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Illustration for article titled Call the Midwife

I'm amazed at this show.

1. I love it.

2. As an American, I'm shocked at the ideas presented.

Over and over, we're told that the National Health Service (SOCIALISM!) is good and helpful.


That poor people aren't bad, lazy, or evil and don't deserve to live that way.

That birth control—FREE BIRTH CONTROL—is as important to humanity as the moon landing.


I'm an incredibly privileged woman who has access to relatively low cost birth control, partners who didn't try to control my birth control, and Planned Parenthood. And I try not to take these things for granted, but I know some my friends do.

Some (teachers, mind you) actively believe that you should only get health care through a job and if your job doesn't offer it, too bad. Get married to someone with a good job.


Others think of birth control as a luxury. A way to have "consequence free" sex and so it shouldn't be covered.

Of course, when you push their logic to the next step ("so, people should just die?") they're willing to admit their wrong, but so much of society gives weight to their ideas.


In the US, abortions, birth control, poor people's suffering tend to be discussed only when moral panic is setting in and people are trying to take these away from us.

Yes, we're supposed to watch hospital shows and be angry at cruel HMOs and stuff, but how often does that happen?


Can you imagine a show that actively champions the Affordable Care Act? Mention and be grateful to the doctors who invented the Pill (or even know their names? I only do because I once taught in the town they worked and it's one of the town's only claims to fame)? Shows abortions as things that happen and that women can recover from or are they shown as Break the Cutie moments?

Or, are we as a country more like this woman? Who is horrified at the happy ending in the episode I just watched and writes:

At the end of the show we learn that she, baby free and newly sterile, and her existing children have been allotted a house in the country with plenty of room for them all.

The ending voice over offers all the wrong lessons:

Nora's life was saved by doctors who asked no questions. She never conceived again. Free, reliable contraception came too late to help her. . . .

Speaking of coming too late to help, no mention is made of the fact that just weeks after she killed her baby and nearly killed herself, she had a new home and a new start with plenty of room for a baby. And she and her husband and her living children will be tortured by what she did for the rest of their lives.


She saw that. I saw a happy mother with a husband who loved her and supported her decisions, 8 cute kids, and a happy home.

So, thoughts, GTers? Do we have shows like this?

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