This week's episode of the ABC show "Scandal" depicted the lead character Olivia Pope undergoing an abortion to the tune of the Christmas hymn "Silent Night." The winter finale seemed like a one-hour commercial for the controversial abortion provider Planned Parenthood and was "Hollywood's moral depravity on full display," critics said.
The episode, "Baby It's Cold Outside," aired Thursday, showed the lead character, portrayed by Kerry Washington, lying on a hospital bed and having an abortion while the hymn "Silent Night" played in the background.
Then a voiceover is heard, of Olivia's father, telling someone: "Family is a burden … a pressure point, soft tissue, an illness, an antidote to greatness. You think you're better off with people who rely on you, depend on you, but you're wrong, because you will inevitably end up needing them, which makes you weak, pliable. Family doesn't complete you. It destroys you."
The episode ended with Olivia drinking a glass of wine while smiling and looking at a Christmas tree in the room, with "Ave Maria" playing in the background.
It's an example of Hollywood's "liberal values," reacted the Media Research Center in a statement.
"Last night's episode of ABC's 'Scandal' was pretty much an hour-long advertisement for Planned Parenthood," the statement said. "In the most disturbing scene, the main character has an abortion to 'Silent Night' (a hymn celebrating the birth of Jesus) playing in the background… This is Hollywood's moral depravity on full display."
Planned Parenthood praised the show.
"We saw one of our favorite characters make the deeply personal decision that one in three women have made in their lifetime," it said in a statement, according to Entertainment Weekly. "We applaud Shonda Rhimes … for proving that when women are telling our stories, the world will pause and watch."
Many on Twitter criticized the show, saying Shonda Rhimes, the show's creator who is on the board of Planned Parenthood of Los Angeles, propagated her beliefs through the episode.
"@newsbusters @ScandalABC Way too far. I am disgusted at the show I love so much. PlannedMurderHood & Silent Night. I am textless," read one of the numerous tweets. "@newsbusters @Mattphilbin And I thought the Planned Parenthood bias was bad as the show began…will never watch again," said another one.
Secretly taped videos purporting to show Planned Parenthood employees engaged in illegal activities were released by the pro-life Center for Medical Progress not long ago.
In one of the videos, Dr. Deborah Nucatola of Planned Parenthood says: "You know, we've been very good at getting heart, lung, liver, because we know that, so I'm not gonna crush that part, I'm going to basically crush below, I'm gonna crush above, and I'm gonna see if I can get it all intact."