Law & Order (1990–2010)
4 user
The murder of an abortion doctor leads to the prosecution of a radical pro-life leader, who hopes to use the trial to grandstand against abortion laws.


Don Scardino


Dick Wolf (created by), Ed Zuckerman (teleplay by) | 3 more credits »




Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Jerry Orbach ... Detective Lennie Briscoe
Chris Noth ... Detective Mike Logan
S. Epatha Merkerson ... Lieutenant Anita Van Buren
Sam Waterston ... E.A.D.A. Jack McCoy
Jill Hennessy ... A.D.A. Claire Kincaid
Steven Hill ... D.A. Adam Schiff
Edward Herrmann ... Drew Seely
James Rebhorn ... Charles Garnett
Jack Gilpin ... Dr. Simon Reed
Anne Bobby ... Nancy Gunther
Cynthia Vance Cynthia Vance ... Joanna Jenkins
Thomas Schall Thomas Schall ... Randall Jenkins
Ruth Williamson ... Dr. Rachel Moran
Ken Leung ... Chung
Ted Kazanoff Ted Kazanoff ... Judge Daniel Scarletti


Detectives Briscoe and Logan investigate the shooting death of Dr. Eleen Reed who worked at a family planning clinic and had been targeted by anti-abortion groups. She had received many threats and there is a permanent group of protesters outside the clinic where she worked. The investigation leads them to Drew Seely, a defrocked minister who is clearly seeking a podium for his anti-abortion views. Seely ordered the hit but both he and the actual shooter refuse any deal ADA McCoy may put on the table. In the end, McCoy outwits him when on the stand. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis





Release Date:

25 January 1995 (USA) See more »

Filming Locations:

New York City, New York, USA

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Chris Noth (Mike Logan) & Edward Herrmann (Drew Seely) also worked together on six episodes of The Good Wife (2009) as Peter Florick & Lionel Deerfield respectively. See more »


Executive A.D.A. Jack McCoy: [referring to abortions] When you were still performing them, would Mr. Seeley have been justified in killing you?
Dr. Rachel Moran: [upset] Yes. I was, in effect, committing murder.
Executive A.D.A. Jack McCoy: [puzzled] In effect?
Dr. Rachel Moran: I was committing murder.
Executive A.D.A. Jack McCoy: All right. Would you please stand up?
[to the bailiff]
Executive A.D.A. Jack McCoy: Officer, arrest this woman!
Judge Daniel Scarletti: Mr. McCoy!
Executive A.D.A. Jack McCoy: We've just heard a confession of murder, Your Honour. Officer!
Judge Daniel Scarletti: I'm not amused, Mr. McCoy!
See more »

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User Reviews

Awesome Episode with Some Truly Movie-Like Trial Scenes
15 May 2018 | by Better_TVSee all my reviews

It seems to be a theme with season 5: many of the episodes are riffing on or tackling subject matter from seasons 1-4. I'm not knocking that - there's only so many ways someone can get murdered, after all. Here, the hot topic is abortion and "pro-life" terrorists, a la season 1's excellent "Life Choice."

This one is filled with great performances. James Rebhorn, who I knew as Carrie Mathison's dad on "Homeland," is awesome as the defense attorney; he's one of those actors who just has a powerful screen presence, even before he opens his mouth to speak. Thomas Schall does a lot of great nonverbal work as a religious zealot with a history of violence, and Ted Kazanoff is also forceful as the trial judge.

And then there's Edward Herrmann (probably most famous for his work on "Gilmore Girls") as a defrocked priest-turned anti-abortion activist. He goes head-to-head with Sam Waterston as Jack McCoy in some absolutely awesome, emotion-packed scenes; both actors are really giving it their all here. Some of the trial scenes feel like a movie - they're that good!

Look out for ADA Claire Kincaid (Jill Hennessy) actually doing some cross-examination in this one; rarely is she ever shown standing up and speaking during trial (the last occurrence I can recall is a brief scene in episode 3 of this season, "Blue Bamboo"). And everyone's favorite smart aleck forensic examiner Elizabeth Rodgers (Leslie Hendrix) takes the stand for a tense face off with Rebhorn; his wily rhetorical strategies are no match for her intellect!

This is the first episode of season 5 that felt, to me, like Sam Waterston was really coming into his own and staking his claim on the L&O series with the Jack McCoy character - kind of a "I'm here, and I'm here to stay" vibe.

I liked this one a lot.

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