The latest episode of This Is Us explores Kate’s abortion and the trauma of her abusive relationship with Marc with compassion and nuance

WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Season 5, Episode 5 of This Is Us, “A Long Road Home,” which aired Tuesday on NBC

In the final pre-winter break episode of This Is Us, 18-year-old Kate Pearson learned she was pregnant with her abusive boyfriend Marc’s baby after their breakup Now, in the midseason premiere of This Is Us, “A Long Way Home, “Kate shares the relationship, pregnancy, and subsequent abortion with husband Toby as the show flashes back on a young Kate who is going through the abortion of her own.

This Is Us treats this abortion story with compassion and nuance In the present, Kate makes it very clear that she has made her decision for sure and has never regretted it. When Toby asks why she hadn’t revealed this part of her life to him before, she doesn’t crouch and apologize; and when he carefully compares her abortion to her two-year journey to pregnancy, she makes it clear that she doesn’t equate the situations at no point does she, Toby, or the show do anything to imply her abortion has anything to do with the couple’s fertility problems or Kate’s miscarriage. Abortions do not negatively affect fertility or increase the likelihood of future miscarriages, and the show ignores this often repeated misunderstanding

Meanwhile, flashbacks show how a young Kate overcomes the difficulties of the procedure in the clinic, she has to answer very specific, targeted questions about her decision, and then has to return to the actual abortion on another day. These are legal requirements, and the Show does a good job of subtly suggesting that an abortion is an ordeal that is not entirely under the control of the woman who made the decision to have it, despite refraining from any obvious editorial staff

The flashbacks also make it clear that Kate is upset with the situation she is in and that her relationship with Marc will cause years of mental trauma, however, the show carefully notes that it’s the abusive relationship, not the one Abortion That Causes Kate’s Trauma Marc Isolated Her From Friends And Family When She Was Most Vulnerable Even When Her Mom Realizes Something Is Wrong After Coming Home From Abortion, Kate Hides The Truth because Marc made her do it.It is this care and manipulation that Kate needs to recover from as she matures and finds joy later in life

This Is Us treats its many emotional storylines with kindness and care, and Kate’s abortion story is no different in both the present and the past, the series compassionately presents Kate’s situation, confirms her choices and never judges them, instead the show explicitly articulates it that Kate’s trauma is the result of their abusive relationship and not the decisions she makes about what to do with her body

Created by Dan Fogelman, This Is Us stars Milo Ventimiglia, Mandy Moore, Justin Hartley, Chrissy Metz and Sterling K Brown, Chris Sullivan, and Susan Kelechi Watson new episodes airing Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET / PT on NBC

Margaret Lockyer graduated from UPEI with an Honors degree in English and History with Honors in Apocalyptic Literature, where she played college ice hockey. She also has a degree in writing for film from & Television from Vancouver Film School. She enjoys practicing yoga, speaking about Movies and petting dogs

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