The Ashley abortion scandal

Ashley involves Adam in an abortion scandal which happens not too long before Stephan leaves for college. What happens is this: Newton gets Ashley pregnant much as he got Teresa pregnant—while being her psychiatrist/therapist. He convinces her to say it is Stephan’s for a couple of reasons: (1) to get himself off the hook, and (2) to prove Stephan is a man (he assumes Ashley and Stephan have been fooling around, even though he suspects Stephan is actually fooling around more with Todd).

Stephan suspects it is Todd’s baby since he and Ashley have always been “safe” and mostly non-penetrative. Still, he figures that accidents happen—and this might be a big one. When Ashley goes to Adam for advice, she tells him that she doesn’t want to “kill her baby.” Adam supports her in this, and is willing to help her explore alternatives. He doesn’t approve of Stephan and Ashley getting married, but can’t seem to talk them out of it. The Newtons and the Pritchetts decide that an abortion must occur, if only to preserve the future prospects of Stephan and Ashley.

When Stephan finds out that Ashley is pregnant, he does the right thing and asks her to marry him. They have a fantasy of raising the child together. Ashley and Stephan resist killing the child for this reason, but the parents insist, take Ashley to a sympathetic doctor (sympathetic to the family) and have the procedure done while Ashley cries. They don’t let Stephan go with her because he has gotten militant over the killing of “his” child. They maintain their engagement, even though the families won’t let them see each other for a while.

Does Ashley attempt suicide? Yes. Pills that Newton has given her. It doesn’t work, she ends up in the hospital, and Todd and Stephan rally around her even though she is expressly forbidden to see Todd. (Her going out with Todd was the reason for the Pritchetts’ forcing Ashley into the care of Newton.) 11.35-11.47

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