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“I’m Alyssa Milano and I’ve had an abortion. I control my own body,” she said at the beginning of the episode, which was titled “My Abortion Story.”
“In 1993, I had two abortions,” the actress later said. “I was in love for the first time in the breathless way you can only be in love when you are young. It was huge — overwhelming even. It filled every part of living and it was a joyful and exciting and powerful time in my life.”
Milano said that she was on the birth control pill at the time. “I knew I was not ready to be a parent,” she said. Following a successful run on Who’s the Boss and having a number of film projects lined up, she knew that she wanted to focus on her acting career.
In addition to being on the pill, Milano was also on Accutane. The acne-fighting medication is known to cause birth defects in pregnancies. “I knew this, so using birth control was a doubly important decision for me,” she said of Accutane’s health risks.
“I still got pregnant,” she said. “It was devastating. I was raised Catholic and was suddenly put in conflict with my faith — a faith I was coming to realize empowered only men to make every single decision of what was allowed and what was not allowed. I had a career and a future and potential.”
She added that she suffered from “crippling anxiety.” Milano continued, “I knew at that time I was not equipped to be a mother and so I chose to have an abortion. I chose. It was my choice and it was absolutely the right choice for me. It was not an easy choice. It was not something I wanted, but it was something that I needed, like most health care is.”
“I refuse to let anyone else’s bullshit morality force me into a life of premarital celibacy. I refuse to live in the narrative that sexual pleasure is for men and that women exist to deliver that pleasure,” she said. “Nobody will say that he was at fault for enjoying sex with me, but you can be damned sure that the men enacting these laws think less of me for deriving the same pleasure from him.”
Following her first abortion, Milano continued her sexual relationship and remained on the pill. “A few months later I found out I was pregnant again. I had done what I knew to do to prevent pregnancy and was still pregnant, so once again I made the right decision to end that pregnancy,” she said.
Milano said that the new bills that limit abortions have caused her to reflect on what she would have lost had she not had the abortions. “I would not have my children — my beautiful, perfect, loving, kind and inquisitive children — who have a mother who was so very, very ready for them,” she said of the son and daughter she shares with husband, David Bugliari.
“I would not have my career. I would not have the ability or platform I use to fight against oppression with all my heart,” she continued. “I would never have met my amazing husband, David, whose steadfast and immeasurable love for me sustains me through these terrifying times.”
“Fifteen years after that first love had fizzled, my life would be completely lacking all its great joys,” she said. “I would never had been free to be myself — and that’s what this fight is all about: freedom.”
Prior to sharing her own experiences on the podcast, the actress had been outspoken in speaking out and protesting restrictive abortion laws. In May, Milano took to Twitter to ask women to join in a sex strike to protest strict abortion bans passed by Republican-controlled legislatures. Milano urged women in her tweet to stop having sex “until we get bodily autonomy back.”
She was also one of the many stars to speak out against the “heartbeat bill” in Georgia and asked Hollywood productions to withdraw from filming in the state after legislation was passed that bans abortion after a fetal heartbeat is detected.
The actress and activist has also gotten involved in the 2020 election, most recently with her grassroots fund to encourage voting in swing states. The fundraising initiative raises money for local grassroots organizations in Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. Donald Trump won by roughly 77,000 votes in those states during the 2016 presidential election.
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