Following the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, nearly half of the states in the United States are poised to outright ban abortion, depriving women and other individuals who are capable of becoming pregnant of the ability to make important decisions regarding their own bodies and lives.
These public figures are speaking out in favor of abortion rights by sharing their personal experiences with the procedure.
In September 2021, actress Uma Thurman wrote an opinion piece for The Washington Post in which she spoke out against Texas’s heartbeat abortion law. “In the hope of drawing the flames of controversy away from the vulnerable women on whom this law will have an immediate effect,” the Kill Bill actress said, explaining why she chose to open up about her own abortion experience. Thurman talked about her experience of being “accidentally impregnated by a much older man” while she was 15 and living abroad.
She described how she initially wanted to keep the child but ultimately decided to have an abortion after talking to her parents.
In a candid interview she gave to Rolling Stone in 2014, the 39-year-old rapper Nicki Minaj revealed private information about an abortion she had as a teen. “I thought I was going to die,” she said when describing how it felt to learn she was pregnant. I was a young adult. “The abortion was the most difficult experience I’d ever had”, she claimed.
Minaj remains staunchly pro-choice despite acknowledging in the interview that she experienced psychological distress after the procedure. ” “I wasn’t ready. I didn’t have anything to offer a child,” she remarked.
In May 2022, following news that the Supreme Court was moving toward overturning Roe v. Wade, the 27-year-old independent singer took to Instagram to share her abortion story with her 1.7 million followers. Bridgers disclosed that she had an abortion the year before and explained how her personal experience shaped her views on the importance of ensuring that everyone has access to abortions.
“I had an abortion in October of last year while I was on tour. I went to Planned Parenthood, where they gave me the abortion pill. It was easy. Everyone deserves that kind of access,” she said.
In response to Georgia’s “heartbeat bill,” which prohibits abortions if an unborn child has a detectable heartbeat, actress and model Milla Jovovich talked about getting an emergency abortion while filming a movie abroad in Eastern Europe in 2016.
“I don’t like to get political, and I try to only do it if I really have to and this is one of those times,” she wrote on her Instagram account. “Abortion is hard enough for women on an emotional level without having to go through it in potentially unsafe and unsanitary conditions,” she explained.
In defiance of the news about the Supreme Court draft, the 66-year-old actress and cohost of The View recently delivered an ardent speech about bodily autonomy, equating access to abortion with healthcare.
In a previous essay for the book The Choices We Made by Angela Bonavogila, Goldberg talked openly about her own experience with a risky abortion. “I found out I was pregnant when I was 14. I didn’t get a period. I talked to nobody. I panicked. I sat in hot baths. I drank these strange concoctions girls told me about. … I got violently ill,” she remembered.
Actress from The Good Place and pro-choice advocate Jameela Jamil spoke out against the Georgia law banning abortion by describing an earlier abortion she had. Despite using two different methods of contraception, they both failed, and the 36-year-old Jamil had an abortion eight weeks later, she wrote on Instagram.
“Abortion saved my life,” Jamil said. “It was not hard for me, I live with zero regret, only deep relief and gratitude,” she said.
Actress Laura Prepon, 42, who is best known for playing Donna in That 70s Show, revealed to People that she and her husband had to make the difficult choice to end their second pregnancy after a sonogram showed that the fetus most likely had a congenital disability.
Prepon was informed that the fetus wouldn’t develop normally and that continuing the pregnancy endangered her own life. She said, “our neonatal specialist told us the brain was not growing, and the bones were not growing.” Prepon made the decision to share her experience publicly because, in her words, ” in order to have a real conversation about motherhood, you need to share truths and talk about what’s really going on.”
After Alabama’s governor signed a law outlawing almost all abortions, actress and singer Keke Palmer first opened up about her experience with abortion in May 2019. Palmer, who has appeared in numerous movies and television shows like Hustlers and Scream Queens, tweeted in support of other thousands of women online that she had previously chosen to have an abortion because she wasn’t ready to have a child at that time in her life.
“I was worried about my career responsibilities and afraid that I could not exist as a career woman and a mother,” she said.
Chelsea Handler, a comedian and pro-choice activist, discussed her 16-year-old abortions in a personal essay for Playboy. In her memoir, Handler described her original thought process, saying, “I just thought, ‘Why not? I can have a baby. Maybe I’ll have twins and give them rhyming names!”
However, looking back, Handler, who was 41 at the time she wrote the essay, acknowledged that the notion of raising a child on my own at that young age-when I couldn’t even find my way home at night-was absurd. My parents were aware of that, so they took me to Planned Parenthood for one of the first times in my life and behaved like parents.