New ‘Girls’ Episode: ‘I Can’t Go for a Run Because I Had an Abortion’

Lena Dunham’s ‘Girls’ calls aborted baby a ‘ball of cells.’

Abortion (n) The destruction of a ball of cells

Source: HBO’s “Girls.”

In its fourth season, Lena Dunham’s execrable “Girls” aired Feb. 22 on HBO. Entitled “Close-Up,” the episode featured one character, Mimi-Rose (Gillian Jacobs), who described how she “can’t go for a run” because she had an abortion the day before. In the show, she confronted her boyfriend, Adam (Adam Driver), with the news that she aborted the “ball of cells” without a “penis or a vagina.”

“I can’t go for a run,” Mimi-Rose broke the news to Adam, “because I had an abortion yesterday.” “[A]nd I can’t take a bath or use a tampon or have intercourse for like a week,” she continued before laughing.

When Adam asked, “Was it a boy or girl?” Mimi-Rose calmly responded, “It was a ball of cells.” In other words, “It was smaller than a seed pearl. It didn't have a penis or a vagina.”

“Isn't this a decision that people typically make together?” Adam interjected. Mimi-Rose responded, “So you wanted a baby? ... That's kind of absurd. We've been together for less than seven weeks. I don't think that we're ready for a child.”

Adam threw a tantrum at the news.  He appeared as a blubbering idiot, who couldn’t remember Mimi-Rose’s middle name and reacted to her “evil” decision by knocking things off a table. “Your brain does not process information in a normal way at all,” Mimi-Rose pointed out to him later on.

For her justification, Mimi-Rose told Adam, “I didn’t want to talk about it beforehand; I just wanted to do it.” She explained in more depth later: “I just waited to share information until it was too late for you to chime in.” 

The media didn’t see it as too late to chime in. Jezebel’s Anna Merlan lauded the “super chill” episode, saying, “Everyone's abortion experience should be so easy, so carefree, so quickly dispatched.” 

For The Washington Post, Alyssa Rosenberg praised the episode: “TV gets smart — and sensitive — about abortion.”

“Our feelings about abortion may be complicated, but often the choice to have one isn’t,” wrote The Huffington Post’s Lauren Duca and Emma Gray. “More of this on our television screens, please.”

Girls’ director, writer, and producer, Lena Dunham, said of the episode’s abortion-push: 

I liked the idea of a character who goes so far in the other direction that it’s almost confusing for the audience because we’ve been taught to react one way to this which is, you know, with tears and regret. As someone who’s really passionate about reproductive justice, for me, it’s not just about making sure abortion is legal, it’s about making sure abortion is without stigma and is not something that women feel like they have to apologize for. 

Dunham’s storyline fits with the rest of her agenda. A big fan of abortion giant Planned Parenthood, Dunham also supported “romantic abortion comedy” “Obvious Child,” directed a music video featuring an “abortion dog,” and even joked about aborting the British royal baby.

— Katie Yoder is Staff Writer, Joe and Betty Anderlik Fellow in Culture and Media at the Media Research Center. Follow Katie Yoder on Twitter.