Lena Dunham apologises for ‘distasteful joke’ about abortion

The 'Girls' star and writer speaks out in favour of choice

Lena Dunham has spoken out to apologise for any offence she may have caused with a ‘distasteful joke’ about abortion.

The Girls star, writer and comedian made the comments during her Women Of The Hour podcast, in which she recalled talking about termination during a planned parenthood meeting in Texas.

She told listeners she had never gone through a termination herself, but joked “but I wish I had”. This sparked a wave of controversy, with one pro-life charity accusing her of treating abortions “like getting your appendix removed”.

Dunham then took to Instagram for a lengthy and heartfelt reponse, clarifying her stance on abortion with an image of the word ‘choice’.

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.

A photo posted by Lena Dunham (@lenadunham) on

“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 said. “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.”

She added: “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 in New York, Texas and Ohio 💰I look forward to fighting with you all for the next four years and beyond.”

Lena Dunham

Getty

Dunham recently made headlines when she shared the video for ‘Sensual Pantsuit Anthem’, a song that parodies public celebrity endorsements while actively endorsing Hillary Clinton’s run for the White House.

For more information on abortions, visit NHS Choices.