Did any sitcom characters other than Maude ever have an abortion?

In a thread about the word pregnancy in television Maude’s abortionis mentioned. I was a kid when that episode aired but I still remember it well because it caused a firestorm where I lived (both in the “regional” sense and the “where I personally lived” sense). My mother was a huge MAUDE fan (among other things she liked seeing an intelligent funny woman who wasn’t a size 2 or under 30) but even she stopped watching the show for a while because she was so offended (her own views on abortion became grayer as she got older but at the time she was very black and white) and the school I attended (private and religious affiliated) denounced it as did many preachers and politicians. The show was boycotted and taken off the lineup in some markets as well, though it remained a hit for a couple of more seasons.

(For those who never saw that episode, Bea Arthur’s Maude was a multi-married/multi-divorced woman in her late 40s with a grown daughter and a grandchild when she learned she was pregnant, and Roe v. Wade was still in the courts.)

So I was wondering- 70s sitcoms were in many way ballsier than today due to less competition and very different sensibilities. After the firestorm Maude caused did any other sitcoms or light entertainment characters ever have an abortion?

I can think of some who considered it- Murphy Brown and Eve on Northern Exposure (example of light entertainment character) both come to mind- but both had the baby instead.

Does Sex and the City count as sitcommish/light? I know Miranda didn’t have one on the show but they mention how in the past, Samantha had had two and Carrie had had one.

There was an episode of Scrubs where Jordan talked about having previously had an abortion, and not regretting it in the least. However, I can’t think of an example where the character had one during the episode.

I vaguely recall a Dabney Coleman sitcom in the early to mid 80s that dealt with it. The series depicted Coleman as a narcissistic, egomaniacal TV personality, and the supporting cast were the exasperated behind-the-scenes crew who had to deal with him - think “the Mary Tyler Moore Show” but with the spotlight on Ted Baxter rather than Mary Richards. Anyway, the “Mary Richards” type character had a one-night stand with Coleman’s character, and aborted the pregnancy that resulted from it. IIRC, the series tanked after that episode and was quickly cancelled.

Jo Jo White (played by Joanna Cassidy) in the show Buffalo Bill, in the two-part episode “Jo Jo’s Problem.” In what was certainly not a coincidence, Cassidy won a Golden Globe for the show.

ETA: This is what The New and Improved Superman is talking about.

That would be Buffalo Bill, I believe.

Man, I’ve been doing simulposts all day today!

Ms. Garrison once tried to get an abortion . . . and Kyle actually did, in Cartman’s story-within-the-story . . . but does South Park count as “light entertainment” for the OP’s purposes?

Maude was the only one and that was never shown, it was all implied. Maude decided to not have the kid and that was it, the next episode it was gone.

I recall Degrassi High (or Junior High or whatever it was at the time) one of the twins girls had an abortion which was pretty nervy to have a teen girl HAVE an abortion but that’s Canadian TV

The only one? You mention this after several people have given other examples in this thread?

Definitely. You see a lot of people getting pregnant on TV who don’t wish to be but in many cases they conveniently miscarry in time or were never pregnant to begin with.

The current incarnation of Degrassi, Degrassi: The Next Generation also had a story in which one of the characters decided to get an abortion, in 2004. The Nickelodeon spin off channel which airs the show in the US refused to show that episode until several years later. Wouldn’t consider Degrassi a sitcom, even if it is very silly.

Abortion is a really heavy topic for sitcoms. But if you include dramas, Friday Night Lights recently had a teenager get an abortion.

Obligatory tvtropes links.

Lois Griffin. Apparently even in 2010, it’s too much for network TV to handle…

Lucy Bates (Betty Thomas) on Hill Street Blues once said she had an abortion.

I thought she didn’t?

You see, cause Peter and Lois were driving to Vermont to get an abortion. But when they get to the abortion clinic, the abortionist has one hand. And since they didn’t want to get an abortion from an abortionist with one hand ,they didn’t get the abortion and four months later Meg was born.

It’s also implied Lois originally got pregnant with Meg by taking antibiotics while on birth control.

Unless there’s a different episode I’m not thinking of where the mention an abortion Lois does get, presumably from an abortionist with two hands.

There was an episode produced for this current season that involves Lois getting pregnant and having an abortion in the present. FOX refused to air it. It’ll eventually show up on Cartoon Network and DVD, hopefully.

Ahh, yes I do remember hearing about that now.

I’m curious how that happens, though, since Peter got a vasectomy…not that Family Guy is good with continuity, in fact, they tend to flaunt the fact that they don’t care, cause that’s part of the humor.

I actually find it amusing when they do have continuity, like when Brian throws a rock at Peter cause he rolled up the window in the car when Brian tried to jump in. :stuck_out_tongue:

In regards to the Buffalo Bill episode, that aired around '83-'84 I think and it also caused quite a stir. Plus that show never got good ratings and would have gotten canceled regardless of that episode. But it did give NBC a good, extra excuse to.

The show was actually pretty good. Ahead of its time really. The main character was a wholly unlikable, un-redeemable, selfish, arrogant jerk. House M.D. anyone?

But Greg House is good at something other than being a jerk, and his show is interesting to watch for at least two episodes.

The mystery for me in that Buffalo Bill episode was not that Joanna Cassidy’s character refused to carry the pregnancy to term, it is why she let Bill touch her :shudder: ever.

Sampiro, I think you have your answer - thirty seven years after Roe v. Wade abortion is still too controversial for most TV shows, more so for “light entertainment” like sitcoms.

Just an aside, but that made me think of That 70s Show which IMO demonstrated a particularly un-70s plot development: Kelso (Ashton Kutcher) the dumb-as-a-rock pretty boy has a one-night stand at a rock concert with a brainy, feminist girl. Girl gets pregnant, Kelso spends an entire year agonizing about becoming a father (while the girl barely appears on screen) and finally, the girl leaves town to raise the baby at her mother’s home. The baby is barely mentioned in the series again. The idea of an abortion is never mentioned.

Now I know - this was a light, fluffy, only superficially edgy run-of-the-mill sitcom. But it always struck me as pretty strange that a feminist girl who was otherwise bound for college in 1979/79 would choose to raise Michael Kelso’s baby! It just sticks out to me because the show routinely showed the kids smoking pot and having sex, and the series’ producers defending such depictions by saying “This was the late 70s! Kids did that sort of stuff ‘way back then.’ It’s realistic!”