‘Roseanne’ spinoff shows character under heavy pressure to abort child

ABC’s show The Connors, a spinoff of Roseanne, made headlines recently after a character in her early 20s announced she was pregnant — only to be pressured to have an abortion.

During the episode “Possums (sic), Pregnancy and Patriarchy,” Harris — the granddaughter of Roseanne — said she was pregnant, after having deleted her period tracker. With the overturning of Roe v. Wade, Harris said she “didn’t want Big Brother spying on her ovaries.” Her grandfather, played by John Goodman, was encouraging, and reassured her that she could be a good mother, even if it wasn’t part of her plan.

“Look, I know this is a shock, and you’re probably feeling there is no way I am ready to have this baby, but we’ve all felt like that,” he said. “There is never enough time, there is never enough money or enough anything you just make it happen, and somehow it all works out.”

Yet Laurie Metcalf’s character, Jackie, was one of several who jumped to abortion as the immediate “solution.”


“[I]f Harris wasn’t pregnant, there’s no way she would be thinking about having a kid,” Jackie said. “Harris, I love you, I don’t think you’re prepared for this. I had to make this choice when I was your age, and I knew that I wasn’t ready, and it was a decision that I’ve never regretted. So, if you decide that that’s what’s right for you, I support that.”

Later, Harris confides in her mother, Darlene, about the pregnancy, only for Darlene to repeatedly tell her she wished she could have aborted Harris — and even argues that Harris’ descendants will wish she had gone through with an abortion.

Darlene: I had unplanned kids at your age with no partner really helping me, and it wore me down. I mean, look at me.

Harris: I’ve seen pictures. You looked like that on Santa’s lap. So, what are you saying? You’re sorry you had me?

Darlene: No, of course not. But if I could go back and really think it through and choose to have you later and on way more solid ground, I would do that. People who don’t have money who have kids at your age just continue the cycle of poverty. I mean, I couldn’t keep us in our own house in Chicago. When other kids were getting piano lessons, you were crouching outside their window to get free piano lessons. Alright? You couldn’t go to college. I don’t even know how you would consider doing this.

Harris: You know, at the moment, I swear I would do it just to piss you off.

Darlene: Oh, that is so mature.

Harris: But I’m not gonna do that because I’m a lot more responsible than you think I am. So, I’m gonna continue thinking very carefully about this.

Darlene: Yeah, at this point, I have a lot of questions about you “carefully” considering anything. Oh, that’s right. Go up to my childhood room that you’ll pass on to your pregnant kid, and then they’ll pass it on to their pregnant kids. And while they’re watching the flying cars go by the window, they’ll wonder if maybe you should’ve listened to their great-grandmother.

Yet later in the episode, her aunt and brother both encourage her to give motherhood a chance, with her brother even saying, “I think you’d be a great mom … [i]t’d be criminal if some kid coming into this world didn’t get you as a parent.”

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Eventually, Harris does choose to keep her baby, while her mother comes around to support her decision. Yet the show still framed unplanned pregnancy as something incredibly negative that ruins a young woman’s life.

The reality is that no woman needs abortion. What women need is support, the ability to pursue an education or a career without having to sacrifice their child along the way.

Did you know that as little as $10 a month is enough to reach more than 3,000 people with the truth about abortion that no one else is telling them? Click here to start saving lives 365 days a year.

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