Here, Lena Dunham Discusses Reproductive Choice

News. Posted 3 years ago

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Lena Dunham has been a devoted pro-choice advocate ever since she became a public figure, via the explosion of her HBO show Girls, in 2012. She regularly takes to Twitter and Instagram to declare her pro-choice stance, which you can read below, and over here.

“My mother raised me to believe that choice—the freedom to decide what you want to do with your life, how you want to be perceived and treated, to dress and act and engage the world in whatever way feels most natural, safe, and kind to you—was not a privilege but a right. She also taught me that when it came to pregnancy, I had choices. This is all to say that I didn’t so much discover my passion for reproductive-justice issues as inherit it.

My mother, Laurie Simmons, along with Louise Lawler, Cindy Sherman, Marilyn Minter, and the late Sarah Charlesworth, is part of a generation of female artists who have challenged the art world to see them as peers, as players in what had long been a man’s game before they stepped on the field. These women didn’t leave the fight at the gallery, though—they have also been tireless defenders of a woman’s right to choose. Many female artists joined forces in 1992 to found the downtown ­Manhattan–based Women’s Action Coalition, which fused art and politics, and along with other daughters of WAC women I joined their meetings and protests. And though WAC is no more, their support for choice continues: This month, Marilyn, Cindy, and my mother chair a stellar auction at Sotheby’s to benefit Planned Parenthood.

I have spent the last three years working closely with Planned Parenthood—as an advocate and as an informal student of what they do on both the political and health-care fronts. I have been so impressed, enlightened, and moved by everything they have brought to the table for nearly a century: choice, of course, but also a deep knowledge of all areas of women’s health and family planning. I am proud to be the daughter of a supporter—and to have grown into a supporter on my own terms.”

Jemima Kirke, Lena Dunham’s HBO Girls’ co-star, recently recorded a video in which she detailed her own abortion, paying particular attention to the barriers to reproductive health services that exist for women in the States.

The popularisation of the belief that women should have reproductive freedom is an incredibly important issue right now. In 2013, for example, 22 US states enacted 70 anti-abortion measures, with 43 and 92 anti-abortion measures enacted in 2012 and 2011 respectively.

The legislative creep against reproductive rights for women has progressed so far in the US that, at the beginning of April, Arizona passed a law that requires its doctors to tell medication abortion patients that their procedures can be reversed, even though there is no medical evidence to support this.

Liked this? Read these articles about womens’ issues:

1) Arizona is Now Making Doctors Lie to Their Patients About Abortions

2) Watch Girls’ Jemima Kirke Real Talk About Having an Abortion

3) This Shop Charges Women Less to Reflect the Gender Pay Gap

4) How Instagram is Perpetuating The Beauty Myth

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