Shonda Rhimes On The “Grey’s Anatomy” Abortion

 “I didn’t want to do ‘The Grey’s Anatomy: Abortion Episode.’ Like, that wasn’t the point. I think for me the point is it’s a painful choice that a lot of women have made in their lives and we just wanted to portray it honestly and with a really good conversation that I think started in the season finale and carries over in this episode. And see what happens after. I try to discuss this a lot. Addison on Private Practice is an abortion provider. There are only a certain number of abortion providers in the country and she is one of them. And she is a character who in the past had had an abortion and we talk about this issue a lot. And I felt like it made sense; I wouldn’t be doing it randomly, it made sense for the character of Cristina Yang. And the network, I think, stays behind that, stays behind my choice to do that, anyway, for the character.”

— Shonda Rhimes spoke to about a recent episode of “Grey’s Anatomy” on which the character Christina Yang (played by Sandra Oh) has an abortion.  Not many prime time televisions shows will portray an abortion, so this is a fairly big deal. After the jump, Rhimes responds to a question about whether putting an abortion on TV was advocacy on her part.

“I don’t think it’s about the agenda. I think it’s important [that] I try to do what’s right for the characters. In ‘Private Practice’, we had a character, Naomi, [who] was staunchly anti-choice, staunchly pro-life. Viciously so, in a lot of ways, in a way that I thought was really kind of beautiful and religious and different from the way I think at all. What I also thought was that her point of view is valid, has merits, and should be portrayed and portrayed strongly. I feel you have to portray all different sides of who people can be if you’re going to create a world. And I feel like Cristina’s choice to give up a child, to have an abortion, is her choice. Meredith would never have had an abortion, I don’t think — I’m not saying she’s not pro-choice — but she would never have had one for herself because she wants a child so badly. I like that we’re portraying all of the different sides. It’s not a political agenda as much as me trying to make the world as full and round and as complete with peoples’ opinions as possible.”

That’s a very thoughtful answer for Rhimes to have given. And it’s the right attitude to take, I think, considering how anti-abortion activists are probably going to blow their tops (if they haven’t already) over Christina Yang’s abortion and the corruption of innocent minds over television, yadda yadda yadda.


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