda was passed off as the child of Mariah's husband, then given to another family, the Johnsons.
  • Played with in Mad Men, naturally. Joan gives a blink-and-you-miss it reference in the first season (roughly, "Are you late again? Do you need to see Doctor Emerson?"), and later Betty Draper, of all people, makes serious inquiries after finding out that she's pregnant while estranged from her husband. And one of her friends knows a doctor. Admittedly she doesn't go through with it, but that has less to do with morality and more with being driven to patch her marriage back together at any cost. Bear in mind that we're in the early 60s here. In the fourth season, Joan reveals that she's had two abortions (or "procedures" as she calls them) and that she's concerned that she might not be able to get pregnant with her husband because of them. She most certainly can and does—but not by her husband, leading to what appears to abortion #3. In the underground clinic she goes to, we see a 17-year-old go in for one as well. However, Joan ultimately keeps the child. In this case they pay lip-service to past abortions, but every woman who gets pregnant on the show keeps the baby. Joan may have had abortions in the past, but she wasn't a good girl-she's keeping this baby, because she's a good girl now. Arguably Peggy Olson's adoption counts as not "keeping" the baby.
  • The Magicians: When Julia gets pregnant due to Renard's rape, she decides to have an abortion right away, and this is treated as perfectly acceptable. Kady confides in her that she had an abortion as well (although she's not portrayed as "good" exactly). Julia then gets one from two Korean magicians. Poppy later tells Quentin she was going to have an abortion, but got distracted by attending a ritual and then decided it was a good opportunity to create a dragon-human hybrid.
  • On Malcolm in the Middle, the entire family is utterly horrified when Lois becomes pregnant with her fifth child, as their resources are stretched to the snapping point taking care of the kids they already have, but the possibility of abortion is never even brought up. The family are implied to be Roman Catholic, albeit heavily lapsed, and given how strictly many Catholic adhere to this trope, consciously or not, it may well be Truth in Television. In this case the pregnancy plot was created because the actress playing Lois really was pregnant, so it would've been very difficult to hide the pregnancy in the later months, so it's highly unlikely the creators intended to have any message about abortion present in this subplot.
  • Averted in the very first TV abortion, that of the 47-year-old protagonist of Maude. No complications are referred to, and her family supports her choice. Her daughter's encouragement included explaining why a 47-year-old shouldn't have a baby, and Adrienne Barbeau played the daughter, who was 27 years old, and provided her mother with an 8-year-old grandson. Ironically, the episode aired before Roe v. Wade became law, but abortion had recently been made legal in New York, which was one of only four states to have abortion on request, with no reason required. Some people interpreted the episode as a subtle PSA regarding this fact.
  • Messiah: Felix firmly opposes abortion, and thus he's very upset when Rebecca tells him about having one in the past without his knowledge. After this, he seems to feel it's a personal failure on his part and asks how he can stand beside Al-Masih upon learning this. He's also upset that she and Anna kept this from him.
  • Averted with Tina from Midnight Caller, who reluctantly decides to have an abortion to avoid giving AIDS to her daughter. Later played straight by Devon, who decides to keep her baby even though the father is gone and having a child could seriously mess up her career.
  • Averted in Misfits: Curtis quickly gets rid of his Gender Bender power after getting his female alter ego pregnant accidentally, effectively aborting that pregnancy. The word isn't used, though Alicia says "There are options, you know" when Melissa!Curtis is worrying over what to do.
  • Mrs. America: Averted, as in real life, Gloria Steinem had a safe but illegal abortion in the past and encourages women in her magazine to speak out about their experiences. In "Gloria" she even speaks to a woman who had an abortion in the past because she and her husband were living in a hotel room with their three children and how it was a hard time for her. Stop ERA activists, though, are firmly against abortion.
  • Used in Murphy Brown: Murphy mulls her options after getting pregnant, abortion clearly being one of them. Eventually she decides against it. It's implied that the father assumed she would abort. In a pointed fantasy sequence, she considers aborting the child, only to turn and find the entire Supreme Court wagging their fingers at her in disapproval.
  • Averted twice on Nip/Tuck: in season 2, Liz had one when she finds out that the baby she's carrying would be born with Down's Syndrome. In season 6, Kimber has one when jerkass Christian tells her that she could either choose between keeping him as her boyfriend or receive child support checks but lose him completely as he already has 3 kids and does not want another. There are some complications during the procedure and afterward Kimber is told that she can't have kids anymore.
  • In the first series of The O.C., Ryan gets a girl pregnant, and she says she's not going to have an abortion. It's quite probably not his, but he won't even consider this, despite the fact that it seems like his ex-girlfriend is trying to force him back into a relationship after her boyfriend — the probable actual father of her child — dumped her. But then, in the next season, she said she had Convenient Miscarriage off-screen and drops off the face of the Earth, only for it to revealed later that she faked the miscarriage and has the kid, who wasn't his anyway.
  • One Life to Live:
    • Blair refuses to abort Patrick's baby, despite the utterly disastrous circumstances — Patrick is in a relationship with Marty, while Blair's marriage to Todd is in an upheaval over Todd's return from the dead and the kidnapping of Starr, Blair and Todd's daughternote . Of course, towards the end of her pregnancy, she gets into a car accident and the baby is killed.
    • Later on, Marty herself becomes pregnant and insists that she will have the baby despite the risks to her health, even as Patrick begs her to reconsider (ironic, given his staunch Catholicism), not wanting to lose her.
    • Teenager Jessica Buchanan also decides against an abortion, despite seriously considering it and even initially opting to have one because of similarly bad circumstances — her young age, her not being involved with the baby's father. She also loses the baby at the end of the pregnancy after being hit by a car.
    • Heroine Sarah Gordon conceived after her rape and waffled on whether or not to have an abortion, of course, ultimately miscarrying.
