On Lena Dunham’s latest podcast, she discussed abortion, and made a statement that had people of all political persuasions shocked and furious. She declared that, while she had never had an abortion, she wished she had. The backlash was immediate, with even mainstream media outlets like Entertaintment Weekly, the New York Daily News, and People Magazine noting the controversy.
Both pro-lifers and pro-abortion advocates were outraged at Dunham’s insensitive, outrageous statement. At The Daily Beast, Erin Gloria Ryan slammed her “caricature” of pro-abortion feminism, saying that Dunham makes it harder for abortion advocates to do their work. “Treating abortion like a leisurely activity that Lena Dunham can personally help normalize represents a cartoonish version of clueless urban liberalism we’d be well-served to rid ourselves of,” she wrote.
It didn’t take long for Dunham to begin backpedaling wildly. Last night, she posted an “apology” on Instagram, claiming it was nothing more than a distasteful joke gone wrong. “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 said. “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.”
She then continued, explaining that the outrageous statement was merely due to a “delusional girl” persona she likes to take on. No, really:
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.
It must be the oddest excuse for saying something insensitive and stupid. She was pretending to be a delusional girl!
She closed by saying that because she messed up, she was going to make a big donation to pro-abortion organizations. “My life is and always will be devoted to reproductive justice and freedom,” she said.
Delusional girl persona aside, it remains to be seen if Dunham’s apology will be good enough to make people forget about the insanity of her statement. As even pro-abortion women have pointed out in response to her callous words, abortion is not an amazing rite of passage, or something fun to do like getting a mani/pedi. It’s an incredibly difficult experience for a woman, and being in the situation where she even feels like she has to make that decision is, in and of itself, painful and difficult. You would think that someone whose life is allegedly devoted to “reproductive justice and freedom” would understand that.
And if Lena Dunham doesn’t understand the truth about what abortion really is, then what business does she have speaking out about it? May we suggest that she watch the factual, animated video below (as well as the other ones available here) to learn exactly how difficult abortion is for the real, live human beings involved in the procedure?
Editor’s Note: If you are a woman who is feeling pressure to get an abortion, please see the resources available to you here. For 10 reasons not to get an abortion, go here. And for a new report on the terrible conditions in many abortion facilities across the country, go here.