The ninth episode of Fox’s ‘Accused’ follows the story of a high school teacher who discovers that one of his students is in a very distressing situation. Jack Fletcher has always been more of a friend than a teacher to his students, so when he finds Clara Palmer trying to take her own life, he decides to help her in any way he can. She reveals that she is pregnant, but because they are in Texas, she can’t abort the pregnancy legally.
While trying to help Clara, Jack discovers some shocking things about her family. Despite his good intentions, things worsen, and his entire life is upended. Through him and Clara, the show presents a situation that could happen to anyone. If it makes you wonder whether Jack and Clara in ‘Jack’s Story’ are based on real people, then here’s what you should know. SPOILERS AHEAD
Are Jack Fletcher and Clara Palmer Real People?
No, Jack Fletcher and Clara Palmer are not based on real people. However, they and the circumstances of the episode are inspired by real-life stories of people who have dealt with similar situations. In the show, Clara is a teenager who has an unwanted pregnancy. It is later revealed that her stepfather abused her, and she didn’t tell anyone about it because she worried about how it might affect her mother. This makes her even more desperate to get an abortion.
The problem of pregnancies in children is one of the major concerns out of the abortion laws in Texas and other states who follows a similar set of rules. Texas has one of the strictest abortion laws in the country, which makes getting an abortion almost entirely illegal, including in the case of rape and incest. In Ohio, where abortions are currently banned after 21 weeks and six days of pregnancy, a case of a 10-year-old pregnant girl shocked everyone.
In July 2022, the girl from Ohio traveled to Indiana for an abortion. She had been impregnated by a 27-year-old who had raped her twice. At the time, the law was stricter, which rekindled the discussion over whether it was alright to let sexually abused children go through with an unwanted pregnancy. The case was brought to light by the doctor who provided her with the abortion service when she reported the case of abuse to the Indiana Department of Health and the Department of Child Services. The child was six weeks and three days into her pregnancy.
In ‘Accused,’ Clara worries that if she tells the truth, her mother might not believe her and might side with her husband. While it might seem impossible to think that a mother would let her child be abused, it is not unheard of. One such case happened in Omaha, where a girl was repeatedly raped from the age of 11 to 14 by her 33-year-old stepfather. At the age of 12, her mother helped her get an abortion, but she did nothing to keep the predator away from her daughter. In Clara’s case, however, her mother does the right thing.
While Clara deals with the trauma of abuse and unwanted pregnancy, Jack finds his role in the situation a little complicated. He is dedicated to helping Clara in every way possible, but the problem is that he is not her parent or guardian. He is simply a teacher, and his assisting a student to get an abortion is considered an out-of-line act. In real life, too, educators are found to have helped students in situations where they didn’t want to or were scared to involve their parents. A case was reported in Seattle where a mother was outraged to discover that the school helped her 15-year-old daughter get an abortion. She revealed that they gave her a day pass and even arranged transport to get her to the abortion clinic.
This stance of teachers has become even more controversial with the stricter abortion laws that limit, if not wholly strip, the options for young people. In some places, however, people consider it their responsibility to help their students find safe options if they wish to go through with the process. So, even though Jack and Clara are not real people, they are rooted in reality, portraying different sides of a situation.