Heidi Thomas has teased what lies ahead for Call the Midwife season 12, which will partly focus on the legalisation of abortion in the UK. The show’s creator and executive producer revealed that the upcoming chapter will be set in 1968, a year after abortion was decriminalised under the Abortion Act. “Women’s lives were incredibly different. Abortion had been legalised. Domestic violence was something that was being talked about more openly. The pill had come onto the scene,” Thomas told RadioTimes.
“All of these things were changing women’s experience and shifting the lens through which women, and that’s our regular characters as well as our guest characters, look at the world.” The show has focused on abortion storylines before, with a graphic depiction of an illegal procedure in season two and an arc about a mysterious backstreet abortionist killing the women of Poplar in season eight.
Following the American Supreme Court’s vote to reverse Roe v Wade– which first recognised abortion as a constitutional right in 1973 – in June, Thomas feels that these storylines on the show are as current as ever. “The abortion storylines always grab me by the heart and by the throat. And I find it shocking that they’ve become incredibly relevant. You know, particularly with recent events in America,” she said. “So that will always be the standout strand for me, and it is a strand rather than an isolated episode.” Last month, the show confirmed it had wrapped up the Christmas special and started filming season 12, set to air in 2023.