Lena Dunham apologizes for ‘distasteful joke’ about abortion

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Lena Dunham has apologized for saying “I still haven’t had an abortion, but I wish I had” during a podcast about women’s right to choose.

“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 wrote in an Instagram post on Tuesday night.

“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,” Dunham continued. “That’s my fault. I would never, ever intentionally trivialize the emotional and physical challenges of terminating a pregnancy.”

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.

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Dunham’s controversial statement on abortion was made in a December 14 episode of her podcast, “Women of the Hour.” Titled “Choice,” the episode featured Dunham recalling a visit to a Planned Parenthood clinic in Texas before expressing her appreciation for the women who had to make the difficult choice to have an abortion.

On Tuesday, she came under fire from critics on social media who believed her remark about wanting to have the experience trivialized the difficulty of the choice.

Listen to the full podcast below. Dunham’s controversial statement was made at about 13:25 minutes in: