For Our Consideration: Scandal’s abortion made the show actually political

A few months ago, on the midseason finale of ABC’s Scandal, Olivia Pope had an abortion. The scene not only played out under the choir version of a Christmas carol (“Silent Night”) but overlapped with a monologue of her father proclaiming that “family does not complete you, it destroys you.” This was a shocking moment for a show that already took subtlety behind the shed years ago. At the height of #StandWithPP, the boldness of the choice earned both praise and criticism from the press and social media. (The conservative Media Research Council labeled it “Hollywood’s moral depravity on full display.”) Basically, exactly what you’d expect. The event will likely cost Scandal viewers when it returns this week and has already earned Shonda Rhimes a few death threats.

With that single choice, Rhimes, the most powerful woman in network television, turned her prize character from nebulously confident …

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