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Abortion portrayal

Shameless (television)


Kevin and Veronica decide to operate a mobile health van ("Nurse V's Jiffy Care") to make extra money even though neither of them are trained clinicians. Fifteen-year-old Jaime and her mother approach them saying Jaime can't get the care she needs in their home state (Missouri) and everywhere else won't accept their insurance. When Veronica asks what she needs, Jaime says an abortion. Kevin and Veronica disagree about whether to help her, and Veronica argues that old white men shouldn't get to decide what happens to women's bodies. While they're discussing if and how to help, Jaime and her mother return saying they've told others that Veronica can help with  abortions, noting a crowd of teenage girls behind them.

Veronica and Kevin ask a doctor friend how much an abortion would cost without insurance, and she says at least $400, but that the abortion pill is available at pharmacies. After talking through different possibilities, all legally dubious, Veronica asks the doctor to "misplace" her script pad so that they can obtain mifepristone, but the doctor refuses. She walks away and trips, emptying her purse and leaving her script pad behind, clearly on purpose. 

Veronica enlists the help of her friend Gracie who works at a nursing home. She corrals a group of elderly women to have prescriptions for mifepristone written in their names and filled at the pharmacy. When the pharmacist tells them that Medicare only covers abortion in cases of rape, incest, or life threat, they all chime in saying that those are their circumstances.  

Keywords: Medication abortion.

Episodes: O Captain, My Captain
Release date: January 5, 2020
Time setting: Present (2020)
Geographical setting: US (Illinois)
Abortion legality: Legal
Health outcomes: None
Character age: Teen
Genre: Comedy, Comedy-drama, Drama
Network: Showtime

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ANSIRH is a program within the UCSF Bixby Center for Global Reproductive Health and is a part of UCSF's Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology & Reproductive Sciences.

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