Let's suppose everything in House of Cards, now the hottest thing on NetFlix, is the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
It's no news that congressmen buy, devour and then discard lovely young things who may themselves turn out to be tarantulas. Majority whips and other assorted players are probably scheming right now to destroy one another as well as their opponents to play out their own agendas and increase their own power and, dare we say, income. For all we know, murder plots in the halls of power may be more common than murder in the cathedral. And why wouldn't husbands and wives be playing each other, just as they play cabinet members, presidents, chiefs of staff? You name it. But by watching the series to the end, as we each have done over one snowy weekend, and risk getting ahead of those who probably had something better to do than watch TV for nine hours, we have found the real Big Lie.
Abortion. Granted we should have known it was coming. Even if we were seduced by the charming evil of Kevin Spacey's character (who, like Richard the Third, has a seductively killer charm), it would be his wife Claire who would ultimately pull the trump card on evil. After savaging her staff, cheating on her scheming husband and generally playing a fine Lady Macbeth, the final episode shows this Claire's dawning realization that the power, the ambition, the great edifices of strategy that both bound and drove the marriage will be lost to history after their death.
This Machiavellian Princess now wants a living breathing memorial to succeed her: she wants to be a mother. And so we meet the female gynecologist who after learning that Claire has had three abortions delivers the misinformation that is de rigueur in any representation of abortion in the media.: Abortion may lead to infertility. Abortions in your past when you weren't ready for parenthood, will ruin your chances for conception when you are.
Poor Claire, just like Lady Macbeth, her hands can never be clean. But rather than regurgitate portents and witches brews, it may be well to interject some truth into this fantasy world.
The truth is, that there is absolutely no scientifically proven causal relationship between multiple abortions and infertility. The truth is that one out of three women will have an abortion during their lifetimes and that fewer then .3 percent of women will experience any sort of complications from a first trimester abortion.
And the truth is that, in this House of Cards, as in the reality of so many women's lives, the politics of reproductive freedom is still stacked against us.