Degrassi High

Season 1 Episode 2

A New Start (2)

Aired Monday 8:30 PM Nov 06, 1989 on CBC
out of 10
User Rating
16 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

Erica decides to keep the pregnancy a secret, only telling Heather about it. She also decides to have an abortion; Heather disapproves of this, and this difference could tear the twins apart. The unofficial initiation at Degrassi continues, and Joey is finally caught by the initiators, but finds that he might just have a friend in the Vice Principal's office who can help him.moreless

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  • Erica is pregnant and is considering getting an abortion.

    "A New Start" is an excellent Degrassi Junior High episode. It's one of my favourite episodes and definitely makes into my Top 5 Degrassi High episodes. I love how Erica starts a class discussion about abortion. I love hearing everyone's opinion on abortion. I love how Spike is very chill and her perspective is that abortion is right if the person thinks it's right for them, and abortion is wrong if the person thinks it's wrong for them. I felt so bad for Erica when she had to walk through all those protesters. It was the hardest decision she ever had to make and she already felt terrible about it, and now the protesters makes her feel even worse. I love this episode because you get more than one perspective on abortion. I give this episode a 10/10.moreless
  • Erica is pregnant and decides to have an abortion. Heather is opposed but goes with her when talking her out of it doesn't work. Joey gets initiated and meets Mr Raditch in the process; he is now vice-principal.moreless

    Wow; if only more teachers used the methods Mr Walfish used! That's a really good illustration as to what class participation looks like. Erica lying to Heather, I'm guessing she all along intended to not tell her about it, if she could. Though I don't know who else she would've asked to go with her to the clinic. Maybe Lucy or LD, since they both clearly stated that abortion isn't wrong and is a woman's right to get if she chooses. Those protesters sure are annoying; all they do is throw it in her face. They don't think about what the consequences would be if Erica were to have the baby. Are they offering to fight the school if they were to kick her out? Are they offering to go home with her to tell their parents? Are they offering her daycare, tutoring, diapers, formula or whatever else she needs to be a mom? Are they offering a good home for the baby if she can't give one? It's unknown. But many abortion protesters have since learned that if girls are to avoid abortions, then they need other alternatives. I'm glad they put in Spike's perspective; a reminder of how she was kicked out of school, and therefore Erica would fear that as well. Another thing they could've done was have a line for Caitlin; for her to say "of course abortion's wrong, but when you throw the pregnant girl out, then you're kind of promoting it". And then, in response to Heather's asking questions, saying that when you're in that situation, right and wrong get complicated. It was sweet to see Heather going to the clinic to be with Erica; to let her know where she stands, but that she will stand by her. I also loved the part where Joey tries to get out of initiation. He can be so arrogant! Most interesting how he then sees Mr Raditch. And Alexa, I'm glad she learned to let Simon go, if he wants. Sweet that he chose her, then. I'm thinking that in the modeling business, he saw a lot of girls being interested in him for superficial reasons, but Alexa was more loyal. I love seeing her character develop in that way.moreless

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (3)

    • Trivia: Spike tells Erica that when she was pregnant, she felt like an outcast, and reminds her that the PTA had her kicked out of school. This happened in the Degrassi Junior High episode Censored, in the second season of that show.

    • Trivia: After much discussion every time an announcement is made on the PA system, it is confirmed that Mr. Raditch, displaced by the fire in the final episode of Degrassi Junior High, Bye-Bye Junior High, is now working at Degrassi High as Vice Principal.

    • Trivia: There are several announcements made regarding initiation or hazing of new students, including one which encourages victims of this behaviour to file a complaint against the offending students.

  • QUOTES (1)

  • NOTES (3)

    • US Airing: When airing the classic episodes, The-N skipped this episode.

    • Abortion Laws: Abortion laws differ in Canada and the US. In Canada, underage girls seeking abortions are not required by law to notify their parents.

    • US Editing: This episode was edited when shown by PBS; there's a note on the closing credits about it being edited for broadcast in the US. The US edited version ended just before Heather and Erica approach the clinic with Heather saying "Let's go" In the full-length, Canadian version, the two of them went into the clinic together, after making their way through all the protesters in front.


    • Computer teacher, Mr. Wozniak: The students appear to be working on Apple Computers, and Apple donates many computers to be used in schools. One of the co-founders of Apple Computers is Steve Wozniak.