Actress, writer and director Lena Dunham has apologized after making controversial comments about abortion on her podcast last week.
On her "Women Of The Hour" podcast, Dunham was discussing the stigma of abortion when she said that while she hasn't had an abortion, she wishes she had had one.
“I realized then that even I was carrying within myself a stigma around this issue. Even I, the women who cares as much as anybody about a woman’s right to choose, felt it was important that people know that I was unblemished in this department,” she said. “ … Now, I can say that I still haven’t had an abortion, but I wish I had.”
On Tuesday, Dunham took to Instagram to apologize for her comments.
"I truly hope a distasteful joke on my part won't diminish the amazing work of all the women who participated," she said, in part. "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."
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.
Dunham’s apology came after people of all genders and political persuasion took to social media to criticize her comments.
For Lena Dunham to make light of an emotional decision that many women have had to go through isn't cool. I'm all for protest but do better.
— Simar Ahluwalia (@sahluwal) December 20, 2016
So @lenadunham said she says she wishes she had an abortion, further fueling my hatred for her. pic.twitter.com/BdiIb4KWpV
— Leah Rocketto (@LRocketto) December 20, 2016
I know women who have had an abortion & not a single one has made light of the situation by saying something so distasteful like @lenadunham
— amber nicole (@AmberKCCO) December 20, 2016
.@lenadunham FYI an abortion is not something you "get to have." It's an awful experience one SHOULDN'T wish for like a gift from Santa ??
— s a s h a (@kisslow) December 20, 2016
Dunham is no stranger to creating controversy. In September, Dunham apologized to NFL player Odell Beckham, Jr. after comments she made during an interview with comedienne Amy Schumer. She has also faced criticism after she published a story in her book about her sexual exploration as a child.
Dunham's comments can be heard below. Her comments on abortion come between 14:00 and 15:00