For three months, there’s clearly been something wrong with Willow Tait on General Hospital, and the show has let us know that in very obvious and subtle ways. It was three months ago when Willow first fainted out of nowhere and chalked it up to not eating, but she has been extremely tired ever since, and we know it’s not just because she is pregnant.
TJ Ashford (Tajh Bellow) made a point of telling Willow (Katelyn MacMullen) that she was only a few weeks along when he delivered the pregnancy news, while also informing her there are other test results that need to come back.
Most people do not look like they can be on an episode of The Walking Dead just because they are pregnant, and that is exactly what Willow looked like when she showed up at the Metro Court pool, insisted she was just fine, and then proceeded to pass out into Sonny Corinthos’s (Maurice Benard) arms. Even when she waited for TJ to arrive with the test results, she was still trying to hide how horrible she felt.
Clearly, there is something else wrong with Willow besides a pregnancy she very much wants, but that something may force her to make a choice between her own life and the life of the child she is carrying.
Perhaps it would be risky for her to carry a child to term or perhaps she has cancer and any treatment would harm the fetus. This is something women all over the world have to face every day, and in New York, the state where GH takes place, it is still legal for Willow to terminate her pregnancy no matter how excruciating a choice it would be for her.
The first soap opera character to have a legal abortion was All My Children’s Erica Kane (Susan Lucci), and soap opera women have had to make the decision to have abortions several times over the last 50 years.
The Young and the Restless’ Ashley Abbott (Eileen Davidson) had one in the 1980s and on GH, Lulu Spencer (then played by Julie Marie Berman) had one as a teen because she wasn’t ready to have a child yet. It was a decision that was hers despite her longing to become a mother as an adult and the steps she had to take to make that happen.
Erica’s abortion came just a short time after the Supreme Court 1973 Roe V. Wade decision that stated a woman had a Constitutional right to an abortion under the privacy clause of the 14th amendment. It inflamed audiences then, but actress Susan Lucci spoke about it to ABC soon after the death of AMC creator Agnes Nixon, who wrote the story.
“There was no preaching,” Lucci said of the abortion story and other social issue stories on the soap. “She was too busy to preach. She told stories and told everybody’s point of view. She was inclusive.”
GH has the opportunity to tell a story of a woman who is forced to choose for her own health despite how much her child is wanted during a time when the topic is weighing so heavily on women’s minds. The question is — will it take that opportunity? Do you think that’s where this story is going? Let us know in the comments section below.
General Hospital (GH) airs weekdays on ABC. Check your local listings for airtimes. For more about what’s coming up in Port Charles, check out all the latest that’s been posted on GH spoilers, and for an in-depth look at the show’s history, click here.
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