Since I don’t have cable or a television, I finally got a chance to see MTV’s special last night, “No Easy Decision.” The 30 minute interview special featured three women that chose abortions, why they did it, how they felt about it the choice before and after it, focusing on one particular couple (James and Markai) as they struggled with the decision. In partnership with MTV, the amazing organization Exhale spearheaded an online campaign, “16 and Loved.”
Like most of you, I am super skeptical of MTV taking on controversial topics for anything other than the purpose of ratings and shaming tirades, but “No Easy Decision,” was actually really good. It gave space for women to tell their complex stories about obtaining abortions. The main couple they interview is a young African american one and they were surprisingly cast in a very compassionate, touching and positive light. It is clear this young family took this decision very seriously and they made the best decision for their family and for the child they already have (a very common reason women chose abortion). I did feel that for a moment the pieces of her story they highlight dabbled in the post-abortion “baby” nostalgia that is often used as a justification to fight access to safe abortions, but they supplement this story with lots of facts about how abortion is a common procedure, it is safe and it is one of three choices women have when faced with pregnancy. And the important point being this is Markai’s personal story, not a caricature of how a women should act in this scenario based on a particular political position.
The special focuses on young women making informed choices, giving them space to share their stories courageously and Dr. Drew didn’t make me want to throw anything at my computer screen–I would say that’s two thumbs up. But maybe next time they can air this show on prime time. Have a watch and you can check out the extended interview here.