Martha Plimpton: ‘My first abortion’ was in Seattle and ‘it was my best one’

Premiere of Hulu's 'The Handmaid's Tale' - Arrivals

Martha Plimpton has been an outspoken liberal activist for a long time. She’s also been an outspoken advocate for women’s reproductive freedoms, working with the abortion-rights group A Is For. These photos are from her appearance on the carpet for The Handmaid’s Tale, where she wore a scarlet “A” pin/ribbon for abortion rights. You can see the site for “A Is For” here – they aim to end the stigmatization around abortion, and they want women to tell their stories for why they chose to have an abortion. Which is what Martha did a few months ago, in an interview which is only being picked up this week:

Actress Martha Plimpton was cheered on by an audience after boasting she had her “best” abortion in Seattle. In a video shot in June just gaining wider attention, the actress was being interviewed by controversial author Dr. Willie Parker at a #ShoutYourAbortion event in Seattle, when she told the audience of having her first abortion at age 19.

“Seattle has some particular significance for me for lots of reasons,” the actress said at the Town Hall event. “I’ve got a lot of family here, some of whom are here in the audience tonight. I also had my first abortion here at the Seattle Planned Parenthood!”

The 46-year-old followed up her story with a loud “Yay” as the audience cheered her on. She added, “Notice I said ‘first’…and I don’t want Seattle — I don’t want you guys to feel insecure, it was my best one.”

The audience continued to laugh at Plimpton’s story.

“Heads and tails above the rest,” she said. “If I could Yelp review it, I totally would. And if that doctor’s here tonight, I don’t remember you at all, I was 19. I was 19, but I thank you nonetheless.”

[From Fox News]

If you feel uncomfortable, I think that’s the point – for many women, abortion is a necessary choice and one they make with few, if any, regrets. The idea that women would talk about their abortions openly, in interviews and town halls and congressional hearings, is one of things being stigmatized. Sure, I think it’s “crass” to say “my best abortion was in [random city]” but how many times are we going to choose to suffer in silence just because these conversations are uncomfortable, crass, etc? Especially now, when reproductive rights and general healthcare access for women hangs by a thread?

Premiere of Hulu's 'The Handmaids Tale' - Arrivals

Photos courtesy of Guillermo Proano/

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470 Responses to “Martha Plimpton: ‘My first abortion’ was in Seattle and ‘it was my best one’”

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  1. milla says:

    No uterus no opinion. That would be my 2 cents.

  2. OG Cleo says:

    Does thinking that using that kind of language about abortion (I’m pro-choice) is totally inappropriate and callous mean that I have to give up my liberal feminist card?

    • Babs says:

      I don’t know, but count me in.

    • EOA says:

      IMO, no, it doesn’t. Supporting reproductive rights and the protection of them does not mean one has to be all “rah! Abortions for everyone!” I can believe in the protection of a right even while believing that people choose to exercise those rights for all sorts of reasons of which I disapprove.

      The idea that there is a binary way to understand reproductive rights has been, IMO, damaging to this country. The fact is that most Americans have far more nuanced views about the issue than the extreme of either side would have you believe. But the belief that the extreme must define the debate is IMO why we have been unable to come to any consensus on it for 40 years.

    • BritAfrica says:


      We’re women….not just feminists. We are not one homogeneous group. We are allowed to hold different views.

    • Alix says:

      Yeah, “best” is not a good word to use in reference to any abortion. It’s not a haircut, folks.

      • Hkk says:

        But it is her experience so it is the way for her to talk about it. Maybe the staff and doctors were the most compassionate, had the best bedside manner. Maybe she had the fastest recovery. Maybe it made the biggest impact on her future. I have no problem with it being her best. I wish she could review it on yelp.

      • Alix says:

        “Kindest” or “most compassionate” might have been better terms. To describe it as “best” like she was describing no more than a pedicure, only fuels the notion that women have abortions in a casual manner with no thought to the seriousness of what’s involved. My guess is she’ll backtrack and re-explain herself in short order.

      • M.A.F. says:

        But some people have had terrible haircuts. Same can be said about abortion. This could have been a relaxing experience. And by “relax” I mean the doctor could have walked her through the procedure, answered any and all questions, calmed her nerves, she had support after, wasn’t stressed, etc. Not everyone has that nor is every procedure like that.

      • noway says:

        I know I don’t think I use best to describe medical procedures. It makes it seem more like elective plastic surgery to me, and even that seems a bit crass to me.

        I think they might be doing it a bit of tongue and cheek, because women generally won’t talk about it. Which is important for all women and especially the women who may have had a traumatic experience. It really is a taboo subject to talk about. Most things seem better when you can speak about them.

      • Carol says:

        @Alix Ditto! I’m vehemently pro-choice but having an abortion shouldn’t be taken lightly. I know quite a few women who had abortions (and I accompanied my friend when she had hers) and for them it was a traumatic experience emotionally. Do they regret it? No. It was what they felt necessary but it was not easy. I get that Plimpton was maybe trying to make a joke but I think she comes off trivializing a very serious procedure. I didnt find her “yay” comment remotely funny or cute. I find it weird

      • BabyJane says:

        Why should abortions not be taken lightly? It’s reproductive health care and autonomy. If someone lauded their best chemo session or joint replacement, would you flinch?

      • Nicole says:

        @BabyJane because it’s not a light procedure. The physical part of an abortion is small compared to the emotional and mental toll having an abortion can bring. I have sat and held a dear friend she sobbed for HOURS after getting one. You don’t go through that after getting a Pap Smear.

