EastEnders: Lily and Stacey looking anxious comp image

EastEnders fans ‘unnerved’ over Lily baby storyline: ‘Pro-life romanticism dressed up as feminism’

Stacey Slater's daughter recently gave birth to a little girl

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EastEnders fans have admitted they are ‘unnerved’ by the Lily baby storyline as the 13-year-old new mum struggles with her baby.

They have accused the soap of being too ‘pro-life’ and ‘villainising’ those who suggested Lily have a termination.

Has EastEnders missed the mark with this storyline?

EastEnders: Lily Slater looks nervous as she holds baby Charli as Stacey coos
Lily is not adapting to being a mum very easily (Credit: BBC)

Lily in EastEnders gives birth

Last week, Lily Slater gave birth to her baby girl, who she named Charli (after Charli XCX, not Uncle Charlie!).

The circumstances surrounding the birth were difficult, with Stacey being locked in the kitchen with crazed stalker Theo, while Lily lay in pain in the other room. However, Stacey eventually managed to get out and deliver her granddaughter. Mum and baby were then taken to hospital and released rather quickly.

Lily is now struggling to be a mum. Aunty Whitney has tried to offer advice, showing Lily how to hold and soothe her little girl. But it’s clear Lily is finding it much harder than she imagined it would be.

Stacey is taking over, doing night feeds and generally running the show, which is making young Lil feel even more inadequate. But even despite this, the family – who were on their knees in financial trouble earlier this year – seem to be coping remarkably well. Tiredness and a little bit of snapping aside, they’ve pulled their socks up and got on with it.

Martin talks to Lily on EastEnders
Lily’s whole pregnancy has been somewhat glorified (Credit: BBC)

Lily’s pregnancy plays out

In fact, it’s similar to how the story of Lily’s pregnancy has been told. First revealed at new year, Stacey was in shock when she discovered her 12-year-old daughter was having a baby.

There was talk of abortion, but everyone – apart from Martin and Jack – insisted it was ‘her body, her choice’. This is a very valid argument, had Lily not been 12.

She largely seems to have been overlooked by the medical profession and social services throughout. No extra appointments or discussions around how her not-yet-mature body would handle a pregnancy. And she seemed to give birth with ease too.

Fans have picked up on the path the story has taken throughout and they are now saying how ‘unnerved’ they feel by it all.

Lily’s storyline is causing viewers concern (Credit: BBC)

Fan reaction

A user on Reddit started a thread titled: “This Lily pregnancy storyline is just so unnerving.”

They continued: “Jack tried to tell Lily what it really looked like having a kid at that age, all the things and difficulties that would come. He comes off too hard, does too much. But he really tried to communicate that difficulty. And was villainised.

“Stacey has romanticised the idea of this child and Martin has placated Stacey. Pretty much Stacey was pro-life the whole time. There was not enough turbulence in terms of the realisms of what Lily wanted in having this child, it was too much fairy tales and happy endings. This really could have been a real argument of pro life vs choice in this situation. Really looking at the pros and cons. Yet it’s been a pro life romanticism.”

Someone else quickly agreed, stating: “Pro-life romanticism dressed up as ‘her body her choice’ feminism. A child is not developmentally capable of understanding one hundredth of what motherhood entails and what this would do to her life.”

Another gave credit to the brilliant acting skills of both Lilia Turner (Lily) and Lacey Turner (Stacey), but agreed with the post.

“I hate to say but I can’t even argue with any of this. The undertones with this one feel exactly like you’re describing even if that wasn’t the intention from EastEnders. An example of a horribly done but beautifully acted story.”

“Feels as if they are pushing a pro-life agenda,” shared one more.

Someone else defended Stacey: “Stacey went on the way she did because Bradley pushed her to get a termination.” However they then argued: “Lily shouldn’t have been allowed to continue her pregnancy at 12 years old. She can’t even be legally responsible for her own daughter.”

Whitney in EastEnders holds baby Charli up and smiles
Will Whitney take her great niece on? (Credit: BBC)

Will Lily give up her baby in EastEnders?

As it looks increasingly like Lily is struggling to connect with her daughter, fans have been speculating Lily will give up her child.

Some reckon Whitney is in line to adopt Charli – and this will lead to her exit from the Square. Another suggestion has been that Sonia and Reiss, who are having fertility treatment to have a baby of their own, could end up taking on the baby.

Will Lily keep going and learn to be a mum? Or is more heartbreak just around the corner?

Read more: Complete EastEnders cast list for 2023 right here!

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EastEnders usually airs Monday to Thursday at 7.30pm on BBC One.

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Carena Crawford
Associate Editor (Soaps)