Fans aren’t rushing to forgive actress Lena Dunham following her controversial comments about abortion. The Girls creator and actress said she “wished” she could have had an abortion – an act she believed would have made her a better women’s rights activist.
“And I realized then that even I was carrying within myself stigma around the issue. Even I, the woman who cares as much as anybody about a woman’s right to choose, felt that it was important that people know that I was unblemished in this department. Now I can say that I still haven’t had an abortion, but I wish I had,” she said, concluding her Dec. 14 Women of the Hour podcast.
Dunham, 30, issued an apology on her Instagram Tuesday, labelling her comment “a distasteful joke” that was lost in translation, and also took the opportunity to provide an explanation for her poor choice of words.
“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,” she writes. “I truly hope a distasteful joke on my part won’t diminish the amazing work of all the women who participated.”
She goes on to say her words were spoken from “a sort of ‘delusional girl’ persona” she often inhabits.
“I would never, ever intentionally trivialize the emotional and physical challenges of terminating a pregnancy,” she says. “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.”
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.
She concluded her apology by saying she would donate to the National Network of Abortion Funds in New York, Texas and Ohio.
Her apology may have gotten over 15,700 “likes” on Instagram as of Wednesday morning, but many on social media made it clear her apology wasn’t good enough.
Has anyone checked on Lena Dunham today? I think she might be talking about how she wishes she got kicked off a Delta flight.
— Gingerbread Condo (@eternalkerri) December 21, 2016
I'm *so over* Lena Dunham hiding behind ignorance & "it was just a joke" Read a book, become a real feminist, or stop pretending. pic.twitter.com/VfWTMqvjjw
— Caitlyn Jarvis (@CaitlynJarvis) December 21, 2016
Lena Dunham wishing that she had had an abortion is the female equivalent of Donald Trump saying he'd always wanted to win a Purple Heart.
— Dehydration Station (@DehydrationStn) December 21, 2016
Is there one person out there who doesn't hate Lena Dunham? Why is she still saying things? Go away please.
— Kendra ✊♀ (@kendra_516) December 21, 2016
'Girls' star @lenadunham apologizes for saying 'I wish I had' an abortion.
— Tsi’naajinii (@badoniec12) December 21, 2016
Truly disgusted by the comment .@lenadunham had to say about abortion. For a feminist, she sure has a horrible mentality about women.
— 🤷🏻♂️ (@law13y) December 21, 2016
FYI Lena Dunham: Srry you never got to "experience" an abortion. Your donations to abortion funds will not make you any less ignorant.
— S A D I A (@sahdizzle) December 21, 2016
Why is Lena Dunham incapable of being decent? How can you be so reckless in your speech when we already have a hard time fighting this fight
— Samra (@heysamra) December 21, 2016
@lenadunham is like Freddy Kruger. Ignore her and stop talking about her and she will lose all power over us.
— Josh Kotsabasakis (@TheKotsabulous) December 21, 2016
However, some fans were on-hand to defend the Girls star.
— Lianne Stokes (@SweetLianne) December 21, 2016
leave Lena Dunham alone as her comments were taken in the moment and not in general context
— Lo (@LoHeezyy) December 21, 2016
Dunham is gearing up for the sixth and final season of Girls, which premieres on Feb. 12.