Chelsea Handler is thankful she could get two abortions when she was 16.
“We all make mistakes all the time,” Handler wrote. “I happened to f— up twice at the age of 16.”
Handler said that she had unprotected sex with her then-boyfriend, not thinking about the consequences of having a baby at that age.
“I just thought, ‘Why not?’ I can have a baby. Maybe I’ll have twins and give them rhyming names,” she wrote. “Of course, the idea that I would have a child and raise it by myself at that age, when I couldn’t even find my way home at night, was ridiculous. My parents recognized that, so they acted like parents for one of the very first times in my life and took me to Planned Parenthood.”
The Supreme Court ruled 5-3 on Monday that a Texas law requiring abortion providers to meet ambulatory surgical standards and have physicians with admitting privileges to a nearby hospital was unconstitutional. The law — which led to 25 abortion clinics being shut down — was criticized by pro-choice activists as being an expensive, unnecessary and an “undue burden.”
Handler pointed to the 1973 Supreme Court ruling Roe v. Wade as providing her the opportunity to make a thoughtful decision about having a child as a teenager.
“Like millions of women, I can live my life without an unplanned child born out of an unhealthy relationship because of Roe v. Wade,” Handler wrote. “I’m grateful that I came to my senses and was able to get an abortion legally without risking my health or bankrupting myself or my family.”
“Anybody who carefully decides not to become a parent — let alone a bad parent, which is what I would have become — should be applauded for making a smart and sustainable decision,” she added.
Though Handler said she doesn’t believe America will ever agree on the topic of abortion, she doesn’t think Roe v. Wade will be in danger of getting overturned.
“Once you go forward in history, you don’t go backward. That would be like the government saying, ‘Okay, we’re taking away your right to vote too,” Handler wrote. “You can’t introduce a black person and be like, ‘Oh, I just got a slave!’ That era is over.”
“I’d love for somebody to try to tell me what to do with my body,” Handler concluded. “I dare them.”
Read the full essay here.