  • Used in One Tree Hill, where Peyton chooses to continue a pregnancy against medical orders and is seemly quite willing to sacrifice her own life in spartan martyrdom if it saves the life of her unborn child. It's painful not so much because of her reasoning but rather her reaction when Lucas tells her he would rather lose his unborn baby than lose her.
    "Lucas, if you want to talk about it, call it what it abortion!"
    • This occurs many times throughout the series, actually (there are so many teen pregnancies or false alarms in the town that you have to wonder if there's something in the water). Lucas' mother kept him even though it meant dropping out of college, and during both of Brooke's scares, she didn't consider abortion to be an option.
    • The one character that had an abortion in the past was the very pro-life-y "revirginized" leader of the school Clean Teen group (who revealed her past transgressions with a tearful, "I KILLED MY BABY!").
  • Orange Is the New Black:
    • Tiffany "Pennsatucky" Doggett was in the clinic for abortion #5, but remembers a conversation she had the night before with her boyfriend/husband/whatever the hell he was, and pulls the IV out. She takes his gun and shoots the nurse that was tending to her because of a snarky comment the nurse made about how many abortions Ms. Doggett has had. The pro-lifers protesting outside the clinic believe she did it to support their cause though. As a result, they give Pennsatucky legal aid and support during her trial and while she is incarcerated for the shooting. Shortly thereafter, Pennsatucky became The Fundamentalist. In season 3, it's implied that she miscarried anyway. She is also shown in the Mother's Day episode to regret the children she aborted (and the one she didn't), giving them names and making a little memorial for them with crosses made out of Popsicle sticks, with each of their names on them. Big Boo talks her out of her funk, by saying that by aborting them, she spared them a miserable life and may have potentially spared the legal system more criminals to deal with, thus doing what was best for them.
    • In the same series, Daya becomes pregnant by a corrections officer that she was in a Secret Relationship with. She doesn't want to get him in trouble, and she knows the baby would be taken away from her after it's born, so she asks her cellmate Gloria to make up an abortifacient herbal tea for her. Later, her heretofore estranged mother reveals that she spoke to Gloria first and told her not to give Daya an abortifacient (it was actually a laxative) as she wants her grandchild. Daya comes to decide to keep the child who turns out to be a daughter but due to circumstances in seasons 4 and 5, eventually decides to place her child for adoption with a woman she had been meeting with in order to give her daughter a better life.
  • Orphan Black:
    • Averted in the season 2 finale. Sarah admits that she has had an abortion in the past.
    • Played extremely straight after Helena and Gracie are artificially inseminated with Helena-Henrik embryos. Gracie is understandably disturbed at being impregnated against her will with her father's child.
      Helena: You're a good girl, Gracie, but if you don't want to have my babies, don't have my babies.
      Gracie: I would never do that.
  • Outlander:
    • Louise de Rohan asks Claire to give her an abortifacient after she becomes pregnant due to her affair with Prince Charles. However, Claire warns her that the herb used is highly toxic and very risky to take. She eventually changes her mind and passes the baby off as her husband's.
    • When her daughter Brianna gets pregnant, possibly from rape, Claire offers to do a surgical abortion. Brianna ultimately turns it down.
  • Party of Five has Julia getting pregnant at age 16 and the entire episode is a debate over this trope. Charlie wants Julia to get an abortion since she's too young to be a mother while Claudia wants her to keep it since she considers abortion murder. Surprise, it's solved with a Convenient Miscarriage though Julia was actually planning to get an abortion. Executive Meddling forced the miscarriage.
  • Averted in Please Like Me. Not only does Claire undergo an abortion, it receives almost an entire episode dedicated to showing her going through the process, dealing with her conflicted feelings about it and discussing them with Josh. All in all, it's an incredibly sensitive portrayal that doesn't diminish how significant a moment it is in her life, while never passing judgement on her for her choice.
  • The Practice: Rebecca mentions having an abortion once to Eugene, and seems unhappy about it, or has mixed feelings. Later Helen claims she had an abortion at 19 when trying to get a confession out of a girl who killed her late-term baby. She actually didn't though, but claims to have for sympathy with the girl.
  • In Pramface, despite going to a clinic to hear her options, having abortion suggested by her best friend, parents, and worrying about how motherhood is going to work while she's going to university, Laura goes through with her pregnancy.
  • On Private Practice when Maya becomes pregnant at the age of 16 her pro-life OB-GYN mother tries to force her to have an abortion. Addison offers to perform the abortion, but once inside the exam room, Maya can't go through with it. She decides to have her baby, which leads to a temporary estrangement from her mother. Eventually, her mother falls in love with the baby once it is born and acknowledges how thankful she is that her daughter chose life.
  • Proven Innocent: Explored in "The Shame Game", in which Madeline struggles to exonerate a Muslim woman wrongly convicted for an illegal abortion. Throughout the case, Madeline has to fight against an openly pro-life judge who's blatantly biased against them. Easy too is pro-life, but he takes a much more lenient view, believing that even assuming their client was guilty, twenty five years is excessive punishment and thinks women who have abortions should be treated mercifully.
  • Providence Joanie never considers one for either of her out-of-wedlock pregnancies, opting for a Shotgun Wedding in both instances. Neither of which go through—her mother collapses and dies at the first, and by the time they try again, they admit that they're only getting married because of the baby. In the second instance, she has a Convenient Miscarriage and becomes so despondent that she pushes her fiancé away until he finally gives up and leaves her.
