ABC Family's teen-focused drama The Fosters has taken the taboo subject (in television and in real life) of late-term abortion, in its most recent episode on Monday.
The Jennifer Lopez-produced show focuses on the lives of an interracial lesbian couple, Stef and Lena, and the challenges they face in raising their family, which consists of Stef's biological son from a previous marriage and several foster children.
Like most dramas of its kind, The Fosters tackles many social issues, from drugs to dating to growing up. This week's episode, entitled "Mother," told the story of mother-to-be Lena's development of the pregnancy complication pre-eclampsia, which threatened both her and her unborn baby's life. At 20 weeks, the baby is too underdeveloped to survive and Lena is forced to make the decision to terminate her pregnancy.
In an article for Vulture, writer Margaret Lyons applauded the show for approaching the frank subject matter, writing, "...it's nice every once in a while to see some acknowledgement of the lived experiences of women. It's not just fancy prestige premium-cable shows that examine the occasional brutal tragedies of life. Come for the earnest teen drama, stay for the progressive politics, and then stay even longer for the deeply felt human drama."
The Fosters has not been without its share of detractors in its run. In 2013, the group One Million Moms, affiliated with the conservative American Family Association, urged a boycott of the show because of its "attempts to redefine marriage and family."
Peter Paige, executive producer of the show along with Jennifer Lopez, said, "A stamp of disapproval from One Million Moms is like a critic's pick. I'm incredibly grateful for their attention."