Planned Parenthood recognizes “GLOW” for its authentic portrayal of abortion
Spoiler alert: Plot details from GLOW lie ahead.
In the new Netflix show GLOW, wrestler on the rise Ruth (Alison Brie) decides to terminate her pregnancy, so she goes to a Planned Parenthood health center to have an abortion. Her director Sam (Marc Maron) joins her for support and says, “I feel like I’m supposed to ask you if this is what you want.” She responds, “Yeah, it’s not the right time, not the right baby.” She’s concise, but effective — and the creative decisions here are refreshing.
Because with pro-choice under attack today, it’s so nice to see a woman have the free will to make that decision, for whatever reasons she may have.
And it’s a reminder that women should have the ability to make those choices now. Other shows in recent memory have similarly depicted female characters making the right decisions for themselves. Take Jane the Virgin, for example, in which Jane decided to keep her baby after being artificially inseminated, while her mother Xo decided to have an abortion after an accidental pregnancy. They made two different decisions, but what matters is they made decisions that were best for them.
While we’ve seen more honest depictions of abortion and the conversations surrounding them lately, we still need more of that. And that’s where Planned Parenthood comes in. In a press release posted yesterday, the women’s health organization wrote that they provided guidance to GLOW‘s creators to make sure the episode in which Ruth makes her brave, difficult choice — Episode 8, “Maybe It’s All the Disco” — was accurate.
They also showed their support for the show’s intentions, and for the way their depiction of “one woman’s decision to have a safe, legal abortion” turned out.
The organization encouraged more authentic portrayals in media to make sure women, and everyone really, has an accurate understanding of abortion.
“We applaud GLOW for highlighting the need for every woman to have full, accurate information about all of her options so she can make the best decision for herself, Caren Spruch, director of arts and entertainment engagement at Planned Parenthood Federation of America, said in the release.
“With reproductive health under constant attack from politicians, it’s more important than ever for the public to see storylines about abortion that are accurate, authentic, and respectful of women’s experiences,” she continued. “To reduce the stigma and silencing that many women experience, we must replace misinformation with facts and support honest, authentic portrayals of the women who make this decision.”
Planned Parenthood also touched on GLOW‘s relevance to the real, modern world — despite taking place in the ’80s.
“While the show takes place three decades ago, the storyline remains relevant today, as politicians continue to attack women’s health and chip away at access to abortion in America,” the release said. Which is to say, there’s a lot to be learned from this particular episode, and we’d certainly like to see a lot more like it across the TV spectrum.