  • Taken to almost ludicrous levels in Pretty Little Liars. Alison gets pregnant by being forcibly inseminated by one of the series' Big Bads. She first decides on having an abortion (referred to in the show as a 'termination'), but then it turns out that the eggs she was inseminated with belonged to her best friend Emily, who had them frozen for herself to use at some future date. Despite Alison being literally impregnated against her will, that the egg's are Emily's causes the entire cast to act as though Emily has a say in whether Alison has the baby. Eventually Emily tells Alison she wants her to have the baby, and Emily's then-girlfriend Paige breaks up with Emily to let her and Alison be together. Paige also tells Alison she will make a good mother, even though Alison is still undecided in light of this new information. Alison ends up deciding to have the baby, and even though the series gives a fake miscarriage scare carries the baby (babies, as it turns out to be twins) successfully to term. She's happy raising the children with Emily at the end.
  • In the miniseries Queen, the titular character is taken to an abortionist after being abandoned by her lover, but she storms out. Whether for moral reasons or because she's terrified of being killed by the untrained woman is unclear.
  • Averted in the second season of The Real World when roommate Tammy has an abortion after finding out she's pregnant. When she returned to the house, the producers asked if she wanted all references to her pregnancy edited out, but she allowed them to keep it in since it was something young people could learn from. MTV showed both sides of the issue without being polarizing; another roommate thought what Tammy did was wrong, but knew that wasn't what she needed to hear and stood by her as a friend regardless.
  • Reign: Lola goes off to have one, but is stopped by Mary at the last minute before the operation.
  • Played with in Roseanne, of all places.
    • Jackie has an unexpected pregnancy and is considering abortion, which her mother is strongly against, only to find out that her and Roseanne's grandmother had two, long, long before they were legal. In the end Jackie opts to keep the baby, though her mother is still horrified that she has no plans to marry the father. (For the record, she eventually does after the baby's born, though even then they eventually divorce.)
    • This comes up in a later episode, when it's possible Roseanne herself may need an abortion when something's thought to be wrong with her 4th baby. The initial episode is where Bev shows how fanatically anti-abortion she is and Nana Mary reveals she had her two, and the next episode has Roseanne feeling pressured to make the decision even though she wants to keep the baby. In the end, all the worry's for naught when it turns out the baby's fine.
  • Salem: Nastily averted by Mary, who up to that point seemed quite the good girl. The slave Tituba not only uses magic to abort her child, but apparently it's sacrificed to the Devil as the beginning of Mary's slide into evil. It's later revealed her child is still alive... raised by the coven.
  • On Santa Barbara, Eden got pregnant by her sleazy husband Kirk after he tampered with her birth control pills. Because Eden was a "good girl", she wanted to continue carrying this baby until it was born. But she miscarried it, and she was sad about it. She said, "The baby would have been the only good thing to come out of my marriage. I really would have liked to have had it."
  • On The Sarah Silverman Program, Sarah's non-moral (not amoral), and not too bright, character, admits to having had several previous abortions, oblivious to the fact that this is a hot topic, and people may judge her for this. Later, she makes friends with a group of fundamentalist Christian women she meets at a clinic, and they're very nice to her, even though she has had abortions, because they believe she regrets them, and will be a mouthpiece for their cause, talking about how traumatic the experience was. It takes a while for this to dawn on Sarah, who at one point says that not only does she not regret having abortions, but doesn't think she's done having them. Her new "friends" drop her like a hot potato, but she's not too upset, because she's pretty happy-go-lucky. By the end of the episode she's having another abortion.
  • Scrubs:
    • Jordan mentioned having an abortion, and although she probably doesn't fall under the category of "good girl", it's notable that though she's shown to feel quite sad when talking to her young child about it, she says it was the most reasonable decision she could have made at the time, as she told the couple (JD and Kim) asking for advice.
    • When J.D. gets his girlfriend pregnant, he has one of his daydreams where he discusses abortions with Jesus:
      Jesus: No abortions!
      J.D.: What if the parents are both drug addicts who'd neglect and abuse the child?
      Jesus: Oh, in that case it would be OK.
      J.D.: Really?
      Jesus: NO abortions! How are you people not getting this?!
      • JD and Kim discuss adoption, but JD rejects that since he thinks that if it were a girl, he might one day in the future end up sleeping with her without knowing she's his adult daughter. They decide to keep the baby and Kim has a miscarriage after she is Put on a Bus. A few months later, after it is revealed that she lied about the miscarriage and that she is still pregnant, Kim gives birth and they raise the child (who is a boy), though they are no longer a couple.
    • A throwaway joke in the fifth season has a priest revealing to JD that he is pro-choice.
  • In The Secret Life of the American Teenager, at first it was Amy. To be fair, she considered abortion to the point of going to the abortion clinic, but ultimately realized that she couldn't go through with it and it wasn't the best choice for her. This example was far more prominent later in the series, when bad girl Adrian becomes pregnant and goes through with the pregnancy, using exactly the same reason as Amy, word for word.
  • Seinfeld: Discussed in one episode, when Elaine, who's firmly pro-choice, urges Jerry to not eat at a restaurant whose owner supports anti-abortion groups. He challenges this by later asking Poppy, owner of another restaurant they go to, what he thinks of abortion. Turns out he is against it, and Elaine gets into an argument with him. Then this comes up again with a new guy she dates, after Jerry got Elaine to bring it up. He's also pro-life, and they break up over it.
  • In Sex and the City, Miranda got pregnant and went for an abortion, but decided to keep the baby at the last minute, though it is mentioned in the same episode that Carrie and Samantha have both had abortions in the past (and Carrie, while shown not to regret her decision, says she still doesn't feel "normal" about it even years later). Miranda was actually sitting in the doctor's office before deciding not to go through with it, despite the uncertainty of her relationship with the baby's father, and declaring, "I can't have a baby. I could barely find the time to schedule this abortion."
  • Played somewhat straight in Silk. Main character Martha Costello finds out she's pregnant and immediately calls a clinic to take care of it, but when she misses the appointment due to her work schedule, she decides not to reschedule. When the father asks her where she's going to go for an abortion, she plainly informs him that she's keeping it. Until a crazy ex-client assaults her in the season finale.
