Uma Thurman has shared that she terminated a pregnancy when she was still a teenager, which she referred to as her "darkest secret until now," in response to the abortion ban enacted by the Texas Legislature.
"I have nothing to gain from this disclosure, and perhaps much to lose," the Pulp Fiction actress, who went into acting at 15, wrote in an op-ed for the Washington Post. "In revealing the hole that this decision carved in me, I hope 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. I can assure you that no one finds herself on that table on purpose."
Thurman explained that she was "accidentally impregnated by a much older man" while in her late teens. "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?"
After talking with her parents, Thurman made the difficult decision to have an abortion.
"My childish fantasy of motherhood was soundly corrected as I weighed answers to their very precise questions. I was just starting out in my career and didn't have the means to provide a stable home, even for myself," she wrote. "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."
Now a mother of three, Thurman said she has "no regrets" about her choice.
"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," she said. "Choosing not to keep that early pregnancy allowed me to grow up and become the mother I wanted and needed to be."
Thurman said she decided to talk about what she had gone through "in the hope of drawing the flames of controversy away from the vulnerable women on whom this law will have an immediate effect."
The Boston native has watched the debate about the Texas law, she said, with "great sadness and something akin to horror."
The Texas legislation, which bans abortions after roughly six weeks — before many women even know they are pregnant — took effect Sept. 1, after the United States Supreme Court failed to act on an emergency request to stop it. Under it, citizens of the state can sue those who help a woman undergo an abortion, whether it is by, for example, performing the procedure or even providing money or transportation for an abortion, for $10,000 and legal fees, if they win their case. On Monday, a San Antonio doctor became the first person to be sued under the law.