Remember that time Lena Dunham said she hadn’t ever had an abortion but that she wished she had? The comments pretty much blew up the Internet (obviously), and Dunham clarified that she only meant that it would make her feel more authentic in terms of relating to fellow women who are pro-choice.
Well it looks like Dunham is now addressing the issue of pro-choice in another way, via her HBO series Girls. The series is currently airing its sixth season on Sunday nights and last night’s episode dealt out a pretty big doozy: after heading to the emergency room to deal with a UTI, Dunham’s character Hannah found out she was pregnant. From a doctor that she once had a weekend-long romp with, of all people.
The pregnancy was completely unexpected, but it stems from Hannah’s season six premiere fling with her surf instructor (played by Rogue One‘s Riz Ahmed). At this point it’s unclear if Hannah could even track the guy down again if she wanted to, given that he was a wanderer of sorts who also happened to have a girlfriend.
The bigger issue at hand now is what Hannah will do with this pregnancy. When the doctor (played by Patrick Wilson) offered her support if she were to choose to have an abortion, Hannah hightailed it out of there pretty quickly. But the character was obviously in a state of shock and had no idea that her uterus had been working overtime lately, so she — and we as an audience — have had zero time to actually process.
We’re sure that will change next week (especially since Hannah’s mom is coming to town for a visit), as Hannah makes some decisions. But here’s the thing: whether she keeps the baby or decides not to keep it, this is a pretty big game-changer for the show itself. So far this season Hannah has been trying to grow up a little and let go of her narcissistic past. That’s included writing about things that matter to her, getting published and saying goodbye to toxic friends like Jessa.
It’s always taken Hannah big, life-altering events to shake her out of her status quo, and this pregnancy is as big as it gets. If she keeps the baby, she’s got a lot of changes to make. It’s doubtful she could continue to live with her gay bestie Elijah in that tiny apartment, for example. And she’d absolutely need a more stable job (that teaching gig from last season is looking pretty good right about now, huh?).
On the other hand if she were to abort the baby (or even give it up for adoption) there are a bunch of other issues she’ll have to deal with. Emotionally things will never be the same, and the judgement that would come with such a move from friends, family and completely random strangers will be harsh. As for the show itself, well it’s never been one to shy away from controversy. But this is one of the most polarizing issues in politics today; whatever happens we can guarantee that people are now going to be paying close attention — whether they were Girls fans to begin with or not.
In that vein, we’re counting down the days until Sunday when we can finally find out what the heck Hannah is going to do next.
Your move, Lena.
Girls airs Sundays at 10 p.m. on HBO Canada.