A Pro-Life ‘Downton Abbey’ Episode? Not Really


Warning: Spoilers below for the Feb. 9 episode of Downton Abbey.

(MORE: Catch up with TIME’s recap of last night’s episode)

Even before last night’s episode of Downton Abbey aired, viewers had decided that the show was making a political statement about abortion. At one anti-abortion website, the episode was discussed — along with future spoilers, so don’t read if you’ve only seen last night’s installment — for including a storyline that “affirms pro-life values.” In the hours since it aired, many viewers have come to the same conclusion.

Here’s what actually happens in the episode: Viewers already knew that Lady Edith, after a semi-secret night spent with her semi-fiancé Michael Gregson, is pregnant. Not only is she unmarried, but her beau is also missing — he moved to Germany so he could get a divorce from his institutionalized wife and marry Edith, but…

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