Jane the Virgin Just Shattered Another Huge Taboo on TV

October 25th 2016

A controversial comedy just shattered another taboo surrounding women's reproductive choices.

CW's "Jane the Virgin" is about Jane Villanueva, a young Latina virgin who becomes mistakenly impregnated through artificial insemination at a doctor's office. Jane, played by Gina Rodriguez, then struggles with the stigma of having a baby as an unwed mother, while living with her religious mother and grandmother. 

However, this week the show used a different character to address unwanted pregnancy.

Jane's mother Xoimara Villanueva, played by Andrea Navedo, has a "medication abortion" after becoming pregnant during a one-night stand. In the show, which adopts the style of a Spanish language telenovela, the narrator explains that Xoimara had an abortion but lied to her religious mother, who also lives in the house. 

"To clarify Xo didn't have a stomach flu a few weeks ago. She had a medication abortion, which caused cramps, which she told her mother was a stomach flu.”

The show does not drag out the decision process, but instead presents the abortion as a clear choice by an older woman who doesn't want to have any more children. This episode reveals the truth about abortion: many women who get abortions are already mothers, and women can be confident that their choice is right for them. 

Women who get abortions can feel stigmatized by society and their friends and family for their decision to get an abortion, even when they're happy about it. In "Jane the Virgin," Xoimara hides the abortion from her mother because the religious woman would be very judgmental and upset about the choice. 

Like the character Xoimara, nearly 60 percent of women in the U.S who receive abortions have at least one child already, according to the Guttmacher Institute. Also, 73 percent of abortions globally are received by married women. 

RELATED: New Study Reveals Something Surprising About Who Gets Abortions

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