Warning: The following contains spoilers for Tuesday’s New Amsterdam. Proceed at your own risk!
On Tuesday’s New Amsterdam, which took place the day that the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, one of the hospital’s doctors had a very personal connection to the issue of abortion.
Speaking to a group of students interested in pursuing a medical career, Dr. Lauren Bloom revealed that she had two abortions. The first took place after she had been drugged at a college party and woke up in a stranger’s bed with no memory of what had happened. The second was when her relationship with Dr. Floyd Reynolds was coming to an end five years ago.
“I was falling in love with someone who would have made an amazing father, but he told me that I didn’t fit into his future,” Lauren confessed as Reynolds looked on.
Earlier in the episode, Reynolds had been thrown by the reveal and that Lauren hadn’t told him about it at the time that she got pregnant, but she maintained that it wasn’t a big deal.
“We’re not talking about my abortion, are we? No, we’re talking about how you feel about my abortion,” Lauren argued.
Giving credit to the episode’s writer, Shanthi Sekaran, for the idea, executive producer Aaron Ginsburg tells TVLine, “It was very clear early on that we wanted one of our characters to have had an abortion and… to have had it not be a big deal in their life. That was like super important to Shanthi and to all the women in the room to, basically, showcase that this isn’t a big deal. This is a life decision that should be between a woman and her medical provider. And so we decided we can use that experience and her relationship with Reynolds to showcase [that] and how a man can best be an ally.”
Showrunner David Schulner adds that the writers’ room mirrored Lauren and Reynolds’ own discussions. “The women in our writers’ room had very specific and passionate issues that they wanted to address that, frankly, there was pushback from other white men,” Schulner shares. “Like Shanthi’s idea that an abortion [is] ‘not a big deal.’ I think a lot of people found it easy to take Reynolds’ perspective of, ‘What do you mean it’s not a big deal?’”
“We had a line that we had to take out for time, but it was Bloom says to Reynolds, ‘I had hemorrhoids two years ago. Should I have told you about my hemorrhoids as well? Would that have made you feel better?’” Schulner continues. “These are medical decisions, and some of them are very clear choices to make. And so, there were a lot of issues that the women in the room wanted to bring up, wanted our characters to say, wanted to be on national television. So at a certain point, we stepped back and the women told us what they wanted to say… So while you’re talking to us, it’s very important for everyone to know that there was an equal, if not unequal partnership, in this episode.”
As for the look of surprise on Reynolds’ face when Lauren said she had been falling in love with him, that facial expression was not scripted. “That’s all Jocko [Sims],” Schulner says. “It’s so great that they’re writing the episode with us. We didn’t know what kind of look we would get from Jocko, but because we got that look, it deepened their story so much more. Like, oh my, God, he had no idea. And I think, as writers, we had no idea that Lauren was falling in love with Reynolds until we wrote that five years later.”
Adds Ginsburg: “It forced us to look at their relationship when we used this as the storyline for this episode, and while we were examining it, we made discoveries about them that we didn’t know.”
But don’t expect the confession to lead to a rekindling of Lauren and Reynold’s romantic relationship. While Ginsburg admits that the idea “comes up in the room a lot,” thanks to Sims and Janet Montgomery’s chemistry, it isn’t on the agenda for the show’s swan song.
“We talked about what we wanted their final season journeys to be, and it wasn’t at the top of the list at the end of the day. We wanted to dive more into what it means to be a family this season for all the characters,” Ginsburg explains.