U.S. Refuses to Air Canadian Teen Soap Opera Episode Pushing Abortion

NEW YORK, July 19, 2004 (LifeSiteNews.com) – The U.S. television station, Viacom-owned N Channel, that normally broadcasts the Canadian show, “Degrassi: The Next Generation,” has refused to air two episodes — because they depict a lead character who chooses to abort her unborn child.

The episode is described by New York Times writer Kate Arthur: “Two 14-year-old girls are talking. One, named Manny, says to the other: ‘I’m just trying to do the right thing here. For me. For everyone, I guess'” — a conversation about a girl describing to her friend why she has decided to abort her child.

Underscoring why many LifeSiteNews.com readers no longer watch TV, Arthur bemoans the fact that broadcasters haven’t the nerve to divulge the “taboo” subject of abortion on the tube. “Unlike such once-taboo issues as date rape, gay relationships and teenage sex, abortion on television remains an aberration,” she writes. “Manny is the very rare character who actually has one,” she continues, “what’s even more rare is that she doesn’t regret it afterward.”

The episodes were aired on Canadian television in January.

The N Channel has received a 6,000-signature petition that called the decision to postpone broadcast of the show “unjust and asinine,” according to a Canadian Press news report. The petitioners claim that they have a right to see the show, “unedited.” “This episode does not contain any forceful opinions regarding this subject,” the petition claims. “By taking these actions we feel as a whole that you are dismissing a substantial part of this season’s plot.”

Degrassi writers told Arthur that “they felt a responsibility to speak directly to young viewers.” “If they’re talking about it in the schoolyard, we should be able to talk about it on television,” show creator Linda Schuyler said. “I remain hopeful that they will find a way as with these other controversial subjects, to put it on the air that will be acceptable for their audience,” Schuyler told the Canadian Press. Schuyler also is proud of demoralizing Canadians by portraying homosexual kissing in prior episodes.

Read New York Times and Canadian Press coverage:


Express your concerns to Viacom’s N Channel:


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