The sixth and final season of HBO’s Girls doesn’t premiere until next month, but creator and star Lena Dunham is already in the news for comments she made on her podcast. In the most recent episode of Women of the Hour, Dunham, who usually means well even if the results are occasionally regrettable, focused on the stigma surrounding women having an abortion. That’s obviously a very important topic, especially with the Vice President-elect’s apparent crusade against Roe vs. Wade, but Dunham did more harm than good when she told listeners of her “wish” to have an abortion.
One day, when I was visiting a Planned Parenthood in Texas a few years ago, a young girl walked up to me and asked me if I’d like to be a part of her project in which women share their stories of abortions. 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. And I realized then that even I was carrying within myself stigma around this issue. Even I, the woman who cares as much as anybody about a woman’s right to choose, felt it was important that people know I was unblemished in this department.