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Lena Dunham Under Fire from Pro-Life Groups After Saying 'I Wish I'd Gotten Abortion'

( [email protected] ) Dec 21, 2016 02:47 PM EST
Actress Lena Dunham has come under fire from pro-life groups after saying she wished she'd gotten an abortion to "remove the stigma" surrounding the procedure.
Actress Lena Dunham attends Politics, Sex and Cocktails presented by Planned Parenthood Advocacy Project Los Angeles County at the Pacific Design Center in Los Angeles. Randy Shropshire/Getty Images for Planned Parenthood Los Angeles

Actress Lena Dunham has come under fire from pro-life groups after saying she wished she'd gotten an abortion to "remove the stigma" surrounding the procedure.

While hosting her podcast, Women of the Hour, the Girls creator credited her mother for teaching her to be a "pro-choice" woman: "From an early age, she taught my younger sibling and me to say ‘anti-choice' instead of ‘pro-life' because she wanted to make sure that we knew that everyone is pro-life. Some people are anti-choice."

She then 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," the 30-year-old actress said.

"And I realized then that even I was carrying within myself stigma around this issue. Even IF, 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 went on to praise those who have abortions for their "bravery" and "self-knowledge," adding that she has put her own stigma surrounding the issue "in the garbage."

The actress concluded, "Now I can say that I still haven't had an abortion, but I wish I had."

Unsurprisingly, Dunham's flippant approach to the issue didn't sit well with many, including the pro-life group Right To Life of Central California, who called her remarks "inflammatory and unhelpful".

John Gerardi, executive director, added: "Even if you accept the argument that women have a right to obtain access to abortions, we're still talking about another living human being. Even for pro-choice women, it's one of the worst and most difficult decisions of their lives. It seems Lena Dunham wants to treat abortions like getting your appendix removed."

Others took to social media to criticize the actress for her comments: "I can't even imagine how offensive Lena Dunham's comments are to women who actually had to go through abortions," wrote one user.

"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!" wrote another.

In a later post on Instagram alongside a picture featuring the word "Choice", Dunham said she was "proud" of the women who took part in the podcast which focused on the issue of abortion.

"I truly hope a distasteful joke on my part won't diminish the amazing work of all the women who participated," she wrote."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.

Newsbusters contributor Katie Yoder notes that Dunham's show, "Girls", has showcased characters casually mentioning abortion, and in the past, she has plugged Planned Parenthood while hosting SNL and even published a "special partnership" with Planned Parenthood during a book tour.

Tags : Lena Dunham, abortion, pro-life, pro-choice, girls