18 Celebrities Who’ve Spoken Out About Having an Abortion

Reasons for seeking an abortion are personal and diverse. These celebrities decided to share their stories.

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Lauren Conrad, Jameela Jamil, and Nicki Minaj have all spoken out in support of abortion access.

About 1 in 5 pregnancies end in abortion, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and nearly 1 in 4 people who can become pregnant will have an abortion in their lifetime, per the Guttmacher Institute.

Now that the Supreme Court has overturned Roe v. Wade, nearly half of U.S. states are poised to ban abortion outright, denying women and other people who can become pregnant the ability to make crucial decisions about their own bodies and lives.

In support of abortion rights, these celebrities are choosing to speak about their experiences of ending a pregnancy.

63

Uma Thurman

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Actress Uma Thurman penned an op-ed for The Washington Post in September 2021, coming out against Texas’s heartbeat abortion law. The?Kill Bill star explained her decision to share her own experience with abortion “in the hope of drawing the flames of controversy away from the vulnerable women on whom this law will have an immediate effect.” Thurman described her experience of living abroad at 15 and becoming “accidentally impregnated by a much older man.”

She recounted her desire to keep the baby, but her ultimate decision to terminate the pregnancy after consulting with her parents. “We decided as a family that I couldn’t go through with the pregnancy, and agreed that termination was the right choice. My heart was broken nonetheless,” she added.

64

Whoopi Goldberg

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The 66-year-old actress and cohost of The View recently gave an impassioned speech about bodily autonomy, equating abortion access with healthcare, in defiance of the news about the Supreme Court draft.

Goldberg previously opened up about her own experience with an unsafe abortion in an essay for the book The Choices We Made by Angela Bonavogila. “I found out I was pregnant when I was 14. I didn’t get a period. I talked to nobody. I panicked. I sat in hot baths. I drank these strange concoctions girls told me about. ... I got violently ill,” she recalled.

65

Chelsea Handler

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Comedian and provacateur Chelsea Handler wrote about two abortions she had at the age of 16 in a personal essay for Playboy. Handler recalled her thought process at the time, writing, “I just thought, ‘Why not? I can have a baby. Maybe I’ll have twins and give them rhyming names!”

But with the perspective of time, Handler, who was 41 when she wrote the essay, said: “Of course, the idea that I would have a child and raise it by myself at that age, when I couldn’t even find my way home at night, was ridiculous. My parents recognized that, so they acted like parents for one of the very first times in my life and took me to Planned Parenthood.”

66

Keke Palmer

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Actress and singer Keke Palmer first shared her experience with abortion in May 2019, after Alabama’s governor signed into law a ban on nearly all abortions. In solidarity with thousands of other women online, Palmer, who has starred in numerous films and televisions series like Hustlers and Scream Queens, tweeted that she had chosen to undergo an abortion in the past because she wasn’t ready to have a child at that point in her life.

“I was worried about my career responsibilities and afraid that I could not exist as a career woman and a mother,” she said.

67

Kathleen Hanna

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Frontwoman of '90s riot grrl band Bikini Kill and later Le Tigre, Kathleen Hanna has been vocal about her own experience with abortion as a teenager and her pro-choice stance at her band’s recent concerts.

Hanna spoke to The Rumpus about how having an abortion at an early age gave her the ability to pursue her passion and change the trajectory of her life. “Well, I worked at McDonald’s to get my abortion. I was only 15, and the person who got me pregnant did not want to give me any money,” she said.

68

Milla Jovovich

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Actress and model Milla Jovovich discussed having an emergency abortion while shooting a film abroad in Eastern Europe in 2016 in response to Georgia’s “heartbeat bill,” which states that no abortion shall be performed if an unborn child has a detectable heartbeat.

“I don’t like to get political, and I try to only do it if I really have to and this is one of those times,” she wrote on her Instagram account. “Abortion is hard enough for women on an emotional level without having to go through it in potentially unsafe and unsanitary conditions,” she explained.

69

Jemima Kirke

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Jemima Kirke, who gained international fame playing the role of Jessa in HBO’s Girls, opened up about her decision to have an abortion, in support of the campaign Draw the Line, which shared real women’s stories with reproductive healthcare, spearheaded by The Center for Reproductive Rights.

The mother of two said, “In 2007, I became pregnant with my boyfriend at the time. I wasn’t sure that I wanted to be attached to this person for the rest of my life. My life was just not conducive to raising a happy, healthy, child,” she said.

70

Hannah Gadsby

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Australian comedian Hannah Gadsby spoke about an abortion she chose to undergo after surviving rape in Variety’s?"Power of Pride" cover story. Gadsby, a lesbian, spoke out against the “heartbeat law," explaining that she would not be here today if she lived in a state that curtailed abortion access.

“I was assaulted, raped, and very, very vulnerable. How was I going to raise a child? I would have ended up dead. How is that pro-life? You can’t say women can’t have abortions and then provide absolutely no infrastructure to help them,” she said.

71

Amber Tamblyn

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The 39-year-old actress, writer, and mother Amber Tamblyn took part in the Bans Off Our Bodies protest in New York City in support of reproductive rights in May 2022. Tamblyn, who began her career on General Hospital in the role of Emily Quartermaine, previously shared on?Twitter?that she underwent an abortion.

“In 2012 I had an abortion. It was one of the hardest decisions I’ve ever had to make. I still think about it to this day. But these truths do not make my decision. It was the right choice for me, at that time in my life. I have not a single doubt about this #YouKnowMe.”

