20 Celebrities Who Have Shared Their Abortion Stories

Abortion is healthcare. End of discussion.

The topic of abortion has been hotly contended for several decades. Intersecting with politics, religion, personal beliefs and the concept of ‘morality,’ everyone has their own opinions on the matter. 

Regardless of your personal stance, you or somebody you know has likely had an abortion at some point in their life. 

Back in 2019, several celebrities came forward to share their abortion stories, after Alabama passed a bill that could see abortion criminalised in the US state of Georgia. Ultimately, the law was struck down and did not come into effect, but during the days under which it was debated, thousands of women around the world protested against the decision. During this time, Busy Phillips began the hashtag #YouKnowMe, which encouraged women to come forward. 

In 2022, the entire world was outraged by the American Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v Wade, meaning that abortion laws defaulted back to each individual state.

Not only will this force women to seek unsafe, unlawful abortions, but it’s also a reminder that women (and other people with a uterus) are still treated as second class citizens whose lives are considered unimportant in the eyes of the law. It’s not good enough and women around the world have had enough — A listers included. 

Below, celebrities who have shared their abortion stories. 

Busy Phillips

“I had an abortion when I was 15 years old and I’m telling you this because I’m genuinely really scared for women and girls all over the country,” Philipps said on her shoe Busy Tonight. “Is that a hard left turn?” she asked, comparing the topic of abortion to the regular pop culture topics on her show. “Yeah, it is. Is it kind of jarring? Yes, it is also kind of jarring. But, guess what? That’s what being a f—ing woman is. Having a regular Tuesday and then suddenly being reminded that people are trying to police your body. And then you just have to go back to work.”

She later asked women to share their stories on Twitter, using the hashtag #youknowme.


Amber Tamblyn

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

Amber Tamblyn

Minka Kelly

“When I was younger I had an abortion. It was the smartest decision I could’ve made, not only for myself & my boyfriend at the time but also for this unborn fetus,” Kelly wrote, alongside a photo of all 25 Alabama state senators who voted for the bill. “Having a baby at that time would have only perpetuated the cycle of poverty, chaos and dysfunction I was born into.”

“If you insist on forcing women to carry to term, why do you refuse to talk about comprehensive sex-ed, the maternal mortality rate, free daycare, paid maternity leave?” She concluded her post by sharing her appreciation for men who have spoken up on this issue and reminded her followers that “women do not get pregnant alone” and “outlawing abortion has never stopped women from attempting it.”

minka kelly

Jameela Jamil

“This anti-abortion law in Georgia is so upsetting, inhumane, and blatantly demonstrative of a hatred of women, a disregard for our rights, bodies, mental health, and essentially a punishment for rape victims, forcing to carry the baby of their rapist,” Jameela Jamil wrote alongside a link to a Slate article that stated that Georgia had just criminalized abortion.

“I had an abortion when I was young, and it was the best decision I have ever made. Both for me, and for the baby I didn’t want, and wasn’t ready for, emotionally, psychologically and financially. So many children will end up in foster homes. So many lives ruined. So very cruel.”

jameela jamil

Milla Jovovich 

“I don’t like to get political,” Mila Jovovich wrote, opening up about her 2017 “emergency” abortion. “I went into pre term labor and told that I had to be awake for the whole procedure. It was one of the most horrific experiences I have ever gone through. I still have nightmares about it. I was alone and helpless. When I think about the fact that women might have to face abortions in even worse conditions than I did because of new laws, my stomach turns.”

Milla Jovovich

Nicki Minaj 

“It was the hardest thing I’d ever gone through,” Nicki Minaj said of having an abortion. “[It’s] haunted me all my life. It’d be contradictory if I said I wasn’t pro-choice. I wasn’t ready. I didn’t have anything to offer a child.”

nicki minaj

Joan Collins

“It would have been absolute career death for me to have done that…it would have been unthinkable to have a child,” Joan Collins told Piers Morgan in a 2010 interview. “He didn’t have any money, I had nothing, and I believe if you are going to bring a child into the world that you have to have a responsibility to that child,” she added.

joan collins

Whoopi Goldberg

“I found out I was pregnant when I was fourteen,” Whoopi Goldberg wrote. “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 — something like Johnny Walker Red with a little bit of Clorox, alcohol, baking soda (which probably saved my stomach) and some sort of cream. You mixed it all up. I got violently ill. At that moment I was more afraid of having to explain to anybody what was wrong than of going to the park with a hanger, which is what I did.”


Chelsea Handler

In a personal essay for Playboy‘s “Freedom Issue,” Chelsea Handler opened up about two abortions she had at age 16. “I just thought, ‘Why not?’ I can have a baby. Maybe I’ll have twins and give them rhyming names,” she detailed. “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 recognised that, so they acted like parents for one of the very first times in my life and took me to Planned Parenthood.”

“Getting unintentionally pregnant more than once is irresponsible, but it’s still necessary to make a thoughtful decision,” Handler wrote. “We all make mistakes all the time. I happened to f— up twice at the age of 16. I’m grateful that I came to my senses and was able to get an abortion legally without risking my health or bankrupting myself or my family.”


Gloria Steinem

The feminist activist got very candid in an interview with NPR’s Fresh Air host Terry Gross on becoming pregnant at 22 and having an abortion before it was legal. “I had been doing all of the foolish things that we then did [to terminate a pregnancy], like riding horseback, throwing ourselves down stairs,” Gloria Steinem explained. “I am the most cowardly person you can imagine, physically speaking, but I did [throw myself down stairs] … I was desperate. I really was desperate. I just knew that if I went home and married, which I would’ve had to do, it would be to the wrong person; it would be to a life that wasn’t mine, that wasn’t mine at all.”


