the 100 most memorable moments in soap history
In 1986, Ashley Abbott (Eileen Davidson) found herself being drawn to Victor Newman (Eric Braeden). Nikki (Melody Thomas Scott), Victor's wife, discovered Ashley and Victor's involvement and retaliated by having an affair with Jack Abbott (Terry Lester). Nikki & Victor eventually separated, clearing the way for Ashley & Victor to be together. However, Victor learned that Nikki had a seemingly incurable disease, and returned to her to try to make her remaining days happy. Ashley discovered she was pregnant, but soon found out about Victor's reconciliation with Nikki. Ashley decided the only solution was to have an abortion. Meanwhile, Victor found out Nikki was in remission yet still faking her disease so filed for divorce, intending to return to Ashley. Finding out about the abortion, he berated Ashley, causing her to have a nervous breakdown. Feminists were unhappy with this turn of events, as it seemingly equated choosing an abortion with requiring a trip to the sanitarium, but it did create a compelling story nonetheless. And after AMC decided to rewrite history, claiming that Erica Kane hadn't really had an abortion (that gem is coming up later), Ashley Abbott officially became the first soap character to have a legal abortion.