"Unfortunately, I can't leave my soul in the umbrella stand when I come into work in the morning," Assistant District Attorney Connie Rubirosa says before her dramatic exit. She's responding to her boss who is understandably annoyed that she tanked their case against the killer of an abortion doctor because of her new-found moral objections. "I grew up thinking Roe V. Wade was gospel...[but] now I don't know where my privacy ends and another being's dignity begins." Well, Connie, good thing that decision isn't up to you or the writers of "Law & Order."
Yes, this week the long-running show took on the murder of Dr. George Tiller--who was shot to death at his church in Kansas because of his profession...only they didn't play it straight. Not only did the show-runners make the abortion doctor who took the stand to defend his colleague a zealot who promised abortions of all kinds regardless of the law, but they made the victim a MURDERER. That's right the man standing in for Dr. Tiller--who was by all accounts a law abiding man--delivered a baby then stabbed it in the head with surgical scissors. "Law & Order" has always used stories "ripped from the headlines" but why in this case did they feel the need to manipulate the real story to stack the deck against the truth?
Beyond the obvious embellishment of turning Tiller into a crazed-killer, they made one of the officers pursuing the case an almost-aborted fetus. As if that weren't one-sided enough, they portrayed both lawyers trying the public's case as secret pro-lifers who were torn between their jobs and beliefs because of an unjust law. At one point the lead ADA compares abortion to slavery, which (I think we can all agree) is not at all a ridiculous or weighted analogy.
Now, don't get me wrong, I believe abortion is a complex issue worthy of a complex conversation. But this bizarre moralizing masquerading as a TV episode was not that--it was an almost laughable plea at overturning Roe V. Wade.
Of course in the end they convicted the shooter, but only because doing so makes you feel less sympathy for the abortion doctor and his work. The writers decided to forgo the moral complexities that would've arisen from an acquittal.