Earlier this week, Lena Dunham made a comment that she wishes she'd had an abortion, and much of the internet is ready to drag her for it.
In her podcast, Dunham recalls a time when a woman asked her to share her abortion story while she was advocating for reproductive rights outside of a Planned Parenthood clinic. Dunham made it clear that she had not had an abortion and was simply promoting the idea that women should have the right to choose. She concludes the anecdote by saying, "Now I can say that I still haven’t had an abortion, but I wish I had."
After much backlash, Dunham has taken back her statement, calling it a “distasteful joke.” Dunham went to Instagram to clarify the intent of her podcast, explaining that it was meant to discuss reproductive choice in America and bodily autonomy.
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.
Dunham apologized, saying, “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.”
We’re glad that she took the time to apologize for her words, but we're not sure how this qualifies as a "distasteful joke." No matter your stance on reproductive rights, having an abortion is something that changes many women’s lives and should be respected as such.