Chelsea Handler Was '16 & Pregnant' & Had an Abortion

Jacqueline Burt Cote

Chelsea HandlerGet knocked up, get a TV show? That's the message Chelsea Handler thinks reality shows like Teen Mom and 16 and Pregnant are sending to girls, which is why she came forward and talked about her own abortion at age 16 to The New York Times, saying, "Those are things people shouldn't be dishonest about."

Whatever your stance on abortion, you've got to agree with Handler on that one. If teen pregnancy is now so un-taboo that we can have more than one TV show about it, then the conversation needs to be opened up to address the entire spectrum of possible experiences: Abortion. Adoption. Poverty. Sure, there's gonna be a happy ending or two somewhere in there, and you know what? Don't hide those either. As with every other "sensitive" issue out there, teen pregnancy comes in many shades of gray. Paint it black or white -- or just throw a ton of glitter on it so everybody stares -- and you're telling a lie.

I'm impressed with Handler's honesty. It's hard for some women to admit they've had abortions to their closest friends and family members, never mind sharing that piece of your past with the world. I don't doubt that Handler is going to get tremendous amounts of hate mail for this "confession," but I'm certain there will be some thank-you notes thrown into the mix too.

The only other celebrity I can think of who's been frank about her very non-glamorous experience with teen pregnancy is Oprah, who, as a teen, gave birth to a premature baby who later died. However, I have to wonder if more celebs will slowly start telling their own stories. I think they should. It's not because I think they're obligated to reveal every last detail about their personal lives. But maybe if people in the public eye would tell it like it is more often, the rest of us would follow their lead. And if we have a more realistic perspective on teen pregnancy, we can do a better job of preventing it.

Do you think more celebs should be as honest as Chelsea Handler?

Image via Barnes & Noble

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