The Walking Dead and My Activist Heart

This past weekend was cool and rainy. Under some circumstances, that would be horrible weather, but it was wonderful for the type of weekend I needed. I was up for a comforting weekend in and the sound of rain gently falling was the perfect backdrop. I filled my time watching season 2 of The Walking Dead and reading or sleeping while my boyfriend played video games.

I’ve only recently started The Walking Dead and have played catch up in preparation for the fourth season. Before I go any further, let me just say that the T.V. show is fantastic! How they’ve manipulated the concept of zombies into a drama series is nothing short of impressive. Way to go AMC!

This photo, “SDCC13 – Walking Dead Booth Tower” is copyright (c) 2014 William Tung and made available under an Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 license

Spoilers for season 2 of The Walking Dead follow

We learn about Lori’s (seriously, spoiler. Don’t read further if you don’t want to spoil season 2) pregnancy when she gets a positive read on a pregnancy test from the pharmacy. Not really the perfect thing to happen as the world is ending. Understandably, she panics and request somethin from the pharmacy: Plan B. Her pregnancy was a secret between her and Glen, but Maggie finds out, angrily throwing what she calls “abortion pills” at Lori when they return.

Lori’s whole debate about whether to keep the baby or not is reasonable, but the factual inaccuracies concerning Plan B bugged me. My little activist heart ached at the missed opportunity to inform the public about the use of Plan B. For one, it is the farthest thing from an “abortion pill.” All it does is prevent pregnancy from occurring. If a woman is already pregnant, the pill will do nothing (sperm can live three to five days inside of a woman and she could therefore conceive three to five days after intercourse. Plan B prevents her from conceiving).  Before writing this article, I thought taking Plan B while pregnant would cause some nasty birth defects, but that is not true either. I looked up information and found that there is no conclusive evidence that taking Plan B does any harm to a fetus.

Long story short, Lori not only had no reason to take Plan B. Since she is already pregnant, it would do nothing. There was no reason for other characters to freak out about her taking the pill.

I admit, given that Plan B is often called an abortion pill and that there is a lot of misinformation out there, it’s not surprising that Lori may have assumed it would cause her to abort the fetus. Her actions fit perfectly into this crumbling world where there is no medical expert to consult (but there is a vet who might know something). I’m just disappointed at the missed opportunity The Walking Dead had to inform the public about the correct uses of Plan B. For example, Lori could have taken it, fallen asleep and then woken up in a panic because she decided she wanted to keep the baby. She would then have run to the only medical voice they had to see what could be done. He would reassure her that, if she was already pregnant, Plan B would have no affect. Her fetus is fine. In another scenario, Glen could have mentioned that Plan B doesn’t work like that and suggest other options she may have.

Regardless of whether Lori took Plan B, she remains pregnant. I feel for her, because she has limited options. I doubt she even has a way of knowing how far along she is. If it’s early enough, there is medication that can terminate a pregnancy (assuming they could find it), but they don’t work if she’s too far along. Any abortion procedure would be far more risky than carrying to term given the state of the world, although giving birth carries its own risk when done without medical supervision. She really has no good options but, for the safety of her own life, carrying her child to term is best.

I’m very curious to see how season 3 pans out. The Big Bang Theory already spoiled something in regards to Lori. I won’t include that spoiler here, but I will say I bet it has something to do with her pregnancy.


2 thoughts on “The Walking Dead and My Activist Heart”

  1. Was it Plan B that Glenn brought her? I didn’t pay that close attention – I assumed it was RU486. Some prescription medication does come prepackaged, so I would’ve had to look at the product name to see what it really was.

    As for the whole pregnancy during the zombie apocalypse thing – there’s definitely the whole crying babies would attract zombies issue. But I figured that they could soundproof a van. Just one of the many ways in which I could survive the ed of the world better than these characters.

    1. I wasn’t even thinking about the baby itself as a liability. I was thinking about the likelihood that Lori would survive the pregnancy. It used to be common place for women to die in childbirth before modern medicine. She needs to overcome that hurdle first.

      After that, I wonder how an infant would act in a world overrun by zombies. Would it quickly catch on to the somber atmosphere and learn when to be quite? Would it have to witness someone dying as a result of its screams for that to be learned? Maybe that’s asking too much of an infant. Sound-proofing would be best. It would really be best for everyone. Adult humans make enough noise as it is.

      I have a feeling the baby will be important in season 3 (I’ve only seen the first two episodes of season 3). Having children is vital if we expect our species to continue its existence.

      Thanks for the comment!

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