Lena Dunham Apologizes for ‘Distasteful Joke’ with Abortion 'Donation'

It’s never a good sign when you infuriate both sides of the abortion issue. Lena Dunham found out the hard way: Hollywood breaks boundaries on abortion every day, but certain limits do still exist.

Tuesday evening, the 30-year-old actress posted an apology to her 2.9 million Instagram followers following a sickening podcast episode where she declared, “Now I can say that I still haven’t had an abortion, but I wish I had.” After her comments trended on social media and sparked a media backlash, Dunham asked for forgiveness by making a “sizable donation” to other women’s abortions.

To begin her apology, Dunham tried to stress that her latest podcast “meant to tell a multifaceted story about reproductive choice in America.” She then expressed her regret [emphasis added]:

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.

To make “amends,” Dunham donated to the National Network of Abortion Funds, which helps women financially get abortions.

“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,” she wrote. “I look forward to fighting with you all for the next four years and beyond.”

 

 

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

 

Her comments went viral after NewsBusters broke the story picked up by conservative outlets including LifeNews, The Blaze, Twitchy and Breitbart. From there, outlets such as Hot Air,  The Washington Times and Daily Caller commented on the story before it landed on media sites including People, Fox News, USA Today, Cosmo, Huffington Post, Entertainment Weekly and Daily Beast.

A producer of and actress in HBO’s Girls, Dunham boasts a long history of using her celebrity status to push for abortion and defend America’s largest abortion provider, Planned Parenthood.

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