Uma Thurman Opens Up About Teenage Pregnancy, Abortion; Offers Solidarity To Pregnant Texans
A new law in Texas makes it far more difficult for a pregnant person to seek an abortion. While some individuals nd organizations seek to challenge the law in court, actress Uma Thurman is joining others who are challenging it by speaking out, sharing her own experience and helping others understand how the law does harm.
Thurman, in an opinion piece for Washington Post, describes her own experience as a teenager. It’s not an unfamiliar story, in a lot of ways.
A young woman — Uma says “late teens” — finds herself pregnant. The father is an older man (“much older”) and the relationship is “not viable.” Notably, those out to demonize women who seek an abortion rarely ask why the father hasn’t stepped up to make keeping the pregnancy a more viable option. In this case, the teenager sought help from her parents, and with their support, came to the conclusion that she couldn’t carry the pregnancy to term.
Fortunately, Thurman had the option, and was able to terminate the pregnancy and go forward in a life and career that made her able to support herself the children she would have later.
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, 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.
Thurman uses her op-ed to point out that this access is a privilege, and that Texas law, like most abortion restrictions, disproportionately affects low-income families, maintaining the wealth gap.
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.
Wealthy women, indeed, can still leave the state, or even the country, for a quiet abortion disguised as a vacation or business trip. A pregnant person in Texas who can’t afford the trip might find that they are quite stuck for options.
While Thurman fights the law in the court of public opinion, and throws her solidarity in with those who are hurt and endangered by it, others are taking different avenues. As reported by NPR, one doctor in Texas, Dr. Alan Braid, chose to make a public announcement that he has defied the law by providing an abortion to a patient whose pregnancy was past the 6-week cutoff, but still within the first trimester.
He’s waiting for the lawsuits that are likely to follow from anti-choice groups, and an abortion-rights advocacy group Center for Reproductive Rights, is waiting to provide him with a robust defense when and if it happens, allowing him to challenge the law.