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ABC’s ‘Scandal’ Shows On-Air Abortion to the Tune of ‘Silent Night’

Melanie Arter
By Melanie Arter | November 23, 2015 | 11:01 AM EST

Kerry Washington stars as Olivia Pope in "Scandal." (Eric McCandless/ABC via Associated Press)

Thursday night on the winter finale of ABC’s “Scandal,” the main character Olivia Pope gets an abortion on screen as the soundtrack features Aretha Franklin singing “Silent Night.”

The scene opens showing Olivia with her feet in stirrups. An abortionist grabs her tool and turns on the suction. Olivia’s hand grabs the bed rail as the abortionist proceeds with the abortion.

Also during the episode, the Republican senator from Virginia and former First Lady Mellie Grant filibusters a spending bill in the Senate over Planned Parenthood funding which has been made discretionary, which means it can be eliminated at any time.

“You say we’re not defunding Planned Parenthood, and technically you’re right, but by making that money discretionary, you give the people in this room the power to say, ‘You know what? We’re a little over budget this year. How about we don’t give that little ladies’ organization the full amount they’re asking for. So you don’t, and then next year, you give them even less, and even less the year after that, and you keep chipping away at their budget until before you know it, Planned Parenthood no longer exists,” Mellie says.

“So, as much as I would like to get home for the holidays, I refuse to do it at the expense of women’s health. So before we vote, I’d like to tell you about the thousands of federal projects that aren’t discretionary like $5 million for spending on Senate hair care services…,” she says.

Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards praised Scandal creator Shonda Rhimes for the abortion-themed episode:

“Mellie filibustered for Planned Parenthood & access to quality, compassionate #reprohealth for all - Congress, take note. #Scandal,” the Planned Parenthood president tweeted on Thursday.

“Thank you @shondarhimes for bringing this incredibly important issue to the bajillion people watching. #Scandal,” Richards tweeted.

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