      • Perpetua says:

        Thank you HKK and Baby Jane for pointing out what I thought was obvious, that many, many women DO consider an abortion to be just another medical procedure, we have a scientific approach to our thought processes and opinions that we don’t need to apologize for. I am really disappointed by the judgment in this article and in these comments. The policing of this woman’s choice of words to describe her own experiences sucks. She is encouraging women to release the stigma attached to abortion, why aren’t we applauding her? Then again this is CB, not exactly known for being a pillar of the feminist community.

      • Beatrix says:

        I’m with Babyjane and Perpetua. Now we HAVE to feel badly about our choice, or give it a special gravity-even if we may not all feel it. I had an abortion a few years ago. I remember feeling that I had to feel badly about it. I remember the implicit pressure to talk about my experience and decision as if it were something shameful, something that caused me pain and was difficult for me.

        It was the best decision I ever made. I felt hardly any pain, the recovery was nice and I had my partner around to hang out and watch movies with afterward. I didn’t regret it.

        I do regret going along with the idea that it was “one of the hardest” or “most painful” choices I’d ever made. I regret feeling ashamed for not feeling sad or emotionally hurt by the choice.

        My first abortion was bomb. I don’t know if I want children, my partner and I will sort this out on our own, but if I decided to have another abortion, I’d do it no problem. 10/10 would go to the Planned Parenthood clinic off the Bleecker stop on the 6 train in Manhattan again. Recommend it. We have to change the culture in which we continue to police the right way about being a woman.

      • Lovinmyabobo says:

        I’m just going to say this once: screw everyone for telling Martha Plimpton how she should feel. YOU felt emotional about YOUR abortion. That’s your story, or your friends story or whatever. You have a right to your story and your own feelings. This is Martha’s story. And I’m glad she shared it because it made me feel more normal about feeling fine about mine.

        I remember after my abortion, I was still bleeding a bit but I had the best workout of my life because I felt SO HAPPY TO HAVE MY BODY BACK. I felt elated. Sure, I had a big of an emotional bounce back, but not because I ever felt bad about my choice or about the cells I had removed from my body, but I felt scared after I had been on the internet and got a taste for the intense HATRED the world feels for women who have had abortions and the way people try to police the way we feel. Glad you all could make me feel policed again today.

      • magnoliarose says:

        @Perpetua, Love, and others supportive of Martha

        I agree with you. For some women, the choice is a relief for many reasons that are personal to her. I did not feel guilty one moment Did. Not. Have. Regret.
        It is my life, my body, my ovaries and my choice. Period. Judge away, and I will say I don’t care. I don’t. I never have.

        I don’t have to ask our male dominated society for acceptance or permission. I don’t need to be their “good” or “worthy” girl. I belong to me. Slap a scarlet letter on me I will parade it proudly. It will be my badge of ownership of my body and my life and a rejection of misogyny.
        Some people feel horrible, and I have sympathy for their experiences, but their pain and regret does not negate my feelings. We can all feel differently but supportive that not every person experiences this similarly.

        My mother is a staunch feminist maybe radical even so I wasn’t raised to feel guilty about making choices for myself. My father even knew, and he didn’t bluster, and he wasn’t hurt or angry as if it was all about him. He had already been there with my older sisters and understood the only thing needed from him was unconditional love.

        Does it make me a slut or a slag? No.
        It makes me responsible enough to know I was not old enough to have that level of responsibility and the man I was with was fun to date, but he was not father material not that it mattered, but it is a fact. For a minute or two, he was dramatic as only an Italian can be but the relief was written all over his face. We flew to another country, and I had the procedure.
        He was kind though, and that surprised me, but life went on, and I went back to Italy, and that was the end. For the first time in my life, I was financially independent, finding my confidence, free and ready to explore what the world had to offer. There was no way I was going to throw that away.
        I refuse to feel terrible, and every time I think about it I feel just as glad as I was from day 1.
        We don’t need to feel guilty out of a sense of social obligation. We make millions of choices in our lives, but ownership of our bodies is the area where supposedly we don’t know what is best for us.

      • Silent Star says:

        You can have a “best” abortion. My first one was also my best. It went smoothly, the clinic was friendly, I was not made to feel uncomfortable, I was well taken care of. The staff and situation at the second one was not very comfortable.

      • Silent Star says:

        Gotta hand it to her for being so candid. Although I’ll talk about my abortions if the topic comes up, I’m not nearly as bold as Martha. I do agree it needs to be a less taboo topic and talking openly about it is a good thing. But it’s still hard to do.

    • ANOTHER DAY says:

      I’m with you. One can be outspoken and advocate without being crass. Or callous. She was both. Doesn’t impress me much.

    • Megan says:

      I think there is a place for an “abortion positive” conversation. The narrative that abortions are sad, or damaging, or leave one haunted needs to be challenged.

      • Who ARE these people? says:

        I agree. How is it crass or callous? She had a positive medical experience. That’s good for any procedure. As a longtime activist, she knows framing is important.

        I had a problem with “safe, legal and rare” language because the use of “rare” still implied something negative about abortion.

        Safe and legal are all that is important to women and medical providers. Anything else opens the door to value judgment.

        We are not used to seeing a woman unashamed about abortion but if we respect medical science on when viable human life begins, if we agree on the primacy of a woman’s rights to her body, then we have no business judging how she feels or talks about it.

      • Nicole says:

        Yeah, I haven’t ever regretted or felt sad about my abortion for even a second and most people act like it was this horrible and difficult choice. It wasn’t. The moment I found out I was pregnant I wanted to terminate the pregnancy and I’m really outspoken about how common these procedures are. I’m involved in a patient to advocate program BECAUSE people are so uncomfortable when it comes to abortion.

