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Inside the Excellent Teen Abortion Episode of ‘Degrassi: Next Class’

When a TV show logs over 525 episodes, it’s bound to repeat storylines. For Degrassi, the never-ending teen drama that has been on the air since 1979 (barring a few short breaks), it’s basically a necessity. There are plenty of recycled plots: coming out of the closet, meeting internet strangers, teen domestic violence, sexual assault, and, of course, the family drama staple of teen pregnancy.

Degrassi’s taken on that last subject multiple times. In a 1987 episode of Degrassi Junior High, 14-year-old Spike finds out she’s pregnant and carries the baby to term. Her child Emma was the star of 2001’s Degrassi: The Next Generation, which (along with the 1992 TV movie School’s Out) featured a character—specifically, Manny—getting an abortion in the episode ”Accidents Will Happen.” In the third season episode “#IRegretNothing” of Degrassi: Next Class, the series’s sorta-continuation on Netflix, it’s Lola who finds herself unexpectedly pregnant after a birth control mishap, with no plans to keep the baby. While Lola’s isn’t the first abortion storyline in the series, it’s the most daring, honest, and somehow, most comforting take on the subject that the show’s staged yet. …

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