Gilmore Girls, Choice and Wantedness

Gilmore Girls is probably my favourite show. It premiered in 2000 and went off the air in 2007. On average I re-watch all seven seasons once a year. Apparently it is honesty hour on this here blog. Carrying on.

That is a weird way to start a post I realise, but just go with me.

If you have never seen the show, it is about a mother, Lorelai, and her daughter, Rory, who are making their way in the small eccentric community of Stars Hollow, Connecticut. Lorelai had Rory when she was 16. And even though it was 1985 and even though it is a full 12 years or so after the American Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion, Lorelai chose to keep her baby. She chose to keep the baby even with enormous pressure and she chose to keep the baby and raise it on her own, without the help of her wealthy parents.

And she and Rory thrived.

Christopher’s parents, Rory’s paternal grandparents, were unsupportive. They blamed Lorelai for getting pregnant and they suggested the best option would be an abortion. Not once did they express disappointment with Christopher impregnating Lorelai. Not once did they encourage him to own up to his responsibility. The blamed Lorelai and the encouraged her to abort.

In a flashback scene, Emily (Lorelai’s mother) and Straub (Christopher’s father) go toe to toe on the subject.

“EMILY: Christopher is just as much to blame as Lorelai is.
STRAUB: Like hell he is.
EMILY: They are in this together.
STRAUB: I don’t see why. Why should Christopher sacrifice everything we’ve planned for him just because –
EMILY: Choose your words extremely carefully, Straub.
FRANCINE: Emily, you know we love Lorelai, you know that. But Christopher’s so young, he’s a baby.
EMILY: Well, Lorelai’s not exactly collecting social security.
STRAUB: Why doesn’t she get rid of it?
EMILY: What?
STRAUB: It’s an option.
EMILY: It certainly is not an option.
STRAUB: Why not?
EMILY: Because I say so.” – Gilmore Girls, Season 3 Episode 13 “Dear Emily and Richard”.

And, although Lorelai, isn’t directly part of this conversation, her opinion is no different.

From the same episode:
“LORELAI: I know we’re all upset here folks, but maybe we should ask the kids what they think. Lorelai, Christopher, anything to add here?
CHRISTOPHER: Quiet, they’ll hear you.
LORELAI: Not likely. I don’t know how much longer I can just sit here like this.
CHRISTOPHER: It’s okay, let them talk.
LORELAI: They’re talking about us.
CHRISTOPHER: They’re trying to figure out what to do.
LORELAI: What to do with our lives – our lives! Yours and mine and…its.”. [Emphasis mine]

Both Lorelai and Emily recognized the inherent personhood of Lorelai’s unborn child. Rory, although unplanned and inconvenient was still a person worthy of life in both their eyes.

In a different episode, Season 1 Episode 15 “Christopher Returns” when we first meet Christopher and his parents, Straub and Francine, the following exchange takes place:

“STRAUB: If you had attended a university as your parents had planned and as we planned in vain for Christopher, you might have aspired to something more than a blue collar position. [In reference to Lorelai stating she runs an in and that she is happy in how her life turned out]
CHRISTOPHER: Don’t do this.
STRAUB: And I wouldn’t give a damn about you derailing your life if you hadn’t swept my son along with you.
LORELAI: [to Rory] Honey go into the next room. Go, go.
GRANDPA: I’m going to have to echo Christopher’s call for civility here. A mutual mistake was make many years ago by these two, but they have come a long way since.
STRAUB: A mutual mistake Richard? This whole evening is ridiculous. We’re supposed to sit here like one big happy family and pretend that the damage that was done is over, gone? I don’t care about how good a student you say that girl is….
STRAUB: Our son was bound for Princeton. Every Hayden male attended Princeton including myself, but it all stopped with Christopher. It’s a humiliation we’ve had to live with every day, all because you seduced him into ruining his life. She had that baby and ended his future.”

Again we are seeing Christopher’s parents who, even 16 year later, are still blaming Lorelai and Rory for how Christopher’s life turned out. They view Rory as unwanted and don’t acknowledge that Christopher, as it is alluded to over the course of the show, was hardly in Rory’s life. Christopher’s parents are looking to blame someone and don’t hold their own son accountable for his actions even though he wasn’t had in Rory’s life so Rory did not prevent him from going to Princeton.

But I have strayed off the point. In the “Christopher Returns” episode, we see Rory’s existence reaffirmed by bother mother and grandmother. They confirm her wantedness:

“GRANDMA: None of this means anything Rory.
RORY: Oh I know.
GRANDMA: … Rory, I know you heard a lot of talk about various disappointments this evening and I know you’ve heard a lot of talk about it in the past. But I want to make this very clear – you, young lady, your person and your existence have never ever been – not even for a second – included in that list. Do you understand me?”

“RORY: They don’t even want to know me do they?
LORELAI: That is not true. They are just so full of anger and stupid pride that stands in the way of them realizing how much they want to know you.
RORY: Yeah.
LORELAI: Their loss and it’s a pretty big one.
RORY: I’m going to bed now.
LORELAI: Hey. No regrets – from me or your dad.”

Lorelai chose life for Rory because she was wanted. Lorelai acknowledged her personhood from the beginning and even though it was inconvenient and the pressure from Christopher’s parents was loud and even though her own parents were disappointed, she wanted Rory so she kept her.

But does that really define a fetus? Is an unborn child only a person if they are wanted?
Why does a wanted child have more rights than an unwanted unborn child. Even Abby Johnson in her book Unplanned reflected on the difference. While working at Planned Parenthood she referred to unborn children as fetuses and medical waste, but while she herself was pregnant, Abby referred to her fetus as a baby.

But, fetuses are all the same. A fetus is always an unborn child. From the moment of conception the only potential that fetus has is whether or not it becomes a female child or a male child. But it always is and always will be a human.

Whether or not a child is wanted doesn’t affect its inherent dignity and its indisputable personhood.

That is why abortion is such a travesty. It kills innocent children. That is all it does. Abortion kills.

Any one who looks can find a person who would turn an unwanted child to a wanted child through adoption. Adoption is a hard choice, but there are far less complications and risks with adoption that with abortion. And Adoption always brings joy to the people who choose it.

The real “war on choice” come from people who dismiss adoption as a viable option.

The real “war on choice” comes from people who dismiss science, evidence and growing public opinion that life begins at conception. Who arbitrarily decide that a person is only a person if it is wanted, or only if it was conceived in ideal circumstances.

Adoption is a real choice. It is a loving selfless choice, it is everything abortion isn’t. It creates wanted children because every child IS a wanted child.But sometimes a family is not made by blood but by choice.

Choosing life creates families, choosing abortion kills them.

Script for “Christopher Returns”:

Script for “Dear Emily and Richard”:


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