        Even the thought that many times you have to recover and it’s emotional is bullshit for many women. You’re in and out in 20 minutes.

      • Kitten says:

        Yes this completely, Megan, and thank you for saying it.

      • Amelia says:

        In my experience, I found the whole thing to be a very difficult decision before and after. I still reflect with some guilt. But that could be because I think life begins at conception. However, I think women have a right to their own body and health choices. I feel uncomfortable with what she said, but I also think it might have needed to be said for those who aren’t like me and don’t feel regret. Yes, some woman use abortion as a form of birth control, but statistics show us that most don’t. she has my full support opening the conversation for all women. I don’t think her words were the best choice, but I don’t think she’s doing a disservice to the topic: Some don’t blink when they do it, others wrestle with the decision. Some keep it secret, others view as no different than a trip to the dentist. All these women are normal and okay.

      • Wren says:

        For sure. Just like anything else, how women feel about it is as varied as their are the women who have experienced it. This hush hush dark shameful secret mentality has to go.

      • MC2 says:

        Abortions themselves are not damaging or haunting to women but it is how society shames women for them that has lasting effects. It is a simple medical procedure but once you add some sadists at the front with signs screaming & a ridiculous waiting period, then it becomes damaging. Kudos to ending the stigma that has killed many women. I’ll take hearing women talk about good abortions & yelping them over a young mother dying in a back alley any day or feeling guilt for the rest of her life. Being flippant is much better then shame.

      • LucyHoneychurch says:

        + 1

        For many women, regret is the furthest thing from their mind, even though that is the most common narrative put out.

      • phaedra says:

        I don’t have a problem with “safe, legal, and rare” because to me, “rare” is talking about access to birth control.

      • Nicole says:

        @MC2 Your attitude is just as harmful as those picketing. To automatically assume that a womans guilt comes from outside stigma is to discount the experience of many woman who have had an abortion.

      • emma33 says:

        Megan…yes! I had a conversation with a woman a few months ago who was telling me how abortion was an emotionally and spiritually scarring experience for all women, and I said well, maybe for some, but not for everyone. Half the time it is scarring because of the stigma and shame around it.

        I don’t have any kind of ethical problem with a woman taking abortion lightly or joking about it a bit if she wants to…her body, her choice.

        A lot of the weight put onto woman who have had abortions reminds me of the conversation around women losing their virginity to ‘the wrong person’ and ‘losing everything they had’ (to paraphrase Taylor Swift). It is damaging and unhelpful and we now recognize that people can lose their virginity and talk about it any way they want…and I think the same should be applied to the conversation around abortion.

      • MostlyMegan says:

        however, that is the case for many, many women. Some women may think it’s no biggie to get an abortion, and are okay before, during and after. Some find it to be a decision that carries gravitas. I think we can say it’s a woman’s right to feel that abortion is difficult and has life altering implications (for the woman and the potential child) without being afraid that the right to abortion is somehow compromised by that fact.

      • magnoliarose says:

        I agree. I didn’t feel guilty and still don’t. There is nothing that will ever convince me that someone else has the right to try to make me “understand.”
        I get it. I totally understand, and this is what I feel.

      • AnneC says:

        I think that the anti choice people have carefully done this over the years. Made the procedure more shameful and pushed the idea that anyone who actually goes through with an abortion suffers guilt, shame and sadness for the rest of their life. I just felt relief.

      • Aurelia says:

        I think that the anti choice people have carefully done this over the years. Made the procedure more shameful and pushed the idea that anyone who actually goes through with an abortion suffers guilt, shame and sadness for the rest of their life. I just felt relief.

        I totally agree AnneC, this issue shares parallels with formula feeding your baby debate. Formula is not evil in itself, its the attitudes of certain people that make it a shameful, horrible, problematic thing.

    • CynicalAnn says:

      I’m pro choice but I think it was callous and actually kind of disgusting. And frankly, does nothing to help the cause of reproductive rights.

    • Radley says:

      I think we generally consider abortion a sober and serious choice. This sounds cavalier and I think that was her intent. It kinda sounds like abortion is her preferred method of birth control. I’m sure it isn’t. But it comes across so casual, it’s jarring.

      I get what she’s doing though. She’s trying to challenge our thinking. Like, women need to be unburdened and the stigma needs to be removed in making this choice. It’s certainly a conversation starter.

      • Jag says:

        Jarring is definitely the word that I would use. Callous as well.

        I’ve had 2 abortions. The first I was forced to have by my mother at age 17 so that I wouldn’t “shame” the family. (I had requested to go to the “unwed mothers’ home” that our church had, but was denied. The parents said abortion or I was out on the street. I was minor and didn’t want them to put me in juvenile detention if I ran away to have the child.) I was so brainwashed by my mother and father that I wanted to get the baby out of me and had no attachment to him or her.

        The second was for medical reasons because I had just come off of Accutane at age 20 and the doctors couldn’t tell me how long it stays in the system. Accutane causes horrific birth defects. It would have threatened both my life and my baby’s life – and my baby would have been in pain until he or she died, even through gestation. I couldn’t do that to him or her, so had to make the choice. I still am sad about it.

        I am very pro choice, but anti-using abortion as birth control, and anti-late term abortion. I think that as soon as the baby can live outside of the womb without serious medical intervention, that adoption should be the answer.

      • Arpeggi says:

        @Jag, I’m sorry about your personal experiences; unwanted abortions are just as terrible as unwanted pregnancies. But if you are pro-choice, then it cannot be on your terms.

