"How Far Would You Go to Save Your Sister's Life?" This was the question posed by the original ad copy for the made-for-TV drama A Case for Life--and the answer would seem to be "to the highest courts of the land", or at least that's how far Los Angeles lawyer Liz Hammett (Mel Harris) is prepared to go. A staunch pro-choice advocate, Liz discovers that her sister Kelly Porter (Valerie Bertinelli) is pregnant--a potential fatal situation, inasmuch as Kelly suffers from a rare medical condition requiring a delicate surgical procedure that will put both herself and her unborn child in jeopardy should she allow the baby to go to term. As dedicated to the pro-life movement as Liz is to the "other side", Kelly is determined to have her baby, and hang the consequences. It soon develops that Kelly is one against many, when even her doctor, her husband and her otherwise pro-life parents recommend an abortion. But Kelly sticks to her guns--and so does Liz, who initiates a lawsuit to force Kelly to abort immediately. Ultimately, the battle between the siblings becomes a national cause celebre, with virtually everyone in the country taking sides. A Cause for Life made its ABC network debut on February 18, 1996.
by Hal Erickson synopsis