Uma Thurman Reveals 'Darkest Secret' She's Kept Since She Was A Teenager In Powerful Op-Ed Against Texas Abortion Law
Uma Thurman has come out against Texas’ anti-abortion law in a powerful and personal op-ed.
The actress opened up in The Washington Post about her “sadness” and “horror” while following “the course of Texas’s radical antiabortion law.” She decided to pen the protest opinion piece “in the hope of drawing the flames of controversy away from the vulnerable women on whom this law will have an immediate effect.”
Expressing her “responsibility to stand up” for other women, she delved into her own experience, writing:
“I started my acting career at 15, working in an environment where I was often the only kid in the room. In my late teens, I was accidentally impregnated by a much older man. I was living out of a suitcase in Europe, far from my family, and about to start a job. I struggled to figure out what to do. I wanted to keep the baby, but how?”
The Golden Globe winner described calling her family and talking through the decision with her parents, who cautioned her about her lack of stability at the time. She shared:
“We decided as a family that I couldn’t go through with the pregnancy, and agreed that termination was the right choice. My heart was broken nonetheless.”
The Kill Bill star recalled:
“An older female friend in Germany offered to help me. In her doctor’s office in Cologne, I was given a local anesthetic and had an abortion. I lay awake on the table while the doctor, who was a kind man, explained every step of the process as it happened. It hurt terribly, but I didn’t complain. I had internalized so much shame that I felt I deserved the pain.”
In a moment of compassion she said was “seared in my mind,” the doctor kindly mentioned that Uma reminded him of his own daughter, which in turn helped her remember that “I was a person, I was a daughter, I was still a girl.” From her perspective in the present, she reflected:
“There is so much pain in this story. It has been my darkest secret until now. I am 51 years old, and I am sharing it with you from the home where I have raised my three children, who are my pride and joy. My life has been extraordinary, at times filled with heartbreak, challenge, loss and fear — just like so many women’s lives — but also marked, like theirs, by courage and compassion.”
Now she is the proud mother of Luna Thurman-Busson, Levon Roan Thurman-Hawke, and actress Maya Hawke. She noted that later in life she had the opportunity to conceive her children with “men whom I loved and trusted enough to dare to bring a child into this world.” So while she felt shame at the time, she realized later she’d made the right decision for herself:
“I have no regrets for the path I have traveled. I applaud and support women who make a different choice. 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.”
The essay went on:
“I have nothing to gain from this disclosure, and perhaps much to lose. In revealing the hole that this decision carved in me, I 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. I can assure you that no one finds herself on that table on purpose.”
In a scathing critique of the decision makers involved in bringing the law to fruition, she continued:
“The Texas abortion law was allowed to take effect without argument by the Supreme Court, which, due in no small part to its lack of ideological diversity, is 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. Women and children of wealthy families retain all the choices in the world, and face little risk.”
She described herself as “grief stricken” by a measure included in the law that, per the dissent written by Justice Sonia Sotomayor, “deputized the state’s citizens as bounty hunters, offering them cash prizes for civilly prosecuting their neighbors’ medical procedures.” Uma concluded:
“To all of you — to women and girls of Texas, afraid of being traumatized and hounded by predatory bounty hunters; to all women 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 are beautiful. You remind me of my daughters.”
Wow. What a powerful message.
It’s a sad state of affairs when women have to offer up their own private and painful experiences in an attempt to get lawmakers and pro-lifers to understand and empathize with them. We can’t imagine how difficult this was for Uma, and we appreciate her courage and honesty. We hope her words, along with the other activists fighting for a women’s right to choose, makes a difference in this battle.
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