        There are just as many reasons to get an abortion as there are women willingly seeking one (and again, I’m so very sorry that this wasn’t your experience). For the record, there are no (or so very few that they are statistically insignificant) women that “use abortion as birth control”. You’ve gone through the process, it’s not a quick, easy thing (at least not compared to actual birth control methods, which, sadly, are difficult to access in some parts of the world). Even though we always hear about “that woman someone that you know knows about” that keeps popping at PP for yet another abortion, that woman doesn’t exist. And if she did, well I’m glad that she is not bringing any child into this world because she would be an absolutely terrible parent/womb.

        There are also no (and I’m positive about that) women who seek late term abortion because they’ve changed their mind. You don’t go through all the inconveniences of a pregnancy only to get rid of the baby at 30 weeks because you don’t want it anymore. Late term abortions exist because they are sometime needed as the pregnancy is dangerous for the mother’s life or because there is something wrong with the baby that couldn’t be noticed earlier and it threatens its chance of survival. There are also no doctors that would terminate a pregnancy of a viable baby since, well, if the infant is viable then this is murder and it is illegal.

        Having an abortion when you have an unwanted pregnancy can and should be a positive experience and there are no reason to feel ashamed of being glad to not continue the pregnancy (but you should never be force to have one). Abortions can be literal life-savers and should be made available to anyone who seeks one

      • Betsy says:

        @JAG – don’t talk about late term abortions like women are having them by idle choice. Just don’t. You know why you had yours, and that’s the tip of the sadness iceberg. Don’t talk that way.

      • detritus says:

        If abortion was her first choice in birth control, im sure over almost 30 years of sexual activity, she would have had a few more than 3. I mean, I sure hope she banged River alone more than three or so times.

    • MrsPanda says:

      I agree with everyone, it came off callous and weird to me (and I’m pro-choice). The point is to accept abortions and celebrate our right to have them, but we don’t need balloons and whooping and talk of the ”best abortion!”. Better to just say the facilities there were top-notch and she was so grateful to have had a good experience in that state.

    • booRadley says:

      I have to say I agree with EOA. I am a pro-choice*. and I put the asterisk because while I believe in the right of every person to have full control and domain over their own reproductive choices, do I silently judge a family friend who has had 9 abortions before age 30? yes, I am human, and I do. do I support a woman’s right to not want to have a baby for whatever reason she chooses? of course I do. do I side eye those who choose to have unprotected sex and rely on morning after pills and abortions as a form of birth control? you bet I do. that is my right. and it is their right to make choices that I don’t agree with, because it is their body, their choice. period.

    • Applepie says:

      I felt sick when I read that. I am pro choice. This cheapens an awful and traumatic procedure.

    • Shambles says:

      I think it was very obviously a joke. She wasn’t literally saying “this was my best abortion, try it like a doughnut!” She was being tongue in cheek about Seattle. Hence the “don’t feel self-conscious guys!” She was probably trying to lighten the mood.

    • Lahdidahbaby says:

      Oy, I had the same reaction as you, OG Cleo. Skin-crawl. And I too am pro-choice.

    • Shaz says:

      I agree! Callous comments certainly won’t engender sympathy from opponents.

    • TJ says:

      I’m with you. Totally callous, wow. “A five star yelp review”? OMG, that is just gross. In the flip side, I’m glad she’s not procreating.

    • cara says:

      I am pro abortion in certain cases, but when girls and women use getting pregnant on purpose just to get an abortion to “hurt” another person, I call that sick.

      Crazy Chelsea Handler has always bragged about the two abortion she had as a teen. She said she got pregnant on purpose to hurt her parents when she told them she had aborted the child. That is not the actions of a sane person.

      Sounds as if this Martha woman could have taken better precautions to prevent another pregnancy. She makes it sound as if having an abortion was a “fun” experience. That is also the ramblings of a very confused, sick person. Have a tubal ligation if you know you don’t ever want children, it’d certainly be safer than having multiple abortions.

    • Hannah Lee says:

      It did bug me on some level. And I realized it’s because I’m pro-choice, not pro-abortion. I think if women find themselves pregnant and for their own reasons do not wish to continue the pregnancy, the absolutely should have a safe, legal, non-shameful way to end the pregnancy: her body, her choice.

      But at the same time, I think it’s important to do what we can as a society to reduce unwanted pregnancies, so that fewer women find themselves in a position of making that difficult decision. Keeping funding for groups like Planned Parenthood, supporting other women’s health programs, enabling easy access birth control pills or other contraceptive means…all those are important, in addition to changing the conversation about women’s bodies and our decisions about them.

      So, celebrating abortion…not great. Celebrating a women’s right to a safe, affordable, legal abortion…absolutely. All that being said, I think it’s great she’s talking about it and her approach and her humor will help chip away at the taboo of talking about this.

    • downTime says:

      Here I go. Having one abortion. Okay, lesson learned? More than one, getting concerned. Multiple abortions = self-abuse and likely disregard for life in general. (hands over card)

    • Justwastingtime says:

      I don’t presume to judge people’s reactions to abortion, even if I am lucky enough never to have had one. Maybe you should consider what pro choice means.

    • Sara says:

      I don’t think this is something we should tiptoe around and use soft language to describe. There’s something really empowering for women about flouting the conventional idea that abortion should be shrouded in shame and sorrow. Some women are probably really, really happy not to be pregnant anymore.

    • fluffduck says:

      No, you don’t. It IS callous. Especially if someone may be recently recovering.

  3. BritAfrica says:

    Wow…she’s brave to talk about this!

