There are a few things actress Lena Dunham has been able to proudly check off her bucket list: appear naked on television (a lot), take a toilet selfie, dress as a “grabbed p*ssy” to protest Donald Trump. But there’s one thing she has never done in her life, and it is really starting to bug her: have an abortion.
Dunham revealed her deep regret in a story she told during her podcast, Women of the Hour, last week:
“I’m a pro-choice woman. From an early age, [my mom] taught my younger sibling and me to say ‘anti-choice’ instead of ‘pro-life’ because she wanted to make sure that we knew that everyone is pro-life. Some people are anti-choice.”
Dunham said there is a “cultural stigma” surrounding abortion, namely because it’s just so “hard to put an abortion on network TV” these days. (Salon would disagree with its publishing of its top 10 “abortion moments” on television for 2016.)
But it was the Girls actress’ conversations with friends and family who’ve had abortions which uncovered her problematic thought processes on the procedure:
“I always thought that I myself didn’t stigmatize abortion. I’m a – uh abortion rights activist, it’s a huge part of who I am. But one day, when I was visiting a Planned Parenthood in Texas a few years ago, a young girl walked up to me and asked me if I’d like to be a part of her project in which women share their stories of abortions. I sort of jumped. ‘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.
“And I realized then that even I was carrying within myself stigma around this issue. 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.”
It was her pride over the “bravery” and “self-knowledge” from her mother and best friends who’ve all had “abortions for all kinds of reasons” that left her to conclude that she “had internalized some of what society was throwing at us and I had to put it in the garbage.”
“Now I can say that I still haven’t had an abortion, but I wish I had,” Dunham said.