Lena Dunham has apologized for saying she wishes she’d had an abortion.
The “Girls” creator stirred controversy when she talked about abortion on the podcast “Women of the Hour” and has since backtracked on her comments.
She wrote on Instagram, “I truly hope a distasteful joke on my part won’t diminish the amazing work of all the women who participated ... I would never, ever intentionally trivialize the emotional and physical challenges of terminating a pregnancy.”
The joke in question arose when Dunham talked on “Women of the Hour” about the time she visited a Texas Planned Parenthood years ago, when a girl asked her to talk about her experience with abortion.
“I sort of jumped. ‘I haven’t had an abortion,’ I told her. I wanted to make it really clear to her that, as much as I was going out and fighting for other women’s options, I myself had never had an abortion,” said Dunham. The writer and actress said she felt that she was furthering the stigma around the issue by being so quick to say she had not had an abortion.
She added, “Now I can say that I still haven’t had an abortion, but I wish I had.”
Dunham’s joke mirrors a moment on her show “Girls,” when her character Hannah is getting an STD test and tells the doctor she wishes she had AIDS: “It’s also a really good excuse to be mad at a guy. It’s not something dumb, like, ‘You didn’t text me.’ It’s like, ‘You gave me AIDS, so deal with that forever.’ Maybe I’m not scared of AIDS. Maybe I thought I was scared of AIDS, but what I really am is wanting AIDS.”
On the show, her gynecologist responds, “That is an incredibly silly thing to say. You do not want AIDS.”