The new season of the popular dating show Love is Blind is here. This time the show is set in Dallas, Texas and episode six of the Netflix series quickly brought up one of the most hotly contested political topics in the state – abortion.
In “Return to Reality,” Nancy Rodriguez and Bartise Bowden discuss the timeline they have in mind for starting a family, with 31-year-old Rodriguez keen on starting soon, as she would rather have children before the age of 35 when pregnancy can be considered high-risk. So Rodriguez asked Bowden his opinion on abortion since it’s something she’d consider if there was a complication with the development of the fetus. (It is worth noting that season three of Love is Blind was filmed in the summer of 2021, when Texas had already implemented the six-week abortion ban, but prior to the US Supreme Court overturning Roe vs. Wade.)
Bowden swiftly expressed his disapproval, declaring, “I could not do that. I’m sorry… If it’s unplanned, and you’re still youthful and learning, [then you] can get one pass, but you can’t do it again.” To which Rodriguez responded, “That’s interesting. I don’t think that there is a number… If I knew that I could try again and hope that the second time it’s better, then I would go that route.”
While I believe couples should speak at length about what they would do if complications were to arise during a pregnancy, I found Bowden’s “rules” surrounding abortion pretty frustrating.
I think the thing that was most upsetting about this conversation, and all conversations surrounding abortion really, is that people who are staunchly against it don’t consider the vast number of reasons someone may need one. And I appreciated seeing the Latina Rodriguez defending her right to choose in what was simultaneously a public stage and a personal conversation.
Currently, Texas law bans abortions at all stages of pregnancy, with no exception for rape or incest, unless there is a life-threatening medical emergency.
The Dallas Morning News recently reported the story of Amanda Zurawski, a woman who was 18 weeks along when she found out that her pregnancy was no longer viable. But because her life was not at risk at the time, she was forced to continue carrying the fetus. She eventually developed sepsis, an infection that can rapidly lead to organ failure and death. Although Zurawski recovered, she will have to undergo surgery to remove scar tissue from her uterus, and it is unknown how her fertility will be affected. And she has to undergo all that, having already spent 18 months going through fertility treatments before being able to conceive.
Though Love is Blind sometimes focuses on showcasing couples’ petty arguments, I’m glad viewers had a chance to witness a very real and relevant conversation between two people who plan to walk down the aisle together, particularly one that has so severely impacted our nation.
Throughout the season we’ve seen Rodriguez overlook several red flags in the name of love, so I was glad to see her challenge Bowden a bit more when it came to this discussion. One thing they have both repeatedly mentioned throughout the season is how easy it was to speak to one another, so I am curious to see if this difference of opinion ends up being a non-negotiable – either on the show or in the months that follow. Either way, I’m glad Rodriguez spoke her mind and Love is Blind gave us one of the rare media examples of what it looks like for couples to discuss abortion before becoming pregnant.