The reaction to Merritt Tierce’s recently published abortion essay just reaffirmed his position that the public is ready for more stories on the subject.
Tierce, a North Texas native and author, reflected on her decision not to have an abortion in a New York Times Magazine cover story titled “The Abortion I Didn’t Have”.
The response to the trial has been overwhelming, Tierce said in an email.
“I have a whole stack of responses from people crying at their desks and another stack of responses from people crying in their cars,” Tierce wrote. “I’ve heard from everyone I’ve known and tons of strangers. And while it’s nice to see all the compliments on the writing, for the most part people express their gratitude, which is somewhat surprising.
“It seems like I said something that so many people have connected with, and they tell me that they haven’t seen these ideas sufficiently represented in the larger conversation about abortion and parenting.”
For two years, Tierce has been trying to develop a television program focused on abortion. She was a writer for Netflix Orange is the new black series before its seven-season end in 2019, and the experience gave him insight into the location of the show – a reproductive health clinic in Texas.
“The people leading this fight in Texas are my heroes, and Texas has this amazing abortion history,” she said. “But I was amazed that even with everything going on with SB8 and Roe’s likely overthrow, Hollywood is still pretty chicken when it comes to abortion. There’s still that clenching, that creaking of teeth, that I meet every time I say the word.
She said a show on the subject is “one of the last frontiers of premium television – we’ve crossed all other lines in violence and depravity, war and zombie apocalypses, but fear , the stigma and shame surrounding abortion is still present. so entrenched that there has never been a show about it.
Television has not dealt with the abortion debate consistently, according to an opinion piece (“How Television Lied About Abortion”) in Vox by Tanya Melendez, a distinguished University of England scholar. ‘Illinois Urbana-Champaign.
“For decades, abortion on television has been widely described as a debate in narrative form, a debate that pitted melodramatic anti-and pro-abortion positions against each other through characters the public knew and loved. “Melendez wrote.
Melendez said an abortion storyline barely appeared on television until 1980, except for a groundbreaking episode of Maude in 1972. The character of Bea Arthur, who was 47, discovered she was pregnant and eventually had an abortion. The show was watched by about 65 million people, or nearly a third of the American population at the time, Melendez reported.
Tierce said: “It’s encouraging to see that more and more shows and movies will have an abortion script or an abortion episode, but I think we need such a big and long show. one Grey’s Anatomy or one Orange is the new black, to tell all the stories that can be told.
She said all kinds of people have abortions for all kinds of reasons, “So it’s a storytelling gold mine. You can never run out of abortion stories.
“But what interests me most is how abortion is situated as the link between all these super powerful forces – politics, health care, education, religion – all these institutions in our society and our culture who want to control people’s bodies and how people have sex.
“Really, I want to do a sex and sexual pleasure show as much as an abortion show.”