Jemima Kirke Shares Her Abortion Story & Wants to Hear Yours (VIDEO)

jemima kirkeArtist, actress and mom Jemima Kirke is sharing her abortion story. In a video, Kirke says she was a 21-year-old college student, living a life that was "not conducive to raising a healthy, happy child," and in a relationship with a young man who would not make a good life partner. But she didn't simply get an abortion -- it was a little more complicated than that.

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Kirke goes on to say that because she didn't want her mother to know she was pregnant she paid for the abortion out of pocket, draining her checking account. She didn't have enough for anesthesia.

Wow -- no anesthesia? That sounds horrible.

"It’s the obstacles and this stigma that makes these things not completely unavailable, and that’s the tricky part,” Kirke says. “We do have free choice and we are able to do what we want, but then there are these hoops we have to jump through to get [abortions].”

But what Kirke is particularly concerned about is that stigma. "I've always felt that reproductive issues should be something that women should be able to talk about freely, especially among each other," she says. "And I still see shame and embarrassment around terminating pregnancies and getting pregnant." This is why Kirke says she has always tried to be open about sharing her stories, especially with other women.

Kirke's hope is that the stigma -- and the political battles over women's reproductive rights -- will be gone by the time her daughters (two she's given birth to and a stepdaughter) are in their teens and twenties. Key to that, she believes, is women telling their own stories about their reproductive lives.

Kirke's PSA is in collaboration with the Center for Reproductive Rights. However you feel about abortion specifically, I think her appeal makes sense for all of us. I agree -- we need to be more open about sharing our stories, not just about abortion but about other reproductive issues, like the struggle we often have trying to find safe and affordable birth control.

And it's not only being willing to tell your stories. It's also listening to other women's stories with compassion instead of judgment. Oh, if I had a dime for every time I've seen a woman shame another for having unprotected sex, or having children outside a stable relationship, or getting pregnant before she was prepared to have children, or having sex at all. Why so cruel? Why are we policing each other like that? What would it cost us if we stopped the judging?

Have you ever felt shamed for your reproductive choices?

 

Image via Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images Entertainment

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