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Uma Thurman Reveals Abortion as a Teen: ‘My Heart Was Broken’

In a Washington Post op-ed, the actress says she hopes disclosing ”her darkest secret“ from her teenage years will help women who are feeling powerless

In a Washington Post op-ed, the actress says she hopes disclosing “her darkest secret” from her teenage years will help women who are feeling powerless

Uma Thurman on Tuesday wrote an op-ed for The Washington Post condemning the Texas abortion law, revealing her “darkest secret” that she had an abortion in her late teens.

She shared the secret in hopes that “some light will shine through, reaching women and girls who might feel a shame that they can’t protect themselves from and have no agency over.”

In September, the state passed a new law that effectively bans abortions after six weeks of pregnancy. The law allows private citizens to sue abortion providers and any individuals helping a women get an abortion — even Uber drivers for transporting them.

Now 51, Thurman said she had started acting at 15. By her late teens, she had been “accidentally impregnated by a much older man” while living out of a suitcase in Europe, with no family around and starting a new job. She recalled wanting to keep the baby but not knowing how she would go about it.

After calling home to discuss with her family, they concluded that a relationship with that man was not an option — and raising the baby as a teenager herself would be difficult. “My childish fantasy of motherhood was soundly corrected as I weighed answers to their very precise questions. … We decided as a family that I couldn’t go through with the pregnancy, and agreed that termination was the right choice. My heart was broken nonetheless.”

Reacting to the law in Texas, Thurman said this only pits people against one another and allows vigilantes to go after disadvantaged women. It denies them their ability to choose whether to have children, she continued.

“The Texas abortion law was allowed to take effect without argument by the Supreme Court, which, due in no small part to its lack of ideological diversity, is a staging ground for a human rights crisis for American women. This law is yet another discriminatory tool against those who are economically disadvantaged, and often, indeed, against their partners. Women and children of wealthy families retain all the choices in the world, and face little risk,” Thurman wrote.

“I have followed the course of Texas’s radical antiabortion law with great sadness, and something akin to horror. Now, in the hope of drawing the flames of controversy away from the vulnerable women on whom this law will have an immediate effect, I am sharing my own experience. You might not be interested in the opinions of an actress, but given this new outrage, I feel it is my responsibility to stand up in their shoes,” Thurman wrote.