In a Washington Post op-ed vilifying Texas’ draconian anti-abortion law, Uma Thurman opened up about her own personal experience. “In the hope of drawing the flames of controversy away from the vulnerable women on whom this law will have an immediate effect, I am sharing my own experience,” the actress wrote.
In the candid piece, Thurman details the situation that surrounded her difficult, though “right choice.” She said that she was 15 and had just began her acting career and was living out of a suitcase in Europe, when she was “accidentally impregnated by a much older man.”
She said she contemplated carrying to term, but ultimately told her parents that the relationship “was not viable.” Her mother, who was “gravely ill” at the time, and father discussed with her the difficulties of raising a child as a teen on her own.
“We decided as a family that I couldn’t go through with the pregnancy, and agreed that termination was the ‘right choice,'” she wrote. “My heart was broken nonetheless.”
She explained that it was a painful process, both emotionally and physically. “I had internalized so much shame that I felt I deserved the pain,” she wrote. “My fingers were tightly locked across my chest, and when the procedure was done the doctor looked down at me said, ‘You have beautiful hands — you remind me of my daughter.’
“That single gesture of humanity is seared in my mind as one of the most compassionate moments I have ever experienced,” she continued. “In his eyes, I was a person, I was a daughter, I was still a girl. There is so much pain in this story. It has been my darkest secret until now.”
Thurman added that despite the difficult decision, she has “no regrets for the path I have traveled,” sharing the pride and joy she has had raising three children.
“I applaud and support women who make a different choice. The abortion I had as a teenager was the hardest decision of my life, one that caused me anguish then and that saddens me even now, but it was the path to the life full of joy and love that I have experienced,” she wrote. “Choosing not to keep that early pregnancy allowed me to grow up and become the mother I wanted and needed to be.”
She called the Texas anti-abortion law “a human rights crisis for American women. This law is yet another discriminatory tool against those who are economically disadvantaged, and often, indeed, against their partners. Women and children of wealthy families retain all the choices in the world, and face little risk,” she continued. “I am grief-stricken, as well, that the law pits citizen against citizen, creating new vigilantes who will prey on these disadvantaged women, denying them the choice not to have children they are not equipped to care for, or extinguishing their hopes for the future family they might choose.”
She concluded by sending strength to the women and girls of Texas, who may fear “predatory bounty hunters” and “to all women outraged by having our bodies’ rights taken by the state; and to all of you who are made vulnerable and subjected to shame because you have a uterus — I say: I see you. Have courage. You are beautiful. You remind me of my daughters.”