Lena Dunham Said She Wishes She'd Had An Abortion
Lena Dunham has copped a lot of heat for peddling a certain kind of privileged white feminism. This week she's brought some truly cooked opinions to the table by declaring that she wishes she'd had an abortion. Lena, no. The comment was made during Lena's Women of the Hour podcast and, while it was intended as a way to normalise the procedure, it's obviously caused hella offence.
Lena started out by recounting a recent trip to Planned Parenthood during which she realised she was carrying around some shame related to abortions.
"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," she said. "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 realised 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."
She then finished the story on this perplexing note:
"Now I can say that I still haven't had an abortion, but I wish I had."
This comment is both insensitive and extremely problematic. It implies that having an abortion somehow gives you status or clout as a feminist and ignores the potential side-effects of the procedure. Needless to say, the people of Twitter are currently deep in a Lena Dunham rage spiral.
Lena issued the following apology for these tone deaf comments:
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 in New York, Texas and Ohio I look forward to fighting with you all for the next four years and beyond.
In a post-Trump America, spreading the pro-choice message is more important than ever. Use your platform wisely, Lena.