Lena Dunham apologises for saying 'I still haven’t had an abortion, but I wish I had'

Lena Dunham in a photo from her Instagram page.
Lena Dunham in a photo from her Instagram page.PHOTO: INSTAGRAM

Actress Lena Dunham has apologised on social media after saying in a podcast that she had never had an abortion but wishes she had.

The creator and star of comedy TV series Girls said she did not intend to "trivialise" terminating a pregnancy when she made the remarks during her Women of the Hour podcast on Dec 15, she said.

Dunham, 30, had recalled an incident at a Planned Parenthood meeting in Texas where women shared stories of abortion and where she was asked to share a story about her own abortion. 

She told listeners that she had never gone through the procedure, before adding: "But I wish I had."

"I wanted to make it really clear... that as much as I was going out and fighting for other women’s options, I myself had never had an abortion," she said during the podcast.

It was then, Dunham said, she realised "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.

She added, "Now I can say that I still haven’t had an abortion, but I wish I had."

Her remarks prompted a wave of criticism online, with one pro-life charity saying Dunham was treating abortions "like getting your appendix removed".

https://twitter.com/RodriguezAJ100/status/811021617111384064 https://twitter.com/bambibaron/status/811038065049436160

Dunham explained in an Instagram post alongside a picture with the word "choice" that her "latest podcast episode was meant to tell a multifaceted story about reproductive choice in America."

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.

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.

A post shared by Lena Dunham (@lenadunham) on

"My words were spoken from a sort of "delusional girl" persona I often inhabit, a girl who careens between wisdom and ignorance... and it didn't translate. That's my fault. I would never, ever intentionally trivialise the emotional and physical challenges of terminating a pregnancy," she said.

Dunham added that her only goal is to "increase awareness and decrease stigma" and that she takes "reproductive choice in America more seriously than I take literally anything else."

She ended her post by pleading with her fans to donate to abortion funds.