Sharon Osbourne

“I had an abortion at 17 and it was the worst thing I ever did. It was the first time I’d had sex, and that was rotten. I’d always thought it was going to be all violins, and it was just awful,” Sharon Osborne told the Daily Mail in a 2004 interview.

Osbourne told her mother after realising two months in that she was pregnant and without hesitation, her mother responded, “You have to get rid of it.”

sharon osbourne

Stevie Nicks

For years, the Fleetwood Mac singer-songwriter was at the centre of rumours that claimed she had terminated a pregnancy with Eagles frontman Don Henley, which inspired her song “Sara.” Stevie Nicks finally set the record straight with Billboard in 2014. “Had I married Don and had that baby, and had she been a girl, I would have named her Sara,” Nicks said, though she said it wasn’t the entire basis for the song.


Naya Rivera

“I knew that in sharing my story, I would be judged for the decision I made. But I wanted to let other women facing the same difficult decision know that they weren’t alone,” Naya Rivera wrote, adding that she also did it in tribute to her grandmother Clara Esther White, who spent “more than five years counselling women through their decision to terminate their pregnancies,” and her mother, who was also involved in everything from counselling to sterilising equipment.


Rose McGowan

“I have had an abortion and I support this message. I am not ashamed, nor should you be. That 60% of those who choose to have abortions are already mothers says a lot- they understand more than anyone. I was on birth control and it failed,” Rose McGowan wrote.

“I realised I could not bring a child into my world and simultaneously change the world. I do not regret my decision and it was not made lightly. If you do not want an abortion, don’t get one. My body, my choice, my life. Have you had to make a choice? Let’s talk and use hashtag #HonestAbortion.”

rose mcgowen

Uma Thurman

In an op-ed for The Washington Post, actress Uma Thurman recounted an abortion from her teenage years, calling it her “darkest secret.” 

Thurman called how she was impregnated by a “much older man” and decided to terminate the pregnancy. Later, she describes the “shame” she felt as a result of her decision. 

“There is so much pain in this story. It has been my darkest secret until now,” she wrote. 

“The abortion I had as a teenager was the hardest decision of my life, one that caused me anguish then and that saddens me even now, but it was the path to the life full of joy and love that I have experienced. Choosing not to keep that early pregnancy allowed me to grow up and become the mother I wanted and needed to be.”


Jemima Kirke

Girls Actress Jemima Kirke revealed that she sought an abortion during college in 2007, but made the decision not to speak publicly about it due to the “embarrassment” around the topic. 

In a video shot for Draw The Line — a campaign by the Centre for Reproductive Rights’ in the US, she said: “I wasn’t sure that I wanted to be attached to this person for the rest of my life,” she said, adding, “My life was just not conducive to raising a happy, healthy child. So, I decided to get an abortion.”


Laura Prepon

In 2018, Orange Is The New Black actress Laura Prepon made the decision to terminate her pregnancy after her child was diagnosed in-utero with cystic hygroma  a cyst, or a group of cysts, which are caused by an abnormal development of the lymphatic vascular system.

“Our neonatal specialist told us the brain was not growing and the bones were not growing,” Prepon revealed to People at the time. “We were told the pregnancy would not go to full term and that my body was at risk carrying any longer.”

Prepon was 16 weeks along and in her second trimester when she received the devastating news, revealing that she “felt like a failure” afterward. 


Phoebe Bridgers

Musician Phoebe Bridgers took to Instagram to reveal that she had an abortion while on tour in October 2021. While she didn’t name the man with whom she fell pregnant to, she was rumoured to be dating actor Paul Mescal at the time,. The couple split in late 2022.

Bridgers shared her personal news in the wake of the Roe v. Wade being debated in the United States Supreme Court in May 2022. 


Alyssa Milano

Actress Alyssa Milano revealed she had two abortions in the span of a few months back in 1993. 

“In 1993, I had two abortions,” she said, during an episode of her podcast, Sorry Not Sorry. “I was in love for the first time, in the breathless way you can only be in love when you are young. It was huge. … It filled every part of living. It was a joyful and exciting and powerful time in my life.”

Despite being on birth control at the time, Milano said she still managed to fall pregnant, which was made even harder for her having been raised as a devout Catholic. 

“I chose. It was my choice. And it was absolutely the right choice for me,” she said. “It was not an easy choice. It was not something I wanted but it was something I needed – like most health care is,” she added. 


Meadow Walker

In June 24, 2022, Meadow, daughter of late Paul Walker revealed that she’d had an abortion in 2020. 

“Today marks a huge setback in history—a profound injustice to women across the United States,” she wrote on Instagram. 

“There are countless women who have struggled with making the decision to have an abortion. I too have battled with the choice but in 2020, when the world was collapsing during the pandemic, I sought an abortion.”

She continued, “It is a very private and personal experience—the way it should be. I was lucky enough to have a great doctor who supported me through the debilitating process—with their help, I’m able to be the happy and healthy person I am today. Now, knowing even more women won’t have the opportunity to seek safe termination and choose their bodies first is absolutely heartbreaking. In a world that constantly marginalizes females, this feels like the biggest assault of them all. Banning abortion does not prevent abortions; it prevents safe abortions.”


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