Spoilers ahead for House of Cards Season 6 After three previous abortions, President Claire Hale very conveniently becomes pregnant with her late-husband’s baby in House of Cards Season 6. She doesn’t reveal this news until the end of the sixth episode, when Doug (Michael Kelly) starts asking questions about Frank Underwood’s will. He was supposed to have been left everything, but Claire tells the former chief of staff that she and Frank’s prenup had an addendum. This clause stated that if the couple ever had descendants, that the deceased spouse’s assets would go to their offspring. She takes Doug’s hand and places it on her stomach. “Francis and I have been blessed,” she says, coldly. And in that moment, Claire’s pregnancy became the ultimate power move.
Episode 7 opens with the president hosting a national women’s conference. Claire’s wearing a tight-fitting shift dress, which reveals her pregnant stomach. The crowd loves her, and it’s clear that she’s instituted herself as the nation’s maternal figure. As she says in her speech, “My purpose is to elevate America, fight for America, and if it ever came to it, die for America. I will be father, mother, leader, and friend.”
However, later on in the episode, it’s clear that her feminism is one of convenience. The Commander-in-Chief is getting an ultrasound after a brief health scare, and she calls her frenemy Annette, holding her phone out so she can hear the heartbeat pulsing. “You f*cking c*nt,” Claire tells her. “It’s a girl.” Yikes.
What’s more, Claire uses the fact that she’s in the family way to manipulate people around her. Meeting with reporter Janine Skorsky (Constance Zimmer) on Air Force One, she asks the writer if she wants to feel the baby kicking. However, Janine holds her ground and declines the intimate invitation. Some people, however, are more malleable. Ironically, the president is able to mend her tense relationship with conservative reporter Melody Cruz, with whom she sits down for a tell-all interview.
Circling back to the abortion plotline, Annette lets it leak that Claire has terminated three pregnancies, and while the president tells the press that one of the babies wasn’t viable, she tells the camera that it was really she and Frank who weren’t capable as parents. So why now? Weren’t she and Frank estranged when he died? This begs the question: is Frank really the father? Perhaps it’s actually the deceased Tom Yates. After all, Claire was having an affair with him in Season 5.
Audiences see flashbacks to a young Claire throughout Season 6, and in the finale episode, both young and current Claire talk to each other in the baby’s nursery. “Am I sure this is a good idea?” the young version asks her older self. “What if I’m carrying a demon seed or something? The odds are 50-50.” It’s unclear whether she’s talking about a baby she may have carried when she was younger, resulting in one of her three abortions, or if she’s referring to Claire’s current pregnancy. Either way, it’s clear that the president looks back on her life with regret.
Ultimately, the baby’s fatherhood is never clarified, and since Claire is still pregnant in the Episode 8 finale, it’s anyone’s guess as to what would have happened next. However, here’s what audiences know: That Claire Hale successfully became the first female president, instituted a women-only cabinet, killed off anyone who stood in her way — in doing so arguably becoming just as ruthless as her late husband — and becoming pregnant during her tenure as Commander-in-Chief. And while it’s difficult to imagine Claire as a mother, her pregnancy allowed her to keep Frank’s assets, which was perhaps the point all along.