The choice Sally-Ann (Christina Jackson) is facing on “Outsiders” is one of the most difficult anybody could ever have to make. She’s pregnant with Hasil’s (Kyle Gallner) child, neither of them has the means to raise a baby — and they come from two very different worlds, neither of which is willing to relent enough to let them be together.
This leaves Sally-Ann alone with the decision to end the pregnancy, without telling her family (or Hasil, who has no idea she’s expecting). On a show mostly centered around the drama happening on Shay Mountain — of which there was plenty thanks to the return of Big Foster (David Morse) — it’s Sally-Ann’s struggle that rings truest, as one of the most powerful situations the show could possibly portray.
“When you look at what she’s given, you… Can’t blame her for thinking of that as an option,” Jackson says. “I know plenty of women who have been in the situation, that thought process.”
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Unfortunately for Sally-Ann, none of her problems are solved by a visit to the clinic — she learns there’s no way she can afford the pill to terminate her pregnancy, and the only other option is even more expensive with a longer waiting period. What’s worse, she has no other option — it’s the only clinic within 200 miles of her home.
It’s a sad realization for Sally-Ann that there’s really no decision for her to make. Making matters worse is her brother’s reaction when he finds out what’s happening with her, essentially banishing her from home. It even drives her to the point of drinking bleach and crashing a car with no seatbelt, though she can’t follow through with either in the end.
Given the endless debate over whether or not healthcare for women should remain accessible, and personal autonomy for women should remain a right, it’s a pretty powerful statement for “Outsiders” to make. Further, it’s one we’re thankful for. It’s not often you’d see a series try to show these particular realities — so far on the opposite end from where those making the arguments are usually standing.
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As Jackson said herself, the women going through are out there — very real, and in many cases very much alone. “Outsiders” has managed to present a side to their stories that sticks to the facts, the intimate reality of how women are affected by these decisions, in a way that feels nonpartisan, earned and compassionate. It’s a smart move, by a smart show, and one they deserve credit for making.
“Outsiders” airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on WGN.