Lena Dunham: 'I wish I had experienced abortion'

By YOU
21 December 2016

Actress Lena Dunham wishes she had personal experience of an abortion so she could use her celebrity platform to fight the stigma surrounding the procedure.

The Girls star and staunch feminist is such a huge supporter of a woman's right to choose whether or not to keep an unborn child, she would love to know what a forced termination feels like firsthand. "Something I've thought about a lot is the fact that there is stigma around abortion," Lena said on her latest Women of the Hour podcast. "Now I can say that I still haven't had an abortion, but I wish I had." Her hankering to connect with women who have actually undergone an abortion first emerged when she was visiting a Planned Parenthood sexual health clinic in Texas several years back. At the medical facility, a young girl came up to her and asked if she would like to be involved in a project where ladies discuss their abortion stories.

My latest podcast episode was meant to tell a multifaceted story about reproductive choice in America, to explain the many reasons women do or don't choose to have children and what bodily autonomy really means. I'm so proud of the medley of voices in the episode. I truly hope a distasteful joke on my part won't diminish the amazing work of all the women who participated. My words were spoken from a sort of "delusional girl" persona I often inhabit, a girl who careens between wisdom and ignorance (that's what my TV show is too) and it didn't translate. That's my fault. I would never, ever intentionally trivialize the emotional and physical challenges of terminating a pregnancy. My only goal is to increase awareness and decrease stigma. I take reproductive choice in America more seriously than I take literally anything else, and therefore own full responsibility for any words I speak that don't convey this truth clearly. I know plenty of people will never like a thing that leaves my lips, mea culpas or no, but this apology is for the women who have placed their trust in me. You mean everything to me. My life is and always will be devoted to reproductive justice and freedom. You know how in some households you curse and have to put money in a jar? Well in mine, if you mess up your pro-choice messaging you have to give a sizable donation to abortion funds (https://abortionfunds.org/need-abortion) in New York, Texas and Ohio I look forward to fighting with you all for the next four years and beyond.

A photo posted by Lena Dunham (@lenadunham) on

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"I sort of jumped (at the offer)," Dunham recalled. "'I haven't had an abortion,' I told her. I wanted to make it really clear to her that as much as I was going out and fighting for other women's options, I myself had never had an abortion."

At that moment, Lena realised she had some strange defence issues regarding abortion, noting, "Even I, the woman who cares as much as anybody about a woman's right to choose, felt it was important that people know I was unblemished in this department."

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Lena's candid comments about abortion have not been well received by social media users, with some women slamming the star for her statements.

"@lenadunham should never be able to brag about having an abortion it's sad that u think this would make u more authentically pro-choice (sic)," one user wrote on Twitter, with another tweeting: "Hey @lenadunham. I had an abortion early this year. I promise you don't want to experience it too. Your comments really are sickening."

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