Offender: Law & Order episode “Dignity”
Media Outlet: Aired 10/23/09 on NBC
Offense: Law & Order presented a physician who performs abortions as a murderer and advanced anti-reproductive rights propaganda.
NOW’s Analysis: Law & Order loves to do “ripped from the headlines” stories, and this episode was clearly based on the recent assassination of Dr. George Tiller. The show outrageously implied that physicians like Dr. Tiller may be culpable in their own murders because they themselves are baby killers. The episode might have been titled “Dignity,” but it did little to acknowledge the dignity of women and the service providers who risk their lives to provide safe and legal abortions.
The episode was loaded with anti-abortion sentiment and propaganda. Several of the supposedly pro-choice characters on the show were guilted into questioning their values. The plotline that included the doctor killing a baby after birth was purposely inflammatory — an assault on Dr. Tiller’s memory and quite possibly a provocation to zealots who need little encouragement to view all abortion providers as murderers.
You only need look at the comments on the NBC website to see that Law & Order hit the mark with the anti-choice crowd.
Take Action: Tell NBC what you think about the “Dignity” episode of Law & Order.
Lisa Bennett, NOW Communications Director