Abby's past : LUSENET : ER Discussions : One Thread

I think we may have seen some incite into Abby's past last night. I wonder if we will find out that she was married to a controlling guy like her patient was. She just seemed to really identify is some ways with this patient. I hope we will learn more about her, they have thrown out some hints. What does anyone else think?

-- amanda (, April 14, 2000


I think you are right. In "Be Patient" she said "my soon-to-be ex-husband". I think something is definitely going to happen later on about that. I think there is going to be an epi where evrybody's personal problems come crashing down!

-- Stephanie (, April 14, 2000.

I loved Abby in this epi. I've been a fan of Maura Tierney since "News Radio" and when I heard she was going to be on ER I was thrilled, but in "Match" she outdid my expectations. I swear, when she was asking the overworked mom if she was trying to induce a miscarriage, she sounded exactly like Susan Lewis...strong, concerned, maybe a little brusque...and I realized I've missed that aspect of Susan on the show...the tough cookie. I love that Abby's character isn't the perfect doc yet the way Susan was...I can't wait to see her grow, learn, really come into her role.

I also loved the situation she was in in this epi...a former OB nurse helping someone decide on an abortion...

-- nancy (, April 14, 2000.

I did not like the way Abby acted in this epi. She seemed kind of cold and distant with a patient who was obviously a bit traumatized and needed comfort. I would have thought her nursing skills should have come in handy (not that a dr. can't do that). She seemed to be pushing her opinion on the patient, which Mark pointed out. I want her to show more emotion rather than the stone-faced, clinical approach she seems to have. I'd think an OB nurse would be a bit warmer. Don't get me wrong, I like Maura, if not totally Abby yet, but I think something is up with her--maybe she did have a controlling husband, who knows?

Also, I don't know if it's just me, but I feel like everything has been happening so fast in epis lately--moving rapidly from story-line to story-line within an epi without much chance for thought on the characters' parts or emotional development for the audience. I would like to see a doctor (and patient for that matter) take a little more time in their decisions. Why couldn't this mother have come back at a later date? (Yes, I know all the excuses she gave, but is real life like that? Major decisions usually take more time.) I like the bounce-back character lines more, like the kid w/ diabetes. I know the decision was made in one episode, but we see what happened later. I doubt this story line would recur, unless she comes back when she gets pregnant again. That would be interesting...

Anyway, it's still my favorite show, but I just wondered if anyone else felt that way.

-- Carla (, April 14, 2000.

I am just wondering about Abby's look at the end of the episode. Was she upset, thinking that the husband seemed to talk the wife out of her decision and into making another attempt at another baby or was it a kind of "oops, I made a mistake" look. It seemed like, as it has been noted, she kind of pushed her opinions on the lady. And all of that effort that she just made was for naught. I mean, the lady is just going to end up pregnant again sometime soon, and with what consequences? All the abortion did was delay for a few months. Plus, it seemed to make the wife indebted and subserviant to the husband, since she gave into a "moment of weakness." Anyway, I was really wondering about that last look.

-- Rachel (, April 14, 2000.

I think Abby was just offering her another option without being to pushy about it. She knew exactly what that Mom was thinking, and that she needed someone to help her out. Obviously the woman couldn't make a decision on her own without worrying about her husband, so she needed someone to tell her it was okay not to want another child. And I think Abby's look after it was over was probably one of pity for that woman. She has no control of her own body. All her husband saw her for was to have babies. Abby showed great restraint in not slugging that jerk!!

-- ellen (, April 14, 2000.

I don't know if this happens everywhere, but my local TV station does a little summary of the shows that are going to be on prime time and why and what they're rated. Anyway if I remember right they said something about Abby being moved by a patient's situation that reminded her of her husband or something like that.

-- Cai (, April 14, 2000.

I've said this somewhere else, but it seems appropriate here too. I wanted Abby to at least offer the woman some form of birth control. If she would have an abortion without telling him, or try to force one by starving herself, then why wouldn't she take the pill. She'd probably have to get them from somewhere free because this guy keeps a tight reign on things, but I still wanted to here her mention that as an alternative to getting pregnant again...for a while at least. That might have messed up a future storyline though, like the woman coming back for another abortion. We'll see.

-- Diana (, April 14, 2000.

Maybe Abby was in a similar situation herself and that made her empathize with the patient. Being a nurse who's attending med-school could take a toll on a person. Maybe she became pregnat and choose to have an abortion, a decision her then-husband didn't like. It might have been a catalyst to her divorce.--just a thought.

-- Carin (, April 14, 2000.

I didn't think Abby was cold or distant with the pregnant Mom at all! I thought she was compassionate and was gently guiding her towards self-realization and awareness of what she was doing. She very slowly elicited from her first that she was starving herself, then that she was doing it to induce a spontaneous abortion, and finally presented her with a less harmful way (to herself) to do this. I thought it was sensitively done, and probably also done with some of Abby's typical indecision and lack of confidence, which would be normal for her as a med student (and also in keeping with her character's past actions in the ER).

I also felt that Abby must have been somewhat conflicted since in her previous role as an OB nurse, she was more used to helping babies who were being born, rather than preventing a baby's birth, if you know what I mean. JMHO.