72

Nicki Minaj

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The 39-year-old rapper Nicki Minaj shared personal details about an abortion she had as a teen in a revealing interview she gave Rolling Stone in 2014. She described what it was like finding out she was pregnant, saying, “I thought I was going to die. I was a teenager. [The abortion] was the hardest thing I’d ever gone through,” she said.

Although Minaj admitted to psychological distress following the procedure in the interview, she remains firmly pro-choice. “I wasn’t ready. I didn’t have anything to offer a child,” she said.

73

Busy Phillips

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Actress and television host Busy Phillips revealed on stage at a Goop Health conference held in Los Angeles in 2019 that she had an abortion. “It’s not brave for me to say I had an abortion at 15, because it’s a medical thing, a choice that I made, and I don’t regret it at all,” she told the audience.

Phillips is credited with starting the #YouKnowMe hashtag on Twitter, after Georgia passed their anti-abortion law that same year. Phillips spoke at the House Judiciary Committee at the time, saying, “I am also the 1 in 4 women in this country who have had an abortion.”

74

Phoebe Bridgers

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The 27-year-old indie singer took to her Instagram account to share her abortion story with her 1.7 million followers in May 2022 after news about the Supreme Court edging closer to overturning Roe v. Wade made headlines. Bridgers revealed that she had an abortion the previous year and how that experience informed her beliefs about ensuring everyone has access to abortions.

“I had an abortion in October of last year while I was on tour. I went to Planned Parenthood, where they gave me the abortion pill. It was easy. Everyone deserves that kind of access,” she said.

75

Laura Prepon

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Known widely for her role as Donna in That 70s Show, 42-year-old actress Laura Prepon told People that she and her husband made the difficult decision to terminate her second pregnancy after a sonogram revealed that the fetus likely had a congenital disability.

Prepon was told the fetus would not mature and that continuing the pregnancy put her own life at risk. “Our neonatal specialist told us the brain was not growing, and the bones were not growing,” she said. Prepon decided to go public with the story because “in order to have a real conversation about motherhood, you need to share truths and talk about what’s really going on.”

76

Minka Kelly

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Actress Minka Kelly posted an image of the 25 Alabama state senators who voted for The Human Life Protection Act (since overturned) on her Instagram account in May 2019, which was set to ban almost all abortions in the state. Kelly, who gained fame on the show Friday Night Lights, decided to share why she had an abortion to emphasize why she believes it was the right decision for her.

“When I was younger I had an abortion. It was the smartest decision I could’ve made, not only for myself and my boyfriend at the time, but also for this unborn fetus,” she said. “Having a baby at the time would’ve only perpetuated the cycle of poverty, chaos, and dysfunction I was born into,” she revealed.

77

Jameela Jamil

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The Good Place actress and activist Jameela Jamil criticized the Georgia abortion ban by describing an abortion she had when she was younger. The 36-year-old Jamil revealed personal details on her Instagram, writing that even though she “used two different types of contraception, they both failed, and I aborted eight weeks later.”

“Abortion saved my life,” Jamil said. “It was not hard for me, I live with zero regret, only deep relief and gratitude,” she said.

78

Lauren Conrad

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Lauren Conrad, the former star of The Hills, used Instagram to share her experience with an ectopic pregnancy, a condition that occurs when a fertilized egg implants somewhere other than the uterus. In these cases, the fertilized egg will often land in the fallopian tubes. Such pregnancies are not viable, because a fetus cannot survive outside of the uterus.

“I wanted to share my own experience with lifesaving reproductive care,” Conrad said. “Six years ago, while trying to start our family, I had an ectopic pregnancy.”

Ectopic pregnancies are life-threatening to the pregnant person. If the fetus keeps growing, it can rupture the woman’s fallopian tubes, which is extremely dangerous.

“I hope someday we will be in a place where every woman has access to the healthcare she needs and the freedom to decide what happens in her own body.”

79

Stevie Nicks

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The award-winning musician and former Fleetwood Mac member Stevie Nicks had an abortion in 1979. Nicks spoke with The Guardian in 2020 about her experience. “If I had not had that abortion, I’m pretty sure there would have been no Fleetwood Mac,” Nicks said.

Nicks was in her thirties and Fleetwood Mac was at peak popularity. The band was about to embark on a world tour for their latest album, Tusk.

"There's just no way that I could have had a child then, working as hard as we worked constantly. … I would have had to walk away."

80

Debbie Reynolds

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Iconic actress and singer Debbie Reynolds spoke candidly in a 1989 interview with Joan Rivers about two medically necessary abortions she underwent in the 1960s after experiencing miscarriages. The Singing in the Rain star explained that she already was mom to two kids, including her daughter Carrie Fisher, and wanted to have two more.

But seven months into Reynolds’s next pregnancy, she learned the fetus was a stillbirth. When a fetus dies before delivery, it can take two weeks or more for labor to begin on its own. Reynolds wanted to have the fetus removed — it was no longer viable. But this was before Roe, and abortion was illegal.

"That was the law. It didn't matter," Reynolds said. "It had to abort itself — it could not be taken from me. It's insane to think that could be."

The doctors had planned to make her carry the stillborn fetus to term. It was only after the condition became life-threatening that doctors agreed to perform an abortion. Reynolds tried for a child again and the same thing happened — the fetus died inside her before delivery. This time, she insisted the doctors remove the fetus so that she wouldn’t nearly die again.

Additional reporting by Rachael Robertson.