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GreysIssues3302023small.jpg

'Grey's Anatomy' Gets it Right When it Counts

By Genevieve Burgess | TV | March 30, 2023 |

By Genevieve Burgess | TV | March 30, 2023 |


GreysIssues3302023small.jpg

There are a lot of questions about why Grey’s Anatomy is still on the air every year it gets renewed, and this year those questions are particularly loud because Meredith Grey herself has left the show. Plots seem to be repeated, most legacy characters aren’t showing a lot of personal growth, and the biggest trick the writers have up their sleeves is inflicting increasingly bizarre disasters on the greater Seattle area generally and the doctors of Grey Sloane Memorial Hospital specifically. However, recent political turmoil has inspired the show to tackle abortion rights in a clear and aggressive way.

Abortion is not a topic that Grey’s has ever shied away from. The origin of the famous “You’re my person” line, from Cristina to Meredith, is from a conversation in which Cristina is stating that she has scheduled an abortion for herself and had to list an emergency contact, and she chose Meredith. That abortion does not happen, the pregnancy is ectopic and ruptures while she’s observing surgery. However, later in the series Cristina becomes pregnant again and does have an abortion over Owen’s protests.

This year the show is going all-in on representing abortion as responsible medical care, and calling out the violent rhetoric targeting doctors and other healthcare professionals engaged in this care. So far this season we’ve seen a woman die of a ruptured ectopic pregnancy while trying to seek an abortion, we’ve seen a woman decide to have a surgical abortion so she can be a better mother to her children, and we’ve seen a woman seek a medical abortion while in the company of her pregnant best friend. All of these characters were treated as full individuals with complex emotions who were still clear and confident in their decision to pursue an abortion, and that it was the best choice for their own health and well-being.

Of course, because this is Grey’s Anatomy, the stakes must be raised. Last week’s episode ended with Addison Montgomery and another pregnant doctor getting hit by a car driven by an anti-abortion protestor. That doesn’t take away from the message that abortion is healthcare, it just adds the level of melodrama we’ve come to expect from Grey’s.