Uma Thurman Has Penned An Emotional And Powerful Essay About Having An Abortion As A Teenager

“It has been my darkest secret until now.”

CONTENT WARNING: This article deals with the topics of abortion, miscarriage and pregnancy loss and may be distressing for some readers. If you or someone you know needs help, you can call Lifeline on 13 11 14.

Actor Uma Thurman has written an essay about an abortion that she experienced as a teenager, calling it her “darkest secret until now”.

In an op-ed for The Washington Post, the Kill Bill star spoke up against the recent abortion law in Texas, calling it a “discriminatory tool against those who are economically disadvantaged”, adding that it’s “a staging ground for a human rights crisis for American women.”

However, it was Thurman’s choice to share her own story that has seen her applauded by women around the world. Doing so, Thurman opened up about her experience “in the hope of drawing the flames of controversy away from the vulnerable women on whom this law will have an immediate effect.”

Additionally, the law will also mean that others can bring a civil lawsuit against those who provide abortions or anyone who helps someone to get an abortion, and unfortunately, the Supreme Court has chosen not to act on a request to block the law.

Texas Abortion Protest

In her op-ed, Thurman explains that she became pregnant in her late teens after being sexually assaulted by an older man.

Despite wanting to keep the pregnancy, she discussed her options with her family and ultimately chose to terminate with an abortion in Germany, since she didn’t have the means to raise the child on her own.

During this time, Thurman was trying to launch her career, while also “living out of a suitcase in Europe.”

“I lay awake on the table while the doctor, who was a kind man, explained every step of the process as it happened,” she wrote. “It hurt terribly, but I didn’t complain. I had internalised so much shame that I felt I deserved the pain.”

In 2018, Thurman previously opened up to The New York Times about the assault she had experienced at just 16 years old by a man 20 years her senior. 

However, while the experience left her feeling at her lowest, she has been able to find meaning in it all.

“I have no regrets for the path I have travelled. I applaud and support women who make a different choice,” she wrote for the Washington Post.

“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.”

Now, Thurman has been fortunate enough to become the mother of three children, but remains outraged that legislators enable vigilantes to “prey on” abortion patients for money. 

She adds that while some “might not be interested in the opinions of an actress,” and that she can relate to the situation many Texans might find themselves in.

“I can assure you that no one finds herself on that table on purpose,” she explains. She went on to acknowledge that people from “wealthy families retain all the choices in the world, and face little risk,” and she feels “outraged by having our bodies’ rights taken by the state; and to all of you who are made vulnerable and subjected to shame because you have a uterus—I say: I see you. Have courage.”

You can read the rest of her powerful op-ep for The Washington Post here.

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