Uma Thurman Revealed She Had an Abortion as a Teen In an Essay Condemning New Texas Ban

In an op-ed for The Washington Post, Thurman revealed that the abortion she had as a teen was "the hardest decision" of her life.

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Uma Thurman revealed her "darkest secret" in an effort to raise awareness over Texas' extreme new abortion law: She had an abortion as a teen.

For background, Senate Bill 8, which went into effect earlier this month, prohibits abortions after six weeks of pregnancy — before most women even realize they're pregnant. According to Planned Parenthood, for people with a normal, regular menstrual cycle (with periods occurring every 21 to 35 days), a six-week deadline could be as early as two weeks after a missed period, which they may not even notice as unusual at that point. (

SB8 also stipulates that private citizens can sue doctors or clinic workers who they believe perform illegal abortions, as well as anyone who could be considered to have aided an abortion to take place. This could also include someone who drives a woman to a medical appointment or anyone who helps to pay for the procedure. If the lawsuits are successful, the complainants can be awarded up to $10,000. (

In a blistering op-ed for The Washington Post, Thurman wrote Tuesday, "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." (

Thurman, 51, also recalled her own harrowing abortion experience, writing in The Washington Post, "I started my acting career at 15, working in an environment where I was often the only kid in the room. In my late teens, I was accidentally impregnated by a much older man. I was living out of a suitcase in Europe, far from my family, and about to start a job. I struggled to figure out what to do. I wanted to keep the baby, but how?"

Thurman wrote that when she called her parents to discuss the issue, her mother was "gravely ill" in the hospital — and that it was the first time she had ever discussed sex with her parents at all. The actress also detailed the conversations she had with her family about how to proceed, ultimately deciding together to terminate her pregnancy. She had the procedure done at a clinic in Cologne, Germany, and said everything about the experience was painful, both physically and emotionally. "It hurt terribly, but I didn't complain," explained Thurman in The Washington Post. "I had internalized so much shame that I felt I deserved the pain." (

Thurman also pointed out that restricting access to safe abortions often disproportionately affects women of low socioeconomic status. "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," she wrote in The Washinton Post. "I can assure you that no one finds herself on that table on purpose."

Thurman now has three children: Daughter Maya, 23, and son Levon Roan, 19, with ex-husband Ethan Hawke. She also shares daughter Luna, 9, with former partner Arpad Busson.

"The abortion I had as a teenager was the hardest decision of my life, one that caused me anguish then and that saddens me even now," wrote Thurman in The Washington Post. "But it was the path to the life full of joy and love that I have experienced. Choosing not to keep that early pregnancy allowed me to grow up and become the mother I wanted and needed to be."

"To all women outraged by having our bodies' rights taken by the state; and to all of you who are made vulnerable and subjected to shame because you have a uterus — I say: I see you," she concluded. "Have courage. You are beautiful."

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