WOMEN
01/29/2016 10:42 am ET

Kerry Washington: 'Abortion Is A Reality'

The 'Scandal' actress says it's important to see abortion on screen.
Kerry Washington poses in the Getty Images Portrait Studio at the 2016 Winter Television Critics Association press tour.
Maarten de Boer via Getty Images
Kerry Washington poses in the Getty Images Portrait Studio at the 2016 Winter Television Critics Association press tour.

Kerry Washington is unapologetic about the depiction of abortion on her hit show, "Scandal."

On the show's winter finale in November, the actress's character Olivia Pope is briefly shown undergoing an abortion procedure. The scene, which was all of one-minute, drew some backlash, but many viewers commended producer Shonda Rhimes and the writers of the show for bravely showing something that's unfortunately still considered taboo by many.  

A shot from Olivia Pope's abortion scene on "Scandal."
ABC
A shot from Olivia Pope's abortion scene on "Scandal."

In an interview with Women's Wear Daily published on Wednesday, Washington stood by the finale, saying: “[Abortion is] a reality, and more often than not, it’s a really difficult choice to make. The same was true for Olivia.”

For the actress, it's important that the reality of abortion be reflected on screen.

“By not having those moments represented in media, we add to the idea that there’s something shameful to be talked about," Washington said.  

"It’s always important that our storytelling reflects the real experiences of human beings, because it allows us to not feel as alone.”

Studies have shown that depictions of abortion on TV are often misleading and don't fully reflect real-life statistics, with the few women who get abortions on TV being overwhelmingly white and rich. Thankfully, women like Washington and Rhimes are playing a small, but vital, part in shifting perceptions. 

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