And Carla, I agree about the bounce-back patients being more interesting. I feel as though in the early seasons, more effort was made to resolve a patient's issues in one epi (and therefore there were fewer patients/subplots per epi) than now. It seems we are greeted with a barrage of info and patients in each epi and there isn't much time to develop more than a superficial relationship with any of them. I thought the dad with leukemia was very sad but the entire case felt rushed and could have been explored more slowly and with more drama if the rest of the epi were less rushed; ditto for the pregnant Mom. I would have loved more than just a cliched, rudimentary "doormat wife/ controlling husband" setup.

I guess they will just have to bring her back soon and delve more deeply into her story.

-- Emma2 (, April 15, 2000.

she could go to the clinic for the birth control, and i DEFINITELY would have ordered a psych consult AND a social service consult!! dont they make you see counsellors before you have an abortion?

-- Alexis (, April 15, 2000.

Amen, Alexis!!!

-- Diana (, April 15, 2000.

I disagree Alexis. It's unrealistic to think she would come back to the clinic for birth control pills. With 5 kids in tow, the Dad would find out where she was going. It's obvious the woman had no help with the kids. The only reason she went to the hospital is because she collapsed in a store & an ambulance was called. I think she was pretty serious about not having the baby, starving yourself is pretty drastic. There wasn't time for these consults, you know how slow those departments are in responding to the ER. The woman knew what she wanted and had to act quickly.

-- ellen (, April 15, 2000.

well, starving yourself into a miscarriage is grounds for a psych consult, or counsellor right there!!! there was no time??? they have to make time. if the husband gets that upset, then let him throw a fit , and call the cops and have him arrested, get social service involved with those kids. i cannot believe abby sent her upstairs!

-- Alexis (, April 16, 2000.

if she is allowed to go to the store, then she can go to the clinic, and say she is going to the store. if she wasnt in dire need of some counselling, she would have figured out all this by now, it is obvious she needed help, other than getting rid of the baby!

-- Alexis (, April 16, 2000.

Alexis, I didn't mean that she didn't need counseling. I just don't think she had the courage to seek it out. Her husband just about had a stroke when he learned she was in OB/GYN. I don't think he would've let her stay to talk to a counselor. You saw how her attitude changed as soon as he talked to her. It would've been the same. He would forgive her for talking to psych. and then taken her home. Remember how long it took to get psych. down to the ER w/Sobricki?? By that time, her husband would've been there and she probably wouldn't have gotten help anyway. But I do agree that they should've called security when he headed up to OB/GYN. Especially since Carter was standing right there & saw how mad the guy was. I thought that was strange that he didn't react to that situation differently.

-- ellen (, April 16, 2000.

Alexis, I don't mean to be difficult!! I really do understand where you're coming from about the counseling. And I agree. It sounded like this woman wasn't even seeing her own OB/GYN, otherwise he/she could've counseled her. I've seen husbands like this who control every movement the wife makes. Some can't even write a check w/out permission. Even if she got to talk to someone from psych., I don't think that one time would've helped her much. IF she's not seeing her own OB/GYN, then it's unrealistic to think she'd come back to get counseling. And if she doesn't have help w/the kids, and they go everywhere with her, then the husband's gonna know if they go to the clinic. Kids can't keep their little mouths shut!!

-- ellen (, April 16, 2000.

I am totally against abortion, personally, but if you are going to do it, do it right! Give the lady birth control! Duh! Fine, maybe she might not be able to get b/c pills monthly or even hide the pills from her hubsband or take them on the sly with all of those kids, but I kept thinking Abby should just give her a Depro injection. I mean, it is only once every 3 months. I would hope she could find a minute for that rather than using abortion as birth control. Actually, I hope she comes back, because as it stands, the show seems to be plugging abortion as acceptable birth control!

-- Rachel (, April 17, 2000.

Ellen, that woman was endangering herself by starvation, she could legally be put on 72 hour psych hold, no problem! she would then have no choice, and neither would her husband!!

-- Alexis (, April 17, 2000.

rachel, great idea about depo-provera injections!!! she could get into that clinic once every 3 months for that, it wouldnt be that hard!

-- Alexis (, April 17, 2000.

Don't some states have laws now that you have to see a counselor before having an abortion and a waiting period? Of course, if Abby put on the chart that it was for a medical necessity then maybe none of that would apply.

-- amanda (, April 17, 2000.

Did it occur to anybody that maybe Abby went back to see the woman after the abortion to discuss birth control options?? But she didn't get the chance since The Jerk showed up first & told her he forgave her for her moment of weakness? I think Abby knew then that there wasn't much hope of helping her. The woman didn't want to talk to Abby anymore.

-- ellen (, April 17, 2000.

Ellen is right...just because Abby didn't talk to her about birth control doesn't mean someone in the GYN clinic didn't (I'm sure they did). But, it would have been nice for the viewers to see it happen.

-- amanda (, April 17, 2000.

"Maybe Abby was in a similar situation herself and that made her empathize with the patient... Maybe she became pregnat and choose to have an abortion, a decision her then-husband didn't like..." WOW!! You were really close, Carin! Don't want to spoil it for any one who hasn't see Where The Heart Is from season seven, but Wow!!

-- Teddy (, September 30, 2001.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