Lena Dunham apologizes for 'distasteful joke' about abortion
Lena Dunham has issued a public apology for recently remarking on her podcast that she’s never had an abortion but wishes she had.
In a lengthy statement posted to Instagram Tuesday night alongside an image of the word “choice,” Dunham said she hopes her “distasteful joke” doesn’t detract from her own and other women’s efforts to protect reproductive rights.
“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,” she wrote. “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.”
The Girls creator and star added that her controversial comment was “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.”
Dunham came under fire this week for remarks she made hosting Women of the Hour. On the podcast, she recalled a visit to a Texas Planned Parenthood years ago, during which she was asked her to share her experience with abortion. After being quick to point out that she’d never had an abortion, Dunham realized that “even I was carrying within myself stigma around this issue.” She has since overcome the stigma, and said, “Now I can say that I still haven’t had an abortion, but I wish I had.”
In her mea culpa, which followed a wave of criticism on social media, Dunham wrote, “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.” Dunham also indicated she would give sizable donations to abortion funds in New York, Texas, and Ohio.
Read her full statement below.