This week on New Amsterdam, they tackled the current event in the United States of the Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade. The episode tackles various aspects of how the ruling affects people. They open the episode with a montage of everyone as they find out about the ruling.
In an emotional rant about the overturn, Lauren reveals to Floyd that she’s had an abortion. He’s quick to pick up her avoidance of talking about it and gets her to reluctantly admit that she had one while they were sleeping together a few years ago. They don’t get to talk about it much because they’re bringing kids that are interested in the medical field on a tour of the hospital.
When there are breaks throughout the tour where other doctors are explaining specialized departments, Floyd pulls Lauren aside to talk about it further. He explains that he respects her choice but presses on why she never told him. Lauren holds the response that she kept it to herself because it wasn’t a big deal and it was none of his business.
At the end of the tour, one of the kids brings up that something major happened today and no one is talking about it. Lauren tells them that they’re right and starts to address it. She explains her personal experiences with having two abortions herself. The first was after being drugged at a party and the other was because she was falling in love with the guy who got her pregnant and he, prior to this, told her that she didn’t fit into his future. The guy being Floyd, who is visibly shocked by her saying that she loved him. She continues to tell them about how these were hard things to do, but were best options for her and that having that choice was important. She encourages the kids to look into medical careers related to this field if they want to help. After the kids leave, Lauren starts crying. Floyd tells her that he understands why she did what she did and that he’s not upset with her before hugging her.
Loss of Safety
In the wake of the news, Karen begs Max to do something about it. To help in some way. He tells her that he can’t change what’s happened and she replies that she’ll greenlight anything he suggests to help the cause, no matter the money or resources. He calls around and tries to figure something out.
He gets the idea to start an abortion clinic on a military base in Texas, because it’s federal land, and goes to Todd for help with the idea. After some back and forth, he agrees to help but tells Max that the base he’s looking at is a bad choice and he has a better one in mind that he’ll reach out to about it. It ends up not working out though. This leads to Max buying a boat with plans to have a floating clinic off the coast. He brings Karen to see it, who is shocked by the fact that it’s an idea that might actually work. While discussing it, the person that Max bought the boat from overhears and crushes their plans. The boat isn’t in good enough shape to sail all the way to Texas.
Max decides that his legal approaches aren’t working so maybe the only option is to do something illegal. He buys a building next to the clinic he’s been working with to make all of this happen and explains to them that he wants to start an underground clinic. She replies that she can’t ask her doctors to do that and won’t be moving forward with that. She’ll just have to keep fighting the best that she can for their rights.
Later, Max and Karen talk about it all. She shares a heartbreaking story of having to watch her friend die during an illegally performed abortion in the ’60s. The experience led to her getting majorly involved in the fight for abortion rights and to have the win taken away now is devastating.
Following the conversation, Max goes to the OB department and talks to them. He asks if he can get trained in performing a dilatation and curettage. After work, when he’s home with Luna, Max struggles with the fact that this is all is happening and will affect her.
The Right to Choose
Elizabeth has to take a step back and remember that she has to set her beliefs aside to help her patients when she begins working with a pregnant patient with cervical cancer. The best way to approach this is to do a dilatation and curettage and remove the fetus, because it either won’t survive or will suffer greatly during the cancer treatment. The patient refuses because she doesn’t agree with abortions. After some thinking, Elizabeth comes up with them going in and removing the cancerous areas, but with lasting complications like having to use a colostomy bag for the rest of her life. She agrees, but when they get into the surgery, they see that the growth is affecting more than they thought and they can’t safely remove it. She also receives push back from the surgery team that are upset that resources are being used for this when there’s a simpler way to go about this all.
When Elizabeth tells her that they couldn’t do the procedure and will have to seek other alternatives, the patient tells her that she’s going to look for another doctor and see if she can find a different way that will allow her to keep her baby. They go back and forth about it and the patient explains that these are her moral beliefs and she can’t go against them. Eventually Elizabeth completely understands what she’s saying and discharges her to go look for alternative care. The other doctor that was working on her is shocked by this and the fact that Elizabeth let politics interfere like this. Elizabeth explains to her that this is part of the right to choose, which is what they stand for.
A group of protesters gather outside of New Amsterdam’s women’s health clinic following the ruling. Iggy walks up as a woman tries pushing through the crowd to get inside. Awful things are screamed at her as she tries to enter and one man grabs her wrist to keep her from getting in. In the heat of the moment, Iggy tries to help and when it doesn’t work, he punches the man.
Iggy gets put in handcuffs by security and Karen tries to sort it all out. She tells Iggy that the man won’t press charges if Iggy apologizes. Sticking to his feelings, Iggy refuses to apologize and Karen calls Martin to come talk him through it. Martin tells Iggy that he’s proud of him, but he has to apologize. He explains that in the wake of the ruling and with other comments made by one of the supreme court justices, they don’t have the luxury of not looking over their shoulder. With the potential of gay rights being at risk, they could lose the kids and more in the future, and if Iggy has a criminal record, then it’ll be easier for them to do.
There’s a moment where they show what’s going on in Iggy’s mind, which is to not apologize and instead scream at the man about how wrong he is, but in reality, Iggy apologizes for punching the man.