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SVU Sends Pro-Life Message, but Swipes at Bristol Palin

The Nov. 11 episode of NBC's hit crime drama, Law and Order: SVU, took a tasteless shot at former GOP vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin's daughter Bristol in a story focusing on teen pregnancy.


The story centered on four high school girls who entered into a “pact” to get pregnant and raise their children together.  One of the episode's pregnant teens defends her decision by saying, “What's the big deal? That vice president lady's daughter is gonna have a baby. Yeah, why can't we?”


On the bright side, the show's regular characters recognize that pregnancy is a life-altering decision and chastised one pregnant teen's immature view of the baby as an accessory, rather than a “living, breathing, human being.”


Detective Olivia Benson interviewed each of the pregnant girls and all gave their explanations for the pregnancy pact.


CARLOTTA: We grew up together. Now we're gonna have kids together. How sweet is that?


BENSON: And the baby's father?


BIANCA: This is about us.


BENSON: You're in school. Catholic school.


BIANCA: If they kick us out, we'll get jobs. Our parents will totally help us out. Right, dad? Or I'll go on welfare.


CARLOTTA: “What's the big deal? That vice president lady's daughter is gonna have a baby. Yeah, why can't we?”


Later, Benson speaks with the feisty, immature ringleader of the group, Fidelia, who got pregnant first, then encouraged the other girls to get pregnant as well.


FIDELIA: Yeah, it was my idea. It rocks, huh? We're totally gonna be the hottest milfs on the block.


            BENSON: Milfs?


            FIDELIA: It means mother I'd like to --


            BENSON: Oh I know what it means.


            FIDELIA: Wanna see the stroller I picked out? It's so cute.


BENSON: Fidelia, you need to screw your head on straight.  This is a baby we're talking about. Not a new shade of lipstick.


            …


BENSON: Fidelia, a baby is not an accessory. It is not a bracelet or a pair of earrings or a slammin' pair of jeans. This is a living, breathing human being that you are bringing onto this earth.


Later, Detectives Benson, Stabler, Munch, and Tutuola discuss the consequences of the pact's decision.  Through the character of Detective Stabler, the writers make a rational case for adoption, rather than abortion.


            MUNCH: Any idea what their plans are?

           

            BENSON: Oh they're all gonna have their kids.


            STABLER: Well, there's no need to turn a mistake into a bigger mistake.

           

            BENSON: Babies having babies doesn't bother you?


            STABLER: Babies killing babies bothers me.


            TUTUOLA: So it's that easy, huh, altar boy?


STABLER: Well, there's no rape or incest so yeah, it is that easy. There's a thing called adoption.


Recent network dramas have recognized that there are two sides to the life debate. Boston Legal also took a balanced look at abortion in the Nov 10 episode on ABC.


Erin Brown is an intern at the Culture and Media Institute, a division of the Media Research Center.