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Chelsea Handler has been open about her teenage abortions in the past, but in a revealing essay for Playboy, the talk show host writes that it’s a choice she still doesn’t regret and one that all women should be able to have.
In the Freedom Essay titled “My Choice,” Handler opened up on her decision to have two abortions during an “unhealthy relationship” when she was 16. She admitted that she paid $230 to have a safe abortion at Planned Parenthood, but didn’t have the money for the second abortion.
“I wasn’t really playing with a full deck of cards, and when I got pregnant I just thought, Why not? I can have a baby,” writes Handler. “Maybe I’ll have twins and give them rhyming names! Of course, the idea that I would have a child and raise it by myself at that age, when I couldn’t even find my way home at night, was ridiculous. My parents recognized that, so they acted like parents for one of the very first times in my life and took me to Planned Parenthood. I felt parented, ironically, while I was getting an abortion. And when it was over, I was relieved in every possible way.”
Handler added, “Getting unintentionally pregnant more than once is irresponsible, but it’s still necessary to make a thoughtful decision. We all make mistakes all the time. I happened to fuck up twice at the age of 16.”
Handler previously discussed teenage abortion in 2012 on Rosie O’Donnell’s talk show, The Rosie Show. Her essay, which cites the significance of Roe v. Wade, comes just as the Supreme Court struck down a Texas law on Monday that would reduce the amount of abortion clinics in the state.
“And it’s even more infuriating to watch politicians find ways to subvert Roe v. Wade, passing lesser laws that close clinics or restrict abortion access for women. At least five states—Mississippi, Missouri, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming—currently have only one clinic left within their borders,” writes Handler.
Although Handler mentions that pro-choice is something America will never agree on, she writes that “it’s a wrap on men deciding what women can do with their bodies…. It’s okay if you think it’s not right for women to have abortions—but it’s not your problem, because we decide.”
Handler concluded in her essay, ” We have 7.3 billion people on this planet. Anybody who carefully decides not to become a parent—let alone a bad parent, which is what I would have become—should be applauded for making a smart and sustainable decision. I’d love for somebody to try to tell me what to do with my body. I dare them.”
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