Call The Midwife fans heap praise on 'empowering' abortion rights speech after emotional scenes
CALL The Midwife character Trixie was cheered on by viewers following a powerful speech demanding abortion rights.
The period drama, currently set in 1966, saw the nurse (played by Helen George) stand up for the call for legalising abortion on a radio show against two men who stood against the proposed bill.
After witnessing an abused woman with several children suffer the after effects of a backstreet abortion, Trixie was determined to stand up and call for legalisation to prevent it happening again.
Posting an open letter in the Guardian, she received backlash from the other nuns, but persevered and even appeared on radio to discuss it further.
However, she was met with two difficult men, with the radio host and a lawyer talking over why they 'didn't feel it was necessary'.
Snapping, Trixie found her voice, and in a powerful speech laid out the importance of access to the treatment.
"No doctor would subject a patient to a medical procedure that carries risks unless they felt it was necessary. No doctor would consider termination likely it's very often the last resort.
"These changes are being proposed to allow doctors to use their professional discretion when faced with women in desperate straits and to stop them from being castigated as criminals.
"Most babies are loved and wanted, but there are women who find themselves in situations that are harmful to their health and to their sanity, they simply cannot cope, they are living in dreadful social conditions with no hope and no money. How can that be beneficial to any child?"
When confronted with the question about why women shouldn't "change their conditions", Trixie was having none of it, and continued: "Why can't we do both?
"I'm not here to speak for all midwives just for myself and all I know is what I've seen women bleeding to death in dirty rooms up back alleys, women desperate to avoid the stigma of an unplanned baby – and there is still stigma.
"I know that this is a question of conscience and my conscience tells me that this bill should pass."
Viewers celebrated the powerful speech and the show for deciding to air it.
In the timeline of the series, the nurses are at a point where abortion law became a national talking point.
In 1966, it was illegal to have or to orchestrate an abortion, with a potential life in prison if caught. It was also heavily frowned upon in society to have a baby out of wedlock or too young.
The Abortion Act was eventually passed in October 1967, going into effect six months later.
At the passing of the bill, abortion was legal in a wide range of cases across Great Britain, with the exception of Northern Ireland.
Call The Midwife airs Sunday at 9pm on Channel 4.
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