Like her fictional Girls counterpart, Jemima Kirke has considered abortion. Unlike Jessa — who belatedly got her period as her friends waited for her at an abortion clinic — Kirke had an abortion in college. She casually mentioned the procedure back when the episode aired, but in a new PSA for the Center for Reproductive Rights, she speaks candidly about her experience and hopes for the future. (Kirke’s video is part of CRR’s Draw the Line campaign, which uses storytelling to counteract narratives about abortion and calls on supporters to share their own stories and sign a petition)
In 2007, when she got pregnant while attending college, Kirke didn’t feel ready to raise a child, nor did she want to be permanently tied to her college boyfriend. She got the procedure without anesthesia because she couldn’t pull together enough money to cover the additional expense after emptying her checking account to pay for the abortion. “We do have free choice and we are able to do what we want, but then there are these hoops we have to jump through to get [abortions],” Kirke said of the “obstacles and stigma” that make abortion not entirely accessible. Her story exposes some of the isolation many women face; at the time, she couldn’t tell her mother about the procedure.
Now a mother of three, Kirke reflected on how she hopes her daughters’ experience of reproductive rights will be different from her own. She explained: “I’m already anticipating their issues with self-esteem, their issues with their body, the luggage that comes with being a woman. I would love if, when they’re older … the political issues surrounding their bodies are not there anymore, that they have one less thing to battle around their bodies.”