The Planned Parenthood Federation of America spoke out today in praise of how abortion was incorporated into Netflix’s new series GLOW, Entertainment Weekly reports. GLOW, Netflix’s newest binge-worthy comedy-drama, follows a group of women who are cast in a female wrestling show in the 80s, based on the true story of the creation of the women’s professional wrestling circuit nearly 30 years ago.
In Episode 8, titled “Maybe It’s All the Disco”, protagonist Ruth learns she is pregnant, visits a Planned Parenthood location, and decides to get an abortion. The show’s creators consulted Planned Parenthood in order to portray the side plot in a correct manner. The organization offered applause to GLOW in an official statement, praising its “authentic depiction of abortion”, going on to further stress the political relevance of the episode. “Planned Parenthood applauds the new Netflix series GLOW, which includes an episode about one woman’s decision to have a safe, legal abortion,” the statement reads. “While the show takes place three decades ago, the story line remains relevant today, as politicians continue to attack women’s health and chip away at access to abortion in America.”
Actress Alison Brie, who plays Ruth on the show, also spoke out on the abortion storyline in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, praising the show’s unflinching choice to depict abortion. “It’s really important, especially right now, to highlight that women should be able to make that choice and that it doesn’t have to be the end of the world,” the actress said. “This show is about women’s bodies and about them taking control of their own bodies, and that’s highlighted beautifully in that episode.”
In the same interview, series co-creator Carly Mensch stressed that the show creators didn’t set out to include abortion in the series – rather, Ruth’s pregnancy side plot came organically. “We did have a lot of heated discussion in the writers room about whether we wanted to show the abortion,” Mensch admitted.
Ultimately, however, the writers came to the decision that the most authentic choice for a show so dedicated to capturing the real experiences of women would be for Ruth to decide for abortion. Mensch explained that, “If we were telling honest stories about things that women go through…a bunch of us felt that was a very relatable and normal story for certain types of women and that we shouldn’t shy away from showing that if it’s an actual, real experience.”
All episodes of GLOW Season 1 are streaming on Netflix.