  • Averted in Six Feet Under. Claire gets pregnant from her cheating sleazy boyfriend, and ends up having an abortion. There are no ill side effects, but she does end up seeing her baby in the arms of Nate's dead wife in a hallucination/trip to the afterlife/whatever the hell that was.
  • The Sinner:
    • Cora was raised Catholic, so she wouldn't have an abortion. Rather, she stepped in front of a truck. This led to a miscarriage, though she survived obviously. She seems unaware of the fact this essentially is just abortion by other means. It turns out that she made it all up.
    • Inverted with the cult. They will force female members to have abortions if their pregnancies haven't been "approved" by the leader. However, an exception is made for Marin.
  • In the series finale of Sisters, Teddy and her husband learn that their child might be disabled. He's relieved that they've found out in time to have an abortion, but she ultimately refuses, declaring that they can love the child no matter what. In an earlier episode, when she seduces her ex-husband Mitch the night before he's to marry her sister, she gets pregnant from this encounter, but decides not to abort, despite the havoc that will be wreaked, miscarrying once the hoopla dies down.
  • Skins averts this trope with Jal so she can go to university.
  • Smash concludes with Ivy, who's mostly been portrayed as a good girl despite some bad decisions, choosing not to terminate her pregnancy despite just winning the Tony as the star of a hit Broadway show and the father being a womanizing, sexual harassing jerkass.
  • Averted with Tara on Sons of Anarchy, who became pregnant by her boyfriend prior to the start of the series and had an abortion at six weeks. She does not feel guilty about this, but the conflict stems from the fact that her (ex, by the start of the series) boyfriend seems to believe in this trope on top of being more than a little emotionally unstable.
  • One plot line on South of Nowhere involved Chelsea getting pregnant from Clay and going for an abortion. At the last minute, she opts out and keeps the baby, which she later loses in a car crash.
  • Spartacus: Blood and Sand:
    • Subverted with Aurelia. Aurelia is pregnant via a rapist and abortion doesn't seem to occur to her, even though her husband is disgusted by her carrying another man's baby and she is in a very desperate situation. When Varro apologizes for being a massive douche, he implies that it's up to her whether the baby will be born. After his death, she has it terminated to continue paying off his debt as a slave to Batiatus. This is treated as understandable, and Spartacus merely looks sad that she was left this way.
    • Although Ilithyia isn't actually good, her choice not to have an abortion is viewed positively by both herself and others. It was a complex situation to begin with, as she first intended for this because she'd been planning a divorce from Gaius, but felt hesitant. Then she admits it's not even his, but Spartacus's (due to a deception Lucretia pulled on them), though she's come to desire it nonetheless.
  • The Spanish Princess: After getting pregnant from her lover, Rosa asks Lina for help. Lina gets her a potion to cause abortion, but Rosa can't bring herself to use it, instead getting assurances by her lover that he'll care for her and the baby.
  • Averted on Spenser For Hire, as Susan Silverman has an abortion in spite of Spenser's opposition.
  • Unusual example in Stargate SG-1 since Vala is hardly a good girl in the conventional sense and the conversation happens well after the child (who becomes the Big Bad for the rest of the series) was born.
    Vala: What, you don't think I'd want to be responsible for the enslavement of an entire galaxy, do you?
    Daniel: It was hardly your fault.
    Vala: I knew she was the will of the Ori even before she was born. I could have done something about it, but I didn't.
    Daniel: She was your child.
    Vala: Maternal instinct can only excuse so much.
  • On Stargate Universe, when T.J. tells Colonel Young that she's pregnant with his child, preempts any mention of abortion with the statement "I'm keeping it." In this case, performing an abortion would have been rather tricky given their limited medical supplies, even if a doctor could have been brought in via the stones.
  • In the Star Trek: The Original Series episode "The Mark Of Gideon", the leadership of the titular planet explains to Kirk that they value life too much to resort to allow abortion (although neither he nor they actually use the word, it's clear what they're talking about).note 
  • In the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "The Child", Troi gets pregnant by mysterious means and Worf suggests as a precaution that the pregnancy be terminated. However, Troi shoots that idea down: "I am having this baby."
  • In season five of Stromberg, Jennifer gets pregnant by Stromberg. It was unwanted and she seriously considers the option of abortion, but then decides against it, after some persuasion by Ernie. Then she miscarries.
  • Strong Medicine Despite an amniocentesis report that states that her child will have Cri Du Chat syndrome, Lu adamantly refuses to consider an abortion. This is someone who has been well established as a staunch supporter of abortion rights.
  • On Switched at Birth it's played very straight with Lily. Despite the fact that she and the father are both 21, they broke up after it was conceived, he is unemployed and she is barely making enough money, and the fact that the baby has Down Syndrome, they decide to keep the baby. Abortion is contemplated seriously though, with them acknowledging that neither of them have the emotional maturity or money to give a special needs child everything it deserves. And most of their friends and family are hoping she aborts, with the exception of Daphne who out of nowhere became firmly pro-life.
  • Averted in Tenko where almost all of the women agree Dorothy's abortion is necessary and the best choice to make.
  • The first episode of That's My Bush! has a highly fictionalized George W. Bush trying to unite both sides of the abortion issue in a summit. It fails spectacularly, when the pro-choice spokeswoman (a stereotypical Straw Feminist) gets mistaken for a stripper, and the pro-life spokesmen (a survived aborted fetus, which has happened in real life) gets dragged off by a dog. Laura Bush comforts Bush by telling him that those who believe that the unborn have a right to life and those who believe that a women has final say on her body will never see eye to eye as because at the end of the day they are both sort of right.
  • The trope is toyed with in an early episode of Third Watch. Officer Yokas gets pregnant, but given her family's financial difficulties and the stresses of her job, decides she wants an abortion. Her husband encourages her to keep it. During a foot chase, a thug hits her in the stomach with a pipe, which, she tells her husband, caused a Convenient Miscarriage. She's later shown getting an abortion. The moral issue in this case seemed to be presented not as the abortion itself, but that she lied to her husband in order to avoid having to talk or argue about it.
