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Read Lena Dunham’s Apology for ‘Distasteful’ Abortion Comment

‘Girls’ creator reflected on saying “I wish I had [an abortion]” on her Women of the Hour podcast

Lena Dunham wrote a lengthy apology following her comments about abortion on her Women of the Hour podcast. In an episode about reproductive choice, Dunham said she wished she had gotten an abortion, which caused a wave of backlash. 

“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,” Dunham wrote in an Instagram post. “I truly hope a distasteful joke on my part won’t diminish the amazing work of all the women who participated.”

Dunham claimed that a “delusional girl” character, much like the one she embodies on HBO’s Girls, inspired her comments. In this instance, Dunham had been reflecting on a visit she had made to a Planned Parenthood in Texas on her podcast, realized that she had internalized her own stigma against abortion by needing to let people know she “was unblemished in this department.” She later added, “I can say that I still haven’t had an abortion, but I wish I had.”

Dunham asserts that she never meant to trivialize or make a mockery of “the emotional and physical challenges of terminating a pregnancy.” Before linking out to where people can donate to abortion funds, she adds how important the issue of reproductive choice is to her.

“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 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

In This Article: Abortion, Lena Dunham

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