  4. Lexilla says:

    I’m firmly pro-choice and I admit I’m uncomfortable. For me an honest conversation about abortion would have to acknowledge the seriousness of ending a pregnancy. I couldn’t be this flip about it. But that’s me. I don’t speak for anyone else.

    • milla says:

      It should not be a big deal. Why is that a big deal? It is a procedure which makes you continue your life the way you planned. It is not some big moral decision. Better to abort than to raise a child you didnt want

      • OG Cleo says:

        But for many women, that’s not their experience with abortion. They struggle and wrestle and agonize over their decision and might deal with extreme emotional fallout and grief over something they thought was necessary, but weren’t happy to do.

        It irritates me that these women’s experiences get erased in order to further the “abortion is ONLY a medical procedure that every woman is happy to do” line. That’s a gross oversimplification of a complex issue.

      • Alix says:

        Better to snuff out a human life because it’s inconvenient for you, than to have the kid and give it up for adoption to loving parents?

        I firmly believe the government should stay out of our collective uteri, but it drives me bonkers to see abortion used as a form of after-the-fact birth control. Mere inconvenience or “bad timing” is not, IMO, reason enough to suck out a fetus or pierce the brain of a baby that, if delivered, would be completely viable.

        And now I feel a shitstorm a-comin’, so I’ll see myself out…

      • LadyT says:

        Ok. A procedure. I wish it was less shamed. That doesn’t mean let’s celebrate though.

      • Learned One says:

        Spot on @ OG Cleo. It is not merely a “medical procedure” and very often women (of which I am one myself) grapple for years with the decision they made. I am mildly annoyed by Kaiser’s comment that, “one they make with few, if any, regrets.” I had regrets for years (as so many women that have had abortions). It was indeed a necessary choice for me, but that does not mean it was an easy, breezy, medical procedure.

      • Megan says:

        @OG Cleo but for many women ending an unintentional pregnancy isn’t a big deal and Martha’s point is that you shouldn’t feel shame or guilt because you think society expects you to.

        @Alix you are entitled to your opinion, but I do not consider bodily autonomy a matter of convenience. I consider it a fundamental human right.

      • greenmonster says:

        I agree with you, Milla. It’s a procedure and we should be open about it. Maybe some of the struggles women go through after an abortion comes from stigma this procedure still has. It almost feels like women are expected to feel bad after an abortion. People joke about other procedures as well, don’t they? No matter how serious they are.

      • Alix says:

        @ Megan: I don’t consider bodily autonomy a simple matter of convenience either. I do wish, however, that abortion wasn’t considered one.

      • Arlene says:

        “Better to snuff out a human life because it’s inconvenient for you, than to have the kid and give it up for adoption to loving parents?”

        Women are not de facto incubators for childless couples. For that matter there are thousands and thousands of children in the world without homes. This argument drives me insane, as if 40 weeks of carrying and developing another human was a mere social blip or ‘inconvenience;. It’s not, and as a mother myself I FULLY support a woman’s right to decide if she wishes to continue with a pregnancy.

      • Aims says:

        I’m a pro choice women and yes, I’ve had an abortion. I don’t regret my choice for one second . I think it’s important to keep in mind that women who seek an abortion know they can’t move forward with the pregnancy . Whatever situation that got them to their choice is nobodies business and it’s not our nor the government’s business to question or second guess them. Women do know what’s right for them.

        It drives me crazy that these women who are well within their right to seek a safe procedure are being stigmatized. Why are they being judged while their partners get off free and clear? It shows once again that women are getting the short stick .

        Martha’s words maybe shocking and off putting , but for us to take the stigma out of abortions it’s important to be open and honest . Our rights to our own bodies is hanging on by a thread . The very basic rights to our own bodies, think about that. I refuse to have women silenced, shamed and forced into the back alleys again . Putting their lives at risk because they’re so desperate to end a pregnancy that they know they can’t have .

        I will forever be thankful that I was able to have an abortion without harassment and guilt. It’s the way it should be .

      • Mrs Odie says:

        The abortion or adoption “either/or” fallacy is one of the most pervasive and annoying fallacies. For the vast majority of unwanted pregnancies, the baby would be KEPT and not adopted out. Being pregnant for 40 weeks impacts every aspect of a person’s life. Many of those unwanted pregnancies are to women who will not get access to high quality prenatal care. They may be using drugs and or alcohol or live in toxic environments. The fake argument that women can “simply” pop out a baby to a “loving family” as an alternative to abortion is disingenuous and ignorant. Also, think about how much child abuse, neglect, and disfunction there is in families. An adoptive family is not by default a loving one. Simplifying a complex argument is lazy.

      • Kitten says:

        “Women are not de facto incubators for childless couples. For that matter there are thousands and thousands of children in the world without homes.”

        YASSSSS, Arlene!

      • Veronica says:

        It’s a procedure, but it is one that results in the destruction of a potential life. I don’t believe in stigmatizing abortion because pregnancy IS a medical condition and undermining that reality is what gets it in people’s heads that it’s acceptable to force women to carry a child to term. However, part of why I support abortion is the reality of that potential life – I don’t believe in bringing children into the world who won’t or cannot be cared for to the best ability of the society. It’s not fair to the woman, and it’s not fair to the child. There’s no promise that a child given up for adoption will wind up in a good home – or any home. The answer is somewhere in the middle. We should be doing everything in our power to make sure women don’t have to have abortions, as much for their sake (it IS a surgical procedure and has requisite risks) as much for the sake of potential children. We have to be realistic about what a child is: a helpless, immature human being that requires a massive amount of resources and nurturing to properly raise.

