Law & Order

Season 1 Episode 12

Life Choice

3
Aired Monday 10:00 PM Jan 08, 1991 on NBC
8.5
out of 10
User Rating
52 votes
3

EPISODE REVIEWS
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Episode Summary

EDIT
Stone faces pressure from the public and from Schiff as he prepares to prosecute the person accused of bombing an abortion clinic.

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • Logan Got On My Nerves

    8.0
    This episode was the beginning of the many polarizing topics of the Law & Order franchise. Except for Stone and Greevey all the rest supports the pro choice side. But it was Logan who got on my nerves. Logan always provoke Greevey about his pro life side about abortion.
  • Startling early classic. An incident of violence brings to light the deep divide in passions over abortion.

    10
    A women’s health clinic is firebombed. Deceased in the attack is a Catholic school teacher. How could this have happened?



    The detectives believe she may have been there as part of a pro-life protest. They begin talking to her colleagues at the school, as well as to some local activists. No one seems to know why a promising young woman like that would have had an enemy in the world. She was a committed but peaceful person.



    Then it’s discovered there’s more than just shirts hidden in the closet of the woman and her friends. Her family and co-workers begin to unravel under all the tension. Each side in the debate believes it is completely right, and neither gives any ground.



    This episode is known for its tense plot and brilliant dialogue. Key roles include: the departed’s brother; her former boyfriend, a fellow teacher; and the leader of an anti-abortion group. The detectives are, as usual, particularly effective, and the last courtroom scene is harrowing. Fine acting all around, especially from the support cast.



    “Life Choice”—note the juxtaposition of the contradictory names of the sides in the abortion issue—is etched in the memory of 'Law and Order' fans as one of its landmark episodes, and with good reason.

    moreless
  • Superb Episode

    10
    I must say that I was totally blown away when I first watched this episode. I must compliment the writers on a fantastic job. It is a well known fact that this episode is creator Dick Wolf's favorite. I thought that this episode was so well written as well as acted that I have watched it several times. I must say that "Life Choice" explores on some very touchy subjects and is handled very well. The episode does well at exploring peoples different views on abortion. Even the detectives disagree on several issues that are brought up during the show.moreless
George Dzundza

George Dzundza

Sgt. Max Greevey

Dann Florek

Dann Florek

Capt. Donald Cragen

Richard Brooks

Richard Brooks

ADA Paul Robinette

Michael Moriarty

Michael Moriarty

Exec. ADA Ben Stone

Steven Hill

Steven Hill

DA Adam Schiff

Chris Noth

Chris Noth

Det. Mike Logan

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

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  • TRIVIA (0)

  • QUOTES (9)

    • Mike Logan: The mother seems to be taking it pretty hard.
      Max Greevey: It's gonna take awhile.
      Mike Logan: What, to realize that her daughter is dead?
      Max Greevey: To realize she didn't die with her.
      Mike Logan: The father doesn't seem to be having that problem.
      Max Greevey: That's because he didn't lose a daughter, he gained a martyr.

    • Ballard: These people aren't criminals.
      Ben Stone: What are they, Mary Poppins? Mother Teresa?
      Ballard: They're exercising their right of free speech.
      Ben Stone: Throwing a bomb is a little non-verbal to qualify as speech, sir.

    • Geoffrey Donovan: Our daughter did what she did out of her own conscience. We can live with that.
      Barbara Donovan: You can live with that, Geoffrey! A martyr will never be able to tell me what a wonderful day she had at school today! A martyr will never have a wedding! A martyr will never have children!

    • Max Greevey: Okay, Don Juan. Any of your girlfriends ever have an abortion?
      Mike Logan: One ex-girlfriend, who's now married with two kids. Neither of them mine.

    • Mike Logan: So a seventeen-year-old should just louse up her whole life by having a kid.
      Max Greevey: Seventeen-year-olds shouldn't be doing what makes babies.
      Mike Logan: And crooks shouldn't have guns. Get real. C'mon, what they should be is more careful.
      Max Greevey: Kids aren't careful, that's why they're kids!

    • Ben Stone: Objection, this case is being judged on the temporal plane, Your Honor.

    • Adam Schiff: Amazing. I'm getting angry. The most emotional issue that the law has dealt with since suffrage. Look at us -- three men. Talking about what rights women should have over their own bodies. Now doesn't that strike you as a little one-sided?

    • Ben Stone: If you're gonna stick your finger in my eye, Mr. Ballard, clean your own nails first.

    • Ben Stone: If abortion is murder, no matter how you feel about Mary Donovan, aren't you guilty of the murder of her unborn child?

  • NOTES (4)

    • German episode title: "Ungewollt Schwanger", meaning "Unwanted Pregnant".

    • Centering around the bombing of an abortion clinic, this controversial episode provoked $800,000 worth of advertising to be pulled.

    • Dick Wolf stated that the subject matter of this episode involving abortion rights was so controversial that it was the least repeated episode of Law & Order.

    • Dick Wolf stated in an interview on The Creation of Law & Order with Dick Wolf, which is available to view on Law & Order: The Complete First Year DVD, that "Life Choice" is his favorite episode.

  • ALLUSIONS (1)

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