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A teen couple is shown before she gets an abortion in a controversial episode of the popular NBC show "Parenthood." (NBC image)

Popular NBC show's abortion episode draws outrage, praise

With the 40th anniversary of the Supreme Court Roe v. Wade abortion ruling approaching next week, the issue is heating up as conservatives blast a popular NBC show accused of "pro-abortion propaganda."

Last week's episode of Parenthood is drawing fire for featuring a teenage girl who decides to have an abortion despite her boyfriend trying to talk her out of it.

In an interview with KIRO Radio's Terry and Rantz, Dan Gainor with the conservative Culture and Media Institute argues the show is clearly pushing a pro-abortion agenda without presenting the other side.

While the boyfriend in the show says abortion isn't the only option, the girl responds "if I have this baby my life would be over." Later the boy tells a friend "I don't want to give it up."

"Even the one pro-life voice we get in the show never once refers to his own child as a child, it's ridiculous," Gainor says.

Gainor is also sharply critical of the episode for what he calls a grossly false misrepresentation of a "friendly, antiseptic Planned Parenthood office."

"The only thing they carefully did was to represent Planned Parenthood as beautifully as possible," he says.

Co-host Jason Rantz, who agrees with Gainor that Hollywood unfairly portrays and often vilifies conservatives, praised the show for what he calls a semi-balanced look at such a controversial issue.

"It could have been handled way worse. It was very emotional and powerful and it sort of did provide the other side of, hey abortion's not the only way to handle this situation," Rantz says.

The controversial episode drew praise from a number of publications including Salon.com and The Huffington Post, which wrote "there were no pat answers provided as to what the right move was in that situation, just an honest portrayal of the emotional struggles of those involved."

But Gainor argues the timing and the treatment of the episode, with the girl ultimately opting for an abortion, smack of propaganda rather than a thoughtful exploration of the issues.

"They dropped a pro-abortion, teach kids to murder their children episode right before the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade," Gainor says. "Should a broadcast network that uses the public airwaves be able to consistently and deleteriously damage our society and pursue one agenda over reality?"

Watch the entire abortion episode of Parenthood here.

Josh Kerns, MyNorthwest.com
Josh Kerns is an award winning reporter/anchor and host of KIRO Radio's Seattle Sounds (Sunday afternoons 5-6p) and a digital content producer for MyNorthwest.com.
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