During Lena Dunham’s podcast, Women of the Hour, the actress ignited controversy when she discussed the stigma around abortion. Dunham, who has never had an abortion, shared an anecdote about her internalized stigma around the procedure, even as a feminist, before wrapping up the segment by saying, “Now I can say that I still haven’t had an abortion, but I wish I had.”
Understanding that claiming to “wish” she had an experience that many women have found uncomfortable, exhausting, emotionally difficult or, in some cases, traumatizing was not the woke, or even kind, thing to do, Dunham went to Instagram to apologize for her “distasteful joke.” “My words were spoken from a sort of ‘delusional girl persona I often inhabit, a girl who careens between wisdom and ignorance,” Dunham wrote. “And it didn’t translate.” The Girls star went on to reiterate her stance on the subject: “My only goal is to increase awareness and decrease stigma. I take reproductive choice in America more seriously than I take literally anything else.” To prove she meant it, Dunham put her money where her mouth was:
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.
Read the full post below.
lenadunhamMy 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.