Jemima Kirke, perhaps better known as Jessa on Girls, has opened up and discussed the abortion she had in 2007, in a PSA for the Center for Reproductive Rights.
During the conversation, which you can watch at the end of this article, Jemima describes the personal obstacles she faced when trying to obtain an abortion without being able to tell her parents; that she had to “empty my checking account”, and “if I didn’t take the anesthesia, I would be able to afford to do this”.
In the US, an abortion procedure that includes anethesia costs more than one that doesn’t include anethesia, a fact which, during this conversation, allows Jemima to move on to discussing the obstacles women face when requiring reproductive healthcare, and the stigma attached to discussing reproductive issues; “I still see shame and embarrassment around terminating pregnancies and getting pregnant…so I’ve always been open about sharing my experiences.”
This video couldn’t come at a more poignant time, considering US legislators are doing their darndest to stigmatise abortions, and make them as unavailable as possible. Last week, Arizona Governor Doug Ducey passed legislation that requires doctors to inform patients that medication abortions can be reversed, even though there is no evidence to support this.
Furthermore, In 2013, 22 states enacted 70 anti-abortion measures, with 43 and 92 anti-abortion measures enacted in 2012 and 2011 respectively.
Considering that, according to the Guttmacher Institute, 3 in 10 women will have an abortion before they turn 45, and 57% of these women will pay for it out of their own pocket because they need to keep it private, or because their insurance won’t cover it (which is also one part of Doug Ducey’s aforementioned legislation), the availability of abortions in the US deserves widespread attention.
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