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After getting a late start as part of the new TV season, the NBC sitcom “Scrubs” has found its sweet spot. Last night’s episode didn’t look to the caustic Dr. Cox or the goofy antics of the hospital janitor for laughs, but instead took a huge risk by tackling the tough issue of abortion with lots of humor – and more than a little heart.

After finding out his girlfriend is pregnant, resident doctor and perpetual man-child J.D. calmly makes an absurd pro/con list (pro: the kid is a tax deduction; con: kids are sticky) with her to decide whether or not she should abort her child. But others around them are also quick to offer advice–including a talking Jesus statue that forbids them to have an abortion, and Dr. Cox’s pregnant wife Jordan, who tells the couple of her own past abortion experience.

But just when I though the show might be crossing the line in its seemingly cavalier approach to life–with perhaps the most irreverent moment being when Jordan’s toddler son runs around the hospital yelling, “Mommy had an abortion”–“Scrubs” did a typical 180-degree turn. Seems J.D. and his girlfriend didn’t need Jesus or anyone else to tell them the right thing to do; they just needed to see the miracle of life for themselves.

When Carla (J.D.’s friend and the wife of his best friend, Turk) goes into labor and the delivery becomes difficult, J.D. and his coworkers are visibly moved. The preciousness of life becomes obvious to all, and J.D. and his girlfriend immediately decide to go ahead with the pregnancy.

Last night’s story also made me realize something else. While a show like “Studio 60” seems to get all of the media accolades for dissecting the ongoing culture war with lots of posturing and preaching, a show like “Scrubs” does the same thing, but only better by helping us laugh and learn at the same time.

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