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Lena Dunham Responds to Backlash Over ‘Distasteful Joke’ About Abortion

”My words were spoken from a sort of ‘delusional girl’ persona I often inhabit,“ the ”Girls“ star explains

Lena Dunham is walking back from what she admitted was a “distasteful joke” about abortion on a recent episode of her podcast.

“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,” the “Girls” star wrote on Instagram. “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,” Dunham explained. “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.”

Dunham recalled on podcast “Women of the Hour” a time she was asked by Planned Parenthood to share her abortion story.

“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,” the comedic actress said.

“Even I, the woman who cares as much as anybody about a woman’s right to choose, felt it was important that people know that I was unblemished in this department. So many people I love – my mother, my best friends – have had to have abortions for all kinds of reasons,” Dunham continued at the time. “I feel so proud of them for their bravery, for their self-knowledge, and it was a really important moment for me then to realize that I had internalized some of what society was throwing at us, and I had to put it in the garbage. Now I can say that I still haven’t had an abortion, but I wish I had.”

Alright. Anyway, here’s how Dunham concluded her Instagram explanation:

“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,” she wrote. “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.”

Dunham added that for her transgression, she made a “sizable donation” to abortion funds in New York, Texas and Ohio.

Here’s her Instagram post:

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