Published On: Wed, Dec 21st, 2016

Lena Dunham Regrets Saying She Wished She Had an Abortion

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Lena Dunham has gone on the defensive after saying that while she has never had an abortion, she wishes that she had. The actress made the comments in an installment of her podcast “Women of the Hour” dedicated to women’s reproductive rights.

And now after a backlash Dunham has taken to Instagram to clarify her comments.

Dunham told a story about when she once visited a Planned Parenthood location where she met a young girl. Lena gave the girl what she felt were some words of encouragement; even though, she herself had never had an abortion.

“And I realized then that even I was carrying within myself stigma around this issue, ” said Dunham. “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.”

“I feel so proud of them for their bravery, for their self-knowledge, ” added Lena Dunham. “And it was a really important moment for me then to realize I had internalized some of what society was throwing at us and I had to put it in the garbage. Now I can say that I still haven’t had an abortion, but I wish I had.”

The star of “Girls” was attacked for her comments by countless people on Twitter. Here are a few examples of what was said:

“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.”

“I guarantee you @lenadunham there are a lot more women who had abortions who regret it than who wish they paid someone to abort their child!.”

“To be such a talented woman of words and writing, Lena Dunham still manages to say all the wrong things”

“Saying you wish you’d had an abortion is the stigmatizing action here @lenadunham Abortion is a HARD choice to make, not a trip to get froyo.”

“Can we all just agree that Lena Dunham is representative of everything feminism shouldn’t be.”

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.

A photo posted by Lena Dunham (@lenadunham) on

The negative responses to her words were so bad that Lena Dunham felt obligated to release the above statement on Instagram saying in part, “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.”

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