Now they are doing a plot arc in which two characters receive a prenatal diagnosis for Down syndrome for their fetus. Here's what I wrote:
The show creators knew that Down syndrome, prenatal testing, and abortion were major issues within the disability community and American society overall. What they couldn’t have predicted is that, thanks to a proposed ban on abortion because of a prenatal diagnosis of Down syndrome in Ohio, their new plotline would tie into front page news.
I don’t know what choice Lily will make, but the most recent episode used the pregnancy to dive into questions about life with disability, cross-disability identity (Daphne thinking about connections between her identity as a Deaf woman and Down syndrome), abortion, and the complications of any unplanned pregnancy. Daphne nearly broke up with her boyfriend when he made ableist remarks (he’s trying to make amends). Lily, the expectant mother, spoke about her deep connection to her brother (who has an unspecified genetic condition) and the ways that life with a disability can be different than expected, but still rich and full of joy.
Once I heard about the plot, I wanted to know how the show creators prepared to execute it and whether any people with Down syndrome would be directly involved. I feared that, as too often happens on mainstream TV, the show would be about a disability without someone with that disability. I should have known better.
I corresponded about the plotline with show creator and executive producer Lizzy Weiss. Here’s our conversation:Click through, please, and read and share the interview.
I've seen next Monday's episode. It made me weep (because any diagnosis story throws me emotionally right back into that hour after my son was born). It's solid. I do, of course, have comments and critiques, because I'm a critic, but you'll have to wait until next Monday!