an After abortion

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Saturday, November 19, 2005

After writing yesterday about how abortion is portrayed on television, I was surprised to run across an abortion subplot while viewing a DVD of the first season of Monk, which runs on the USA Network.

Monk stars Tony Shaloub as a police detective in forced retirement who suffers from obsessive-compulsive disorder.

In Mr. Monk and the Psychic, Harry Ashcombe's wife is dead, and Monk believes that Harry might have murdered her. Monk learns that Ashcombe is still pursuing his former mistress, Jennie Zeppetelli.

In order to get Ashcombe to confess to the murder of his wife, Monk persuades Jennie to participate in a fake murder. As Monk, Harry Ashcombe and others find Jennie's apparently dead body in a shallow grave on Ashcombe's property, Monk turns to Ashcombe and accuses him of murdering not just his wife but also Jennie.

"You got Jennie pregnant last summer and told her to have an abortion", says Monk to Ashcombe. Ashcombe staggers back as he wonders how Monk could know this. It is obvious to the viewer that the abortion is what motivated Jennie to cooperate with Monk, in order to revenge herself on Ashcombe. It's also obvious that Monk feels that telling a mistress to get an abortion is just about what you'd expect from someone who would then go on to murder his wife.

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