Lena Dunham stirred up controversy during a recent episode of her podcast by saying she wishes she’d had an abortion.
While hosting Women of the Hour, the Girls creator recalled a visit to a Texas Planned Parenthood years ago, during which a girl asked her to share her experience with abortion.
“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,”recalled Dunham, 30.
“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 that it was important that people know that I was unblemished in this department.”
She commended her loved ones, who have had to have abortions, for their “bravery” and “self-knowledge,” adding that she has realized her need to put her own stigma surrounding the issue “in the garbage.”
She concluded, “Now I can say that I still haven’t had an abortion, but I wish I had.”
Listeners soon took to Twitter to accuse the actress of trivializing an “awful” procedure.
“I can’t even imagine how offensive Lena Dunham’s comments are to women who actually had to go through abortions,” one Twitter user wrote.
Another person tweeted: “FYI an abortion is not something you ‘get to have.’ It’s an awful experience one SHOULDN’T wish for like a gift from Santa.”
This is not the first time Dunham has come under fire in recent months. She faced backlash in September for accusing NFL star Odell Beckham Jr. of ignoring her at the 2016 MET Gala because of her looks.
In an interview with Amy Schumer for her Lenny Letter newsletter, Dunham detailed an alleged incident in which the athlete allegedly “looked at me and he determined I was not the shape of a woman by his standards.”
She later apologized for the assumption in an Instagram post, calling her statements “unfair.”
UPDATE: Dunham has since apologized for her remarks about abortion.
Her apology Tweet:
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.