What does Salon think American TV needs more of? Abortion, and lots of it.
In a July 20 “Broadsheet” article, Salon writer Mary Elizabeth Williams addressed Fox's decision to release the highly controversial “Family Guy” abortion episode as a stand-alone DVD feature this September. Williams crassly compared the comedy show's efforts to make money off a “Banned From TV” episode to “having an abortion and getting your baby too.”
The episode's controversy revolved around character Lois Griffin questioning whether to go through with a pregnancy as a surrogate mother for a couple who died in a car crash. Williams used the network's move as a springboard for her real complaint: the lack of abortion on American airwaves.
Williams called TV a “timid” medium for “barely” discussing abortion, saying it was “insane” that TV could introduce viewers to the Dharma Initiative in “Lost” but couldn't confront the “legally acceptable procedure” of abortion.
Aside from the “Family Guy” episode, Williams mentioned 10 shows that “managed to slip” abortion through to viewers but criticized their evasive treatment of reproductive choice, with the exception of “Friday Night Lights.” Not surprisingly, Williams joined the flock of media that praised “FNL,” noting how “encouraging” the show was in its inclusion of “sensitivity and mixed feelings” for abortion.
Meanwhile, Williams disparaged the other shows for giving their characters a change of heart towards abortion. After mentioning abortion scenes on “Sex and the City” and “Felicity,” Williams mockingly portrayed the characters' sudden pro-life decisions as “last-minute realization(s) of the magic of motherhood.”