        I don’t know if I could be so strident about the issue if I ever had one done, but I don’t believe this woman is fundamentally cold-hearted because of her blunt honesty. Women should not be ashamed to say, “I had an abortion, and I was treated right with compassion and understanding, and it wasn’t tragedy and it didn’t destroy me. It just was.”

      • Wren says:

        For some people it IS a big moral decision. For others it’s not. For me it was a logistical decision. I did not have the resources required. The choice was clear; I did not agonize over it. The only thing I wrestled with was deciding not to tell my parents. They’re older and my father is weirdly conservative, and I couldn’t risk them not understanding.

      • noway says:

        Let’s say it is just a medical procedure. Do you hear anyone say I had the best hysterectomy? Or a little less dramatic I had the best D&C? Nope! This flippant language bothers me because I know too many people hurt from a medical procedures. Even the safest procedure still presents risk. In this case, pregnancy presents a higher risk, but still they both shouldn’t be something you just do.

        Now as a tool to get people to talk about it I don’t have a problem with it. Bottling up an event is not a good idea no matter what it is. As regular conversation, I think it is a bit much though.

      • insertpunhere says:

        I’m pro-choice, but I think one of the problems we have with this entire debate is the unwillingness (on both sides) to acknowledge any grey in these situations.

        Legally, I am absolutely, 100%, pro-choice. Morally though? I personally would not choose to have an abortion in most situations, and there are abortions that I personally consider immoral. I would never tell someone that after hearing their abortion story, and I would absolutely never attempt to legislate whether someone’s medical procedure complies with my particular moral code, but I don’t think the pro-choice movement does any favors by acting like no one should view abortion as immoral. I have several friends who don’t believe in abortion at all, but they consistently vote for pro-choice candidates because although they think it’s wrong, they also recognize that other women have other experiences and need to have options they wouldn’t necessarily take.

        I think it can be very silencing for people like me, who may support the legal right to abortion while still considering it ending a life, and I don’t think that’s helpful to the overall goal of securing reproductive freedom for all because a lot of women like me are happy to march and donate, but then we’re told in these discussions, “it’s not an issue of morality.” Well, for some of us it is, and I believe that optimally, this is the way people should approach things they don’t agree with that aren’t impacting them.

      • Shambles says:

        OG Cleo, do you think every single one of those women would agonize over their choice if society wasn’t telling them they’re monsters for making it? That’s the point. I’m sure some of them would still have a very hard time, because everyone is different. But not all.

      • Veronica says:

        insertpunhere -

        The problem is that the politicized pro-life stance in America enforces such a rigid moral framing of abortion that it’s impossible for pro-choice to sacrifice even some ground on abortion ethics. You can’t just discuss situations in which abortion may be unethical because the foundation for the entire pro-life movement is so radically Manichean in its mindset that it undermines any shared ground that might be found. When you start at the extreme – abortion is murder! abortion is evil! – it makes any sort of moral middle ground untenable because that would mean sacrificing the original principle of the argument. It is, of course, a far more complicated issue than that, but it’s been intentionally polarized in order to drive a wedge between the voting populace and so that can be utilized as bludgeon against women’s rights.

      • Vovicia says:

        og Cleo – But it’s clearly the other way around – the voices that are being erased are the women who have abortions that are easy, not complicated and not filled with moral ambiquity and shame/guilt. Hence why it’s so many people are having such a hard time with ‘best abortion’.
        I’m actualy rather shocked at the number of people in the comments that really do seem to consider abortion a ‘bad’ thing to do – they just feel it’s within the right’s of a woman to do the ‘bad thing’. It’s no wonder access to it is all but disappearing in America.

    • Wilma says:

      I don’t know. The audience laughed and continued to laugh, so within the context of that night her tone wasn’t wrong.

    • Anname says:

      Yes – the flippancy is totally inappropriate, and does more harm than good in my opinion. It’s a massive slap in the face to those who believe differently about abortion, and completely unnecessary. Her celebration of it does not help the conversation around abortion, it just make the pro-life folks even more strident. How does that help anyone?

    • lara says:

      The Problem with all the talk about the seriousness of ending a pregnancy, strengthens the Moral overtone still associated with abortions. It is still seen as a kind of last Option, somhow a faliure in planning your life and women are expected do feel gulity ans ashamed afterwards.
      At least for me, the pressure to feel guilty afterward was far worse than everything else.
      It is not more serious than another medical procedure and should nor be more problematic than pulling out a defect tooth.

      • Alix says:

        I’m not advocating shame and guilt, but this is a procedure that ends in death. Surely we can tip our hat to the relative seriousness of that?

      • lara says:

        Thats always the main question, do you consider a fetus as alive or as a bunch of cells.
        I do understand, that it is very serious for a woman who sees a fetus as a life and an abortion as ending a life.
        But for me, it is not more than a bunch of cells.

      • Who ARE these people? says:

        Not according to medical science it doesn’t end in death of a person. If you step on spiders or euthanize pets, that’s ending a life. If you believe human life starts at conception, do not abort. But recognize it’s a belief not a fact. Or start a holy war against others who don’t believe as you do, which results in violence and limited rights for women. Which is the actual state of affairs.

      • Megan says:

        @Alix Look at your words, “a procedure that ends in death” is obviously advocating guilt and shame.

      • JosieH says:

        “Not according to medical science it doesn’t end in death of a person.”

        I think you are cherry-picking your “medical science.” There is no definitive statement from the medical community on when “life” begins.