  • Played straight on Touched by an Angel (unsurprising, given the show's heavy religious overtones). When a woman learns that her unborn child will be afflicted with Down's Syndrome, her husband practically browbeats her into having an abortion, as he doesn't want a mentally disabled baby. While sitting in the doctor's office she comes to the realization that she wants the baby no matter what and walks out. When her husband tries to make her feel like a hypocrite, citing all the work she's done for abortion rights, she declares, "I'm still pro-choice. And I just made one. I'm having this baby."
    • Averted in another episode, when the angels are sent to counsel an estranged couple. It turns out that 20-something years earlier, the couple decided to have an abortion as they didn't feel they were ready for children. They were never able to conceive again and have spent the subsequent time regretting their decision and feeling that they were being punished for it. The angels assure them that that isn't the case.
  • Arlene of True Blood finds herself pregnant with her serial killer ex-husband's baby, which she decidedly doesn't want. However, she's against abortion, and instead tries to get a witch to do a magical abortion (which she, for some reason, considers OK). It doesn't work.
  • Twin Peaks:
    • Dick wants Lucy to abort their supposed child, and she is disgusted.
    • Nicky's mother became pregnant after being raped, decided to keep the baby and died in childbirth. The story makes Dick and Andy burt into tears.
    • Averted in "The Secret Diary of Laura Palmer" which reveals that Laura found out she was pregnant on her 16th birthday and decided to abort, having no idea who the father was. Given what is revealed on the show, the father could have been her own father.
  • In the 2012 Upstairs Downstairs, Lady Persie insists upon an (illegal) abortion and does go through with it; this is played as another sign of what an infinitely petty and morally bankrupt individual she is.
  • Vida: Averted. Emma gets abortion pills immediately after discovering she's pregnant, which is treated matter of factly by her and Lyn (the only other person who knows). In fact Lyn mentions she'd once used the same means to have an abortion herself before.
  • Lori from The Walking Dead discovers she is pregnant and acquires morning-after pills to deal with it, since they're currently experiencing a zombie apocalypse with all its related horrors, but ends up throwing them back up and going through with the pregnancy.
  • The West Wing season five episode "The Supremes" averts this a scene in which two of the White House staff are interviewing a potential candidate for the Supreme Court. When asked whether she has done anything that would make her confirmation difficult, she offhandedly replies that she stole a book, bought a marijuana plant for her roomie, and had an abortion. Cue minor Heroic BSoD. Important to note that they were only worried about the political implications. None of the protagonists thinks any less of her for it, and they subsequently do nominate her.
  • Several times on Without a Trace:
    • Agent Samantha Spade never considers one despite previously being ambivalent about having children, conceiving from a one-night stand and not even remembering the guy's name. (TPTB opted to write in the actress' Real Life pregnancy instead of concealing it).
    • Another character's girlfriend refuses to have one, citing that unlike him, she doesn't already have kids, and given her age, it's her last chance to do so. She eventually miscarries, making the debate moot.
    • In another episode, we learn that the Victim of the Week told his girlfriend to "take care of it" when she told him she was pregnant. He's stunned when she resurfaces 18 years later with his teenage son, telling him "This is how I 'took care of it'!"
  • The Young and the Restless Sharon got pregnant to shore up her marriage to Nick. His angry reaction (they had agreed to wait a while before having children) made her decide to terminate the pregnancy, only for Nick to barge into the exam room and talk her out of it.

  • "Oasis" by Amanda Palmer is a cheery little number about a girl who gets raped, ends up getting pregnant, and gets an abortion with absolutely no regrets. Mind you, she is a bit more focused on the fact that Oasis wrote back to her...
    • There's also "Mandy Goes To Med School", by Palmer with her band The Dresden Dolls, a slinky, jazzy tune about operating a back-alley abortion clinic in an SUV. Both could be considered satirical Protest Songs.
    • Aaand then again there's "Sex Changes" by the Dresden Dolls, which reads as a bitter song about having disappointing sex and getting an abortion ("You get more than you're asking for without the right protection", "the knife is nearing", "this little feat of engineering"...). Comes across as more of a straight-up Protest Song than Oasis, for sure (the video for which includes "annoying fundamentalist Christians" protesting with signs that read "Jesus Hates You").
  • A subverted-inversion in Vienna Teng's jarringly upbeat Shasta. To all intents and purposes, it looks like the girl is on her way to get an abortion, until she remembers turning away at the heed of a protester standing outside the clinic doors. At least, that is the most probable interpretation, but it is not made clear whether or not she went through with it.
  • "But I've made up my mind, I'm keeping my baby."
    • This trope is possibly subverted, though, as both her friends and father have advised her to have an abortion, and her choice to keep the baby is not necessarily presented as the "good" choice.
  • "Aurélie" by Colonel Reyel is about a sixteen year-old girl who gets pregnant, then decides to keep the baby against the will of her friends and parents. The chorus praises her decision to become a "mother at all costs". Word of God is that the song is not against abortion but against external pressure to have one.
  • Pointedly averted in Everlast's "What It's Like" — the woman getting the abortion is portrayed sympathetically, unlike the clinic protesters.
  • Dvě malá křídla tu nejsou ("Two Little Wings Are Not Here", a 1974 Czech cover of Killing Me Softly with His Song with lyrics by Zdeněk Borovec), one of singer Helena Vondráčková's standards, is about a "gentle girl" who has had an abortion. The act itself is referred to obliquely; it is made very clear that she feels both depressed and guilty (one of the verses goes: "That thing seemed to be usual/And now it seems to be a sin"). The whole song is very pessimistic and the music video shows a little girl dancing on a field while the singer walks sadly around a park.note 

    Mythology and Religion 
  • The different denominations of Christianity have a variety of different views on abortion, ranging from condemnation to acceptance of it, many of which have changed drastically over time.
