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Stream the Sex and the City episode “Coulda Woulda Shoulda”

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Stream the Sex and the City episode “Coulda Woulda Shoulda”
Screenshot: HBO

This week, Sex and the City’s rebooted spin-off And Just Like That broaches the topic of unplanned pregnancy, when Charlotte’s friend Lisa becomes pregnant with her fourth child—just as her career is about to really take off. In an emotional conversation, she tells Charlotte through tears, “I just, I thought it was finally my time.” But as fans and critics have pointed out, the topic of abortion barely comes up. Lisa and her husband, Herbert, briefly discuss the option, but only in euphemisms, without even saying the word aloud.

To understand why some fans are regarding this plot line as a regression from the original series, I recommend watching SATC’s 2001 episode “Coulda Woulda Shoulda.” In it, Miranda tells her friends she’s pregnant and plans to have an abortion in commendably simple terms: “I’m not having it… This is not in my plans right now.” Samantha then volunteers she’s had two abortions herself, and Carrie shares that she had one in her 20s. While Miranda does ultimately decide against having an abortion (enter: Brady!), it’s still powerful to these iconic early 2000s characters speak openly about their abortions, in stark contrast with what we got this week.

Yes, “Coulda Woulda Shoulda” had its own problems (i.e. Aidan’s MRA rant about father’s rights), but it was bold for its time and remains bold and worth-watching today. —Kylie Cheung

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