      • Kitten says:

        As Megan said, giving birth can also be a “procedure that ends in death” yet that doesn’t stop people from celebrating it as some kind of miracle. I’m not saying that abortion should be celebrated, but I do think it should be presented as what it is: a personal choice that is difficult for some and not so difficult for others.

        And I firmly believe that those who don’t see abortion as a death but rather a necessary procedure, should not be shamed for it.

      • Wren says:

        The only thing I’m ashamed about is allowing myself to get pregnant in the first place. I thought I was smarter than that. What followed was merely correcting the error. If someone wants to jump all over me for that, oh well. I personally believe we don’t truly come into being until birth. And for the record, I’ve believed this long before I had an abortion.

      • MC2 says:

        Alix- I thought after saying it was snuffing out life, you were going to see yourself out? In case you are lost- the door is there on the right side of your screen and it looks like an “x” for “exit”. Good work done today by shaming women & putting your opinion out there that women who have had abortions are murderers. They are not.

      • Erica_V says:

        Lara – “At least for me, the pressure to feel guilty afterward was far worse than everything else.” this. For a number of years I felt guilty that I didn’t “feel bad” for my decision. I understand now that line of thinking is someone else’s expectation of how you should feel about this type of medical procedure, not mine and I was able to stop feeling that way.

      • Alix says:

        @Megan: I’m not advocating guilt or shame. The procedure does, in fact, end in death, whether it’s a “bunch of cells” or a viable eight-month fetus — it’s not an opinion. (Though you’ve very graciously noted that I’m entitled to one.)

      • Alix says:

        @MC2: I didn’t say I was leaving immediately. I have NOT shamed called women or called those who get who get an abortion murderers. I said that the abortion procedure ends in death, whether you consider it that of a bunch of cells or a human being.

        You’re very quick to take offense when confronted with factual statements. Interesting trait.

      • The dormouse says:

        “When does life begin?” is a misleading question.

        In biological reproduction, life does not “begin” – life continues.

      • The dormouse says:

        @Alix, Do you think that most ejaculated sperm “end in death”?

      • noway says:

        I don’t think anyone should feel guilty or shamed if they decided to have one. I believe it is the woman’s choice and no one should be forced to go through a pregnancy if they don’t want to. Still it is a bit different than a tooth extraction. If you remove a tooth you are only hopefully getting rid of the pain. If you remove a fetus, whether you think it is a life or not, you are removing the child that may have been born and a different life you would have had. It’s definitely a bigger decision, and I know for some women it was a hard choice and by being so flippant about the choice you belittle how hard a decision it was for them and it is a bit callous in language to all the women who believe it is a life. It’s a bit insensitive.

        Still as I said before talking about it is better than not. If people need to be a bit crass to make women feel free to talk about it then I guess I am ok with it, but I do understand the other side.

      • lara says:

        If you argumenting along the lines of “a child that may have been born” you have to argument against the contraceptive methods that do not prevent the egg from being fertilised as well. Or, if you follow the argument, against contraception at all how many children have never been born thanks to contraception?
        And I (speaking only for myself) consider the consequences of an unwanted pregnancy far worse than a painful tooth.

        @alix, how about removing an appendix, that ends in death for a lot of cells

      • magnoliarose says:

        I am pro choice and have said what I felt and think above.

        But I also respect Alix’s right to state how she feels about it. She has her beliefs that is where “choice” comes into the issue. I just don’t want my choice taken away from me or any other woman.

        The problem is lack of medical care and support for women living in poverty or abusive situations or victims of sexual assault. Again it is a choice only for women who can afford to make one.

      • detritus says:

        At JosieH, ‘I think you are cherry-picking your “medical science.” There is no definitive statement from the medical community on when “life” begins’.

        Yes there is. All cells are alive, the Dormouse has it right.

        Who has taught you people, I’ve seen this a few time now. Soul – no consensus, life – consensus.

    • Ellaus says:

      I feel the same, I’m pro-choice, but IMO yay! And abortion should never be in the same phrase. Ending a pregnancy shouldn’t be treated with such nonchalancy. It is a Life changing decision, not a comedy gag. There has to be a way to have a serious discussion, todo desestigmatize abortion without falling in this “it’s like buying a bag” kind of speech.

      • Arpeggi says:

        Why would ending an unwanted pregnancy be a life-changing decision for all though? Actually, it would seem that staying pregnant and deciding to have the baby would be the life-altering decision since by getting an abortion, you can resume the life you had planned for yourself at this precise moment.

        Getting an abortion shouldn’t have to be a dire and grave experience. For many it’s a fairly simple procedure to stop being pregnant and that is it. It would be nice for everyone to have cheap access to contraception and the knowledge of how reproduction works, but, sadly, even in so-called developed countries, this is far from being the case. If ending a pregnancy they didn’t want make some women happy, they are in their right to say it.

      • Ellaus says:

        @ Arpeggi I’m so sorry if I’m not replying un the correct way. I advocate to every woman having a safe abortion in every case imaginable. I had one when I was 22, I am 99% sure It was the right decision, but It doesn’t make It less Lifechanging. Your beliefs are challenged, (at least mine were) and even when your life follows the path you desired, It is difficult to not think of what could have been … I’m sorry if I am not very eloquent, It was just muy opinion.

    • tealily says:

      Sorry, commented in the wrong spot.

  5. Loopy says:

    Women choose to have abortions for many reasons, that i wont judge,but this is not funny at all..and at what point after having ‘not the first’ should you take some responsibility to not ever having to have another one.

  6. Patricia says:

    I don’t like this. I am completely liberal and 200% for abortion rights. But abortion is not a happy thing, it is not a funny thing. The way she’s speaking only adds fuel to the fanatic fire on the other side of this issue.