    • The Roman Catholic Church views human life as beginning at conception, and as such considers willful abortion to be a mortal sin in all circumstances and punishable by both automatic excommunication and eternal damnation.note  Even before reaching the conclusion that life begins at conception (which in their view makes termination of pregnancy an act of murder), the Catholic Church has considered abortion to be a mortal sin as early as the 1st century AD when it was condemned by the Didachenote  and by other Church Fathers. As a result, the Catholic Church and many Catholic individuals tend to be active in the anti-abortion movement. Having said all this, medical procedures to save the mother's life are acceptable even if the side effect is the child's death (such as when a cancerous womb is removed).
    • The Eastern Orthodox Church, like it's Western Catholic counterpart, forbids abortion in all circumstances and considers it to be a mortal sin. But while still expected to repent, a woman who gets an abortion because of potential threat to her life doesn't get excommunicated.
    • The Church of England considers abortion to be a Great Moral Evil, and only permits abortion when there is a clear threat to the life of the mother.
    • The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints considers abortion to be contrary to the will of God, and punishes it with excommunication. However exceptions are made in cases of rape, incest, or when a pregnancy threatens the mother's life.
    • The Episcopal Church only condones abortion in cases of rape, incest, when the fetus has abnormalities, or when the mother's health is at risk. It forbids abortion as a means of birth control, as a means of family planning, as a means of sex selection (i.e. aborting all female fetuses because a couple only wants a son), or convenience.
    • The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America supports legal abortion prior to fetal viability, and allow it after fetal viability when the life of the mother or the fetus is threatened by the pregnancy.
    • The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod teaches that abortion should only be allowed when the pregnancy endangers the mother's life.
    • The Presbyterian Church USA disapproves of abortion for convenience, but does not outright forbid it.
    • The Southern Baptist Convention opposes abortion in all circumstances.
    • The United Church of Christ allows abortion on demand.
  • Judaism also has a variety of different stances depending upon denomination.
    • Orthodox Judaism considers abortion an act of murder and only allows it when the mother's life is endangered by pregnancy.
    • Conservative Judaism allows abortion when the pregnancy might cause mental or physical harm to the mother, or when the fetus is deformed or disabled.
    • Reformed Judaism allows abortion in more circumstances, including rape, incest, and when the pregnancy is inconvenient. Additionally it states that the pregnant woman should be the one to make the decision.
    • There is a ritual in the Torah (or Old Testament) describing how a woman accused of adultery by her husband should drink "bitter water", an odd concoction which will according to one interpretation cause abortion if she's guilty and pregnant from her lover. Other interpretations are the potion causing her premature birth or a prolapsed uterus.
  • In Islam, the fetus is believed to gain a soul after four months so past that point abortion is impermissible. Whether or not it's permissible before four months differs from scholar to scholar with stances ranging from forbidden to completely permissible. Muslims universally agree that the mother's life takes precedence over the fetus' regardless of term though.
  • In Hinduism, abortion is generally only permitted to prevent a woman from dying in childbirth. As with Buddhism and Catholic Christianity, in Hinduism a human life begins at conception. The classical Hindu texts even went so far as to claim that getting an abortion was a worse sin than killing one's own parents.
  • Buddhists generally regard abortion negatively; it is believed that life begins at conception and that the act of killing (either directly or through neglect) always generates negative karma for all involved (even the unborn child, as they return to the cycle of death and rebirth without an opportunity to generate good karma). Of course there are different schools of thought within the religion.
  • Greco-Roman religion for the most part allowed abortion and practiced it regularly. While there were exceptions (one example being Pythagoreanism), they were very rare. The original Hippocratic oath forbade physicians from inducing abortion by use of a pessary. It seems this was not over opposition to abortion overall, though, but a dangerous procedure. Hippocrates advised other methods in his writings. Some followers of his later were adamant it forbade all abortion however.

    Printed Media 
  • MAD Magazine had one article about telling the difference between a Drama, a Comedy, and a Reality Show (which was useful with shows like Laguna Beach: The Real OC and The Hills, when you couldn't tell what was scripted and what wasn't). One of the examples was pregnancy. If it's a comedy, she'll keep it and have lots of wacky jokes about pregnancy and henpecked husbands (citing Friends). If it's a drama, she'll abort it and be scarred for life (possibly referencing The OC or Law & Order). If it's a reality show, there will be cameras there to film it either way.

  • In A Raisin in the Sun, the first thing the wife does when she finds out she's pregnant again is put a down payment on an abortion, even though it's clear that she really does not want to do it but feels she has no choice. Her husband is devastated to hear this, and it's not the abortion itself that troubles him so much as the circumstances that lead to them considering it, which underlines the desperation they feel throughout the entire story. They don't go through with it since they wind up with a bigger house and money to raise the child. Note that the play was written in 1959, before Roe v. Wade.
  • In the musical Spring Awakening, Wendla gets an abortion though it's implied she does not want to; her mother takes her to get one by force, and then Wendla dies. This is even sadder in the original play on which the musical is based because her child is the product of rape. Not to mention that in both the musical and play, Wendla does not even know what abortion is.
  • In Cabaret, Sally brings up abortion immediately after announcing her pregnancy, but Cliff (who may or may not be the father) convinces her not to do it. In act two she changes her mind and has an abortion, which is played as a sign of her character's downward spiral.
  • Older Than Television: In Sidney Howard's 1924 play They Knew What They Wanted, Amy finds out that she's become pregnant from her extramarital relations with Joe. As she wonders what to do about it, Joe suggests one possible course of action, but she rejects it out of hand: "Them kind of doctors is no good... I'm too far gone anyway... I know... and anyway... doing that... It's worse than the other." It all works out, because her husband wants children, and forgives her.
