Is A Major Girls Character About To Have Her First Abortion?

Photo: Craig Blankenhorn/HBO.
Think of a millennial female buzzword, and there's been a Girls episode about it. HPV, rimjobs, UTIs, sexual orientation, crack, sexual assault, marriage, divorce, abortion — well, kind of. Technically, the topic has been touched on twice. In the show's first season, Jessa stood up her abortion only to get her period (or possibly miscarry) moments after, and in season four, the notorious Mimi-Rose tells Adam she had one the day before. However, for a show about sexually active young women, it's kind of unbelievable they haven't taken a leaf out of Obvious Child's book and followed an abortion storyline from start to finish. Until now — maybe.
The bombshell reveal of last night's episode, "Painful Evacuation" — other than the back-to-back deaths Ray encounters — is that Hannah goes to the ER for a painful UTI only to find out that she's pregnant.
"Do you know who the father is?" asks the doctor, who just so happens to be Joshua from season two's "One Man's Trash."
"He's a water ski instructor who I'm not likely to see again," Hannah says, presumably referring to Riz Ahmed's character from the first episode of the season.
As Joshua begins to tell Hannah that he can take her to get an abortion and have a colleague handle the procedure, she interrupts him.
"What makes you think I want an abortion?"
That she let a potential UTI fester for many days before getting treated is just the tip of the iceberg in terms of answering that question, but primarily it's an eery callback to the first scene of the episode when she's interviewing writer Ode Montgomery.
"I am not a mother and there's a reason for that," Montgomery says. "Childlessness is the natural state of the female author."
She goes on to describe the process as akin to having "a truck driven through your vagina." Hannah listens attentively, drinking it all in, because this is the first season that she's left all her day jobs behind and is 100% committed to her journey towards being a successful writer. Twenty minutes later, she learns that she's already on her way to breaking Montgomery's cardinal rule.
Perhaps her hesitation is supposed to be another marker of her growth. Season one Hannah would undergo the procedure, no question, and while I wouldn't say her character is now in the perfect place to raise a child, her career is finally getting legs, and her love life has, for the most part, settled — but maybe that's its own problem. A child would throw a wrench into the stable life she spent almost six years creating.
"But that's the mistake we make, isn't it?" Montgomery says in the beginning of the episode. "Believing that being a writer means being, you know, totally and utterly uninterrupted."
So where does this leave Hannah? On Elijah's lap. I can't imagine Girls' final season going out on a pregnancy, but when it comes to Lena Dunham I'd never say never. Personally, I'd "prefer" an abortion storyline because Dunham hasn't yet had the chance to do it justice. While the episode was written before the election, the ever-growing list of attacks on women's rights makes a frank and honest look at the procedure more necessary than ever. For now, like Hannah, we wait.

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