    • Jegede says:


      Considering what an abortion actually entails . I can’t believe anyone would crassly go on about their “best one”. WTF?

      As a poster just said – It’s not a haircut.

      It’s all well and good being a ‘feminist’ means you lose your humanity and emotions.

      • Who ARE these people? says:

        She clearly retained her humanity and her emotions. And her life and independence and bodily integrity.

        To buy into “sad” is to accept the anti abortion arguments of specific religions that you might not otherwise support.

        Can we stop picking on a woman who is obviously trying to help women?

      • Jegede says:

        Her dismissive attitude towards such a complex situation means I think otherwise.

        I’m not buying into anything simply by giving my opinion, as someone who has worked in a varied number of places and seen statistics as to the emotional devastation, pre and post this procedure.

        Expecially the 15-18 bracket.

        Can we stop insisting only the ‘Yay Martha’ crowd are allowed to have an opinion?

        Can we stop being told that Martha’s words and reaction are going to help all women, and to think otherwise means we are agents of the patriarchy, or whatever?
        No? Thought not.

      • Erinn says:


        Then maybe don’t look at a comedic actor for advice if you want to only hear serious takes?

      • Jegede says:

        Who said I’m looking at her for advice?

        By dissenting with your ‘Yay Martha’ mantra on this topic – on a celebrity gossip forum, – means I’m looking to the subject for advice? OK then.

      • Otaku Fairy says:

        No, you’re an agent of the patriarchy because you’ve implied that women can only feel one way about their own abortions and if they don’t, they’ve lost their humanity and emotions. (Combined with refusal to acknowledge that part of that emotional devastation experienced by women- including the ones in the 15-18 bracket- has to do with society’s attitudes about abortion, teen and out-of-wedlock motherhood, and female sexuality).

      • Jegede says:

        I also don’t believe what you’re selling that women who feel emotional about such a harrowing experience are not lessers, or a conscript, for a different kind of womanhood the way you determinants of all womanhood have insisted it should be.

        That way I’m more than happy to be an ‘agent of patriarchy’.

        By the way it’s possible to feel that way post-procedure due to your own agency, or conscience, especially regarding what it entails in all respects and not because society has forced you to.

        But at least you’ve for confirmed all my earlier points.

      • Veronica says:

        Stop putting words in her mouth. At no point did she state women who have a strong emotional response are lesser. Creating a condescending strawman’s argument to circumvent your own misogyny is not making you look smart; to the rest of us, we’re just seeing you proving her point. For some women, an abortion is a difficult decision. For others, it is a necessary procedure due to the circumstances of their own life or the fetus’s viability. Period. End of story. Women are not goddamn automatons in whom we program specific social responses and get the expected results. Suggesting otherwise is inherently patriarchal – specifically the mindset that women are somehow subhuman with the implication that their emotional lives should be subject to direct social conditioning and control.

        And if you think I’m being dramatic, maybe you should think real hard about all of the men out there who have walked away from their children – actual living children who can walk and talk and feel emotion and who need constant care and supervision – and ask yourself if you’ve ever claimed their choice stripped them of their humanity.

      • Amide says:

        Agree with you in every point made all up in here.👌👏

      • Misti64 says:

        Hey Jegede –
        Excellent points made.
        I’m going to hang an imaginary picture of you right next to the one I have of Tom Conti.

      • Otaku Fairy says:

        @Jegede: Nobody here has tried to argue that EVERY woman whose experience with abortion was very emotional/difficult felt that way because of outside patriarchal influences. For some, the reasons for it are completely different. But it’s dishonest to pretend that that’s the truth for all women.
        It’s the same with, for example, evangelical Christians who argue that any woman who doesn’t conform to their beliefs about sexuality will be horribly scarred forever because she made the wrong choice. There are some women who naturally want/need sexual activity to come with marriage or some other long-term-committed monogamous relationship with a man (or people in general), and it has nothing to do with sexism rape culture, homophobia, or any other societal ill. But there’s also a whole culture of misogyny and violence that dehumanizes and punishes women and girls for not fulfilling male ‘virgin’ fantasies. There has to be room for both the opinions of individual women about their choices AND critique of the culture.

    • Nicole says:

      It’s not a sad thing either. Not for every woman.

    • Kate says:

      Abortion was an extremely happy thing for me. It felt like a 10 ton weight had been lifted off me, like I had my life back. I really did feel incredibly happy walking out of the clinic, after weeks of anxiety and terror and sickness.

      Obviously not everyone feels good about it, but it’s not a sad, upsetting experience for a lot of women. Those who struggled with it shouldn’t be shut down, but neither should those who were simply relieved and grateful they had the option.

    • Kitten says:

      “The way she’s speaking only adds fuel to the fanatic fire on the other side of this issue.”

      What is the alternative that you’re proposing? She should just NOT talk about her personal experience with abortion because the Tea Party and Evangelical zealots will use this against the pro-choice movement?

      I highly disagree.

      If she can make women out there who DID have a positive experience feel less alone, less shamed by our society for feeling how they are ONE HUNDRED PERCENT entitled to feel about it then I think she has an obligation to share her feelings.

      • Angela82 says:

        ITA Kitten. I don’t understand why everyone thinks women who do get them need to be eternally devastated by it. Every woman is different. I know some who had them at 17 without a second thought and I have had friends who had to get them and were deeply saddened by the loss of their child. I know plenty who never regretted having one and continue to feel that way years later. I am sick of people being pro-choice yet want women to suffer or feel guilt in some way.

    • Wren says:

      Why not