  • The Girl Who Never Was is a play about a woman who aborted a baby she wanted to keep (her boyfriend convinced her to) and is driven insane by guilt/ the ghost of the baby girl. Although the message is more "don't be persuaded to do anything you don't want to" than "good girls avoid abortion."
  • Most (though not all) versions of "The Tango Ballad" from The Threepenny Opera make reference to Low-Dive Jenny having become pregnant by Macheath, who then forces her to abort the child. Interestingly, the song suggests that this was the thing that ultimately convinced Jenny to break off her engagement to Mac, even though she reminisces fondly elsewhere in the song about Mac having pimped, stolen from and beaten her repeatedly.
  • In Eugene Brieux's play Maternity, an eighteen-year-old girl is pregnant by a boyfriend who abandoned her. The last act of the play has an abortionist on trial for her murder, and the counsel for the defense takes the position that Society Is to Blame for not respecting motherhood, but "abortion is a crime, because it deprives of life a creature already living; and to condone it would lead to condoning infanticide also." (Yes, this is Anvilicious, but Brieux was never known for subtlety in drama.)

    Video Games 
  • After Nagisa's pregnancy is discovered in CLANNAD After Story, her mother Sanae suggests abortion out of concern for her health, but Nagisa refuses, as she really wants to have the baby. Also because one of the series's storyboard artists was forced to abort as a teenager, and the writers didn't want to offend her by reminding her about it through having a character in the story get an abortion.
  • Played with in ef - a fairy tale of the two.. Yuuko gets pregnant, and is so adamant on having an abortion that she pulls out a knife and attempts to stab herself in the uterus before her boyfriend has to physically restrain her. He eventually calms her down and persuades her that keeping the baby wouldn't be the end of the world. They also bring up how they likely couldn't afford to pay for an abortion, which results in massive Fridge Logic about how they expect to afford the baby if they can't afford a one-time payment on the procedure.
  • You learn fairly early that Rokushiki in Kara no Shoujo in large part targeted women who were uncomfortable about their pregnancies and either had abortions or might have been considering one. This also makes up part of the motive of the first serial killer.
  • In The Elder Scrolls, a book series that has appeared since Daggerfall entitled "The Real Barenziah" suggests within Part 3 that Barenziah carried on an intimate affair with Tiber Septim in which she eventually got pregnant. Barenziah wanted to keep the child but, as a bastard child from a Dunmer mistress would be very inconvenient for the Emperor (illegitimate heirs to the throne tend to do that), he basically forced his healer to magically abort it against her will. This became a plot point later in the story as the story implied she also had trouble conceiving later in life due to the limited fertility of Dunmer and the trauma of the event.
  • In Final Fantasy IV in the flashback where you control Golbez, a villager hints that his mother was aware that her second pregnancy would be dangerous but she decided to keep the child. She died giving birth to Cecil which leads Golbez to hate him.

    Web Original 
  • The Irish short film Aaron deals with the aftermath of a Teen Pregnancy. The girl in question was going to carry the baby to term, but her parents were going to make her give it up. Naturally it resulted in a Convenient Miscarriage. This one has a justification as abortion was illegal in Ireland at the time.
  • Lindsay Ellis's documentary The A Word examines the trope and all the different reasons some women get abortions.
    • Lindsay herself got pregnant while she was still in college, and her decision was based around not being able to afford to raise a child. She says that she would have carried the baby to term if one of her friends or relatives had been willing to adopt it.
    • Her mother reveals that she was the victim of a date rape in the 70s and got pregnant as a result of that. She alludes to the doctor that performed it saying he had many other rape victims get it done too.
    • A woman who got pregnant very young and later regretted her decision. She became a pro-life campaigner.
    • One woman was 26 with three children and had inherited three more after her brother passed. So with six children, she couldn't afford another and got the abortion even if it was "completely against my morals".
  • Played with in The Most Popular Girls in School where Cameron Van Buren admits to having multiple abortions to such a degree the local clinic is naming a wing after her. This is because Cameron is a Manipulative Bitch who purposefully forgets to take her birth control medication whenever she thinks her current boyfriend or lover is considering breaking up with her. She doesn't seem too upset by this, but "The Reason You Suck" Speech she gets from Jeannie Halverstad implies this is another aspect of Cameron's supposedly "Glamorous" life she's really ashamed of.

  • Destroyer of Light by A-gnosis averts this — Persephone gets pregnant, and does have an abortion. Everyone involved is sympathetic. However, it doesn't work as planned. Well, the fetus is out of her womb, and she's healthy, so technically it did work, but the fetus survives because it's a god.
  • The first strip of Something*Positive has Davan sending a wire hanger to an old girlfriend who's having a baby shower. A later series of strips would have him escorting another old girlfriend to an abortion clinic. (For the record, neither child has any chance of being his.)
  • Anders Loves Maria brings this up several times, with Maria and Tina both having abortions in the back story. Tina is also going in for an abortion when she finds out that she's had a Convenient Miscarriage.
  • Aiko of Red String casually announces she "had that little problem taken care of" and giggles when Reika mentions her pregnancy. Aiko is also very slutty and is caught trying to seduce her fiance's younger brother while both of their love interests are in the next room.
  • Sil'lice implies in Drowtales that her sister Snadhya'rune has had abortions, specifically referring to how she "murders her own children while they are still in the womb" which to a drow, who place a high value on motherhood and directly connect social status to how many children one has, would be an absurd concept, and Snadhya's rejection of this part of drow culture is seen as scandalous and shameful. However this trope is later twisted on its head when it's revealed that Snadhya has had a daughter, but she was carried outside of her womb thanks to the Jaal'darya's mana-tech, the implication being that Snadhya is such a Control Freak that she didn't want to be pregnant, but still wanted children. And even more shockingly, the "father" is none other than Mel'arnach Val'Sarghress.
