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Sunday, October 17, 2021

Uma Thurman details getting an abortion at 15 in op-ed against Texas law

Uma Thurman says she’s revealing her “darkest secret,” detailing getting an abortion when she was 15 to illustrate her opposition to Texas’s controversial new abortion law.

“I have followed the course of Texas’s radical antiabortion law with great sadness, and something akin to horror,” the “Kill Bill” star wrote in a Tuesday op-ed for The Washington Post.

The legislation, which was signed by Texas Gov. Greg AbbottGreg AbbottBudowsky: Newsom soars while Trump, Abbott, DeSantis ratings lag Biden launches investigation into Texas school mask mandate ban Texas governor signs more abortion restrictions into law MORE (R) in May and took effect earlier this month, bans abortion at approximately six weeks, before many women are aware they are pregnant. The bill also gives a “bounty” of $10,000 for people who report health care providers who perform abortions in violation of the law.

Thurman wrote that she would reveal her own experience for the first time publicly “in the hope of drawing the flames of controversy away from the vulnerable women on whom this law will have an immediate effect.”

The Academy Award nominee recounted being accidentally impregnated at 15 by an older man while working as an actor overseas and “living out of a suitcase” on her own. She recalled feeling brokenhearted after calling her parents and having “decided as a family that I couldn’t go through with the pregnancy, and agreed that termination was the right choice.”

The abortion at a doctor’s office in Germany, Thurman wrote, “hurt terribly, but I didn’t complain. I had internalized so much shame that I felt I deserved the pain.”

“My fingers were tightly locked across my chest, and when the procedure was done the doctor looked down at me said, ‘You have beautiful hands — you remind me of my daughter,’ ” Thurman, 51, recalled. “That single gesture of humanity is seared in my mind as one of the most compassionate moments I have ever experienced. In his eyes, I was a person, I was a daughter, I was still a girl.”

Now a mom of three, Thurman said, “I conceived my beautiful, magical children with men whom I loved and trusted enough to dare to bring a child into this world.”

“I have no regrets for the path I have traveled. I applaud and support women who make a different choice.”

Calling her choice the “hardest decision” of her life, Thurman said although it still saddens her today, “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.”

Blasting the abortion law in the Lone Star State, Thurman called it a “staging ground for a human rights crisis for American women.”

“This law is yet another discriminatory tool against those who are economically disadvantaged, and often, indeed, against their partners,” Thurman wrote.

The performer said Texas’s law “pits citizen against citizen, creating new vigilantes who will prey on these disadvantaged women, denying them the choice not to have children they are not equipped to care for, or extinguishing their hopes for the future family they might choose.”

Thurman wrote she had “nothing to gain” from disclosing her experience and “perhaps much to lose.”

“You might not be interested in the opinions of an actress, but given this new outrage, I feel it is my responsibility to stand up in their shoes,” she said. The entertainer said she was compelled to share her story in the hope “that some light will shine through, reaching women and girls who might feel a shame that they can’t protect themselves from and have no agency over.”

Thurman concluded her piece with a message addressed to the women and girls of Texas who are “outraged by having our bodies’ rights taken by the state” and who are “made vulnerable and subjected to shame because you have a uterus.”

“I see you. Have courage,” she wrote. “You are beautiful. You remind me of my daughters.”

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