Last night, "House" (Tuesdays, 9 p.m. Eastern on Fox), showed why it is by far one of the best dramas on television in an episode that dealt with abortion in a way unlike any other show on television ever has before.
The episode opens with celebrity photographer Emma Sloan (who happens to be five months pregnant) coming to the hospital after suffering a stroke. After running a series of tests, House comes to the conclusion that it is the baby that is making the mother sick. The mother is dying and if the baby isn't delivered she will die. House is in essence, arguing for aborting the baby to save the mother. But Sloan wants to keep the baby and challenges House to find a way to save them both. The highlight of the episode is a scene involving an operation on the baby that no doubt was inspired by this famous incident that causes House to rethink his position not only on abortion but realize that he was dealing with a real human being and not just a clump of tissues.
This marks the second time this year that the show has tackled the subject of abortion. In another episode, House encounters a rape victim who became pregnant as a result. House argues that the best thing to do is terminate the pregnancy. While the girl resists at first she eventually decides to have the abortion.
The producers of "House" should be commended for tackling such a controversial subject. While the episodes may not necessarily change anyone's mind, they at least provide a good place to start a conversation on this subject.