  • Inverted in Moon Over June, with Hatsuki, who chooses to keep her child in order to do pregnancy photoshoots and to hide the kid from her parents.
  • Very much averted in Ansem Retort: when Aerith gets pregnant, she has a brief moment of wondering if she could really go through with the abortion, then goes to Zexion to get it done. She shows zero remorse or guilt for it, and Zexion and Axel try to feed the fetus to Sora. Yeah, it's a Black Comedy.

    Western Animation 
  • Foxxy Love in Drawn Together apparently gets them on a regular basis, but considering what type of show it is that's not very surprising.
  • Family Guy:
    • Peter tells a story about how he and Lois had gone to get an abortion when she was pregnant with Meg, but backed out when they arrived at the clinic and found out the abortionist had one arm. Another time he mentioned that he could find the black market as an actual store, just like the back alley abortionist, then said that he was glad she changed her mind but the important thing was that he found the guy.
    • In "Peter's Daughter", when Meg thinks she's pregnant, she refuses to have an abortion. Lois suggests Meg consider drinking and smoking a lot to cause a miscarriage, but not to "wimp out halfway through", because Lois ended up with Chris.
    • In the episode "Partial Terms of Endearment" Lois agrees to be a surrogate mother for another couple. However, the couple dies and she must decide whether or not to get an abortion. She does. The episode was finished but it was banned from airing on FOX; however, it is available on DVD and it is not known if it will air on [adult swim].
    • Peter's mother tried to get an abortion before she had Peter because it was from an affair. Because it was in Mexico, the abortion process involved hanging from a bar and being beaten like a pinata by a bunch of kids. As she was already full term when she decided to abort, Peter is born full size and healthy. When she sees him, she falls in love and keeps him. Though knowing Peter, he may very well have gotten brain damage from the procedure.
    • Also spoofed in a quick gag when the family is watching Murder, She Wrote and Jessica casually mentions that she once had an abortion. "Aha!" says Peter. "So she's the murderer!"
  • In the Ren & Stimpy "Adult Party Cartoon", one of the episodes involves Stimpy believing he's pregnant with Ren. After Ren is told about it, he immediately pulls out a hanger and starts approaching Stimpy with it. Thankfully, he's promptly persuaded not to do it.
  • Skewered by The Simpsons:
    Kang: (pretending to be Bob Dole) Abortions for all!
    [crowd boos]
    Kang: Very well, no abortions for anyone!
    [crowd boos]
    Kang: Hmm. Abortions for some, miniature American flags for others!
    [crowd cheers and waves miniature American flags]
  • Rick and Morty: Beth and Jerry were originally planning on having an abortion after conceiving Summer when they were 17, but blew a tire on the way to the clinic and decided against it. Subverted in the universes where they did go through with it, in which the two end up going their separate ways and lead far more successful careers.
  • In South Park:
    • One of Cartman's students is pregnant and refuses to have an abortion and go to a university, he (who's teaching them how to cheat in exams) convinces her that abortion is the ultimate form of cheating and thus she must do it.
    • In "Kenny Dies" he convinces a woman who wanted her baby to get an abortion so the stem cells could be used to save Kenny's life. Except it was actually a plan to get pizza. Though this one could be debated, as he didn't come up with that plan until long after he started getting stem cells to help Kenny.
    • When Mr. Garrison gets his sex-change operation he is excited to be pregnant, just so that he can get an abortion. He's then surprised to find out male-to-female transsexuals can't become pregnant.
    • Cartman's mother contemplates getting an abortion... of Cartman... years after his birth. She goes on a crusade to get fortieth-trimester abortion legalized, only to finally realize she was getting it mixed up with adoption.
    • In the Woodland Critter Christmas Episode, Stan has to get three lion cubs trained to do an abortion to prevent the birth of The Anti-Christ. They are too late to abort the birth, though the skills come in handy after The Anti-Christ is absorbed into Kyle.
    • In the Pro Wrestling Episode "W.T.F." the boys set up a WWE acting ring, and Cartman regularly takes the role of a wrestler's floozy. One of his most frequent claims is that he's addicted to drugs, pregnant with some other wrestler's baby, and then that he's had an abortion. Eventually he makes the claim that he's addicted -- to abortions.
  • Moral Orel: Agnes Sculptham had/gets an abortion, although whether it plays this trope straight or averts it is debatable, depending on whether or not you consider the character to be "good." Also if the series continued she would have had twins and only terminated one in the procedure, later giving birth to a girl.
  • American Dad!: Stan and Francine sabotage a young couple's birth control, in order to slow them down so the middle-aged Smiths can keep up with the not-yet-30 couple (and thus keep them as couple-friends). While they are in the couple's bedroom (poking holes in condoms and replacing the spermicidal lube with marshmallow fluff) Francine raises the point that their plan won't work if the couple decides to have an abortion. Stan looks directly into the camera in a deliberately invoked example of Anvilicious: He looks into the camera, squints his eyes, and says "Oh, they won't have an abortion...because they're awesome."
  • High School U.S.A. Amber has a hysterical pregnancy, but only finds out from the doctor at the abortion clinic. Not that she had sex.
  • Averted in BoJack Horseman. Diane, a Happily Married woman who is generally portrayed as level-headed and good-natured, becomes pregnant, but mutually decides with her husband, Mr. Peanutbutter, that they do not want to have children. The conflict in this plot line stems from Diane's work as the writer of pop star Sextina Aquafina's Twitter page, where she accidentally tweets about her planned abortion and it appears that Sextina is the one who plans to have an abortion. Sextina comes to embrace her role as the face of the pro-choice movement, if a little overzealous, but the trope is then played with again when Sextina actually does become pregnant and decides to keep the baby. However, both decisions are treated as valid and neither woman has any regrets.


How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: