Viewers were left stunned last night by Shonda Rhimes Scandal, when it was revealed out of nowhere that Olivia was pregnant and getting an abortion in an episode that was loaded with statements on female reproductive rights.

‘Scandal’ Recap: Olivia Gets An Abortion In Shocking Midseason Finale

‘Baby It’s Cold Outside’ entirely belonged to three ladies, Olivia, Mellie and Susan, who each fight ferociously to get what they want and help each other out while doing so. Mellie (Bellamy Young) successfully filibusters a line item in the Oval-Office-approved spending bill so that Planned Parenthood isn’t relegated to discretionary funding for the next year. Her actions are met with both derision and praise in the Senate, groans from male senators when they realize what she’s up to and cheers from female senators when she finishes.

A great moment occurs when Mellie, in dire need of a bathroom break as she struggles to continue filibustering, is saved at the last minute by VP Susan Ross (Artemis Pebdani), who boldly carries on in her stead, pronouncing to the Senate: “Let’s talk about gonorrhea.” It was a hilariously, laugh-out-loud moment that gave momentary respite from a very drama-heavy episode.


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Watching Mellie have her big moment, Kerry Washington perfectly conveys Liv’s jealousy and frustration. The two have traded places and it is now Liv who is trapped on the White House, playing second fiddle to Fitz (Tony Goldwin). Unbeknownst to Fitz, Olivia realizes she is pregnant and swiftly decides to get an abortion, fearing a child would tie her to him forever. She confronts him and in a game-changing moment, calls him out on his incompetence. After working for so long to finally be Fitz’s First Lady, Olivia has a change of heart and realizes that after years of pulling strings behind-the-scenes, it might be time for her to step into the spotlight.

The episode was both riveting and brave, highlighting women’s rights issues and paving the way for a new phase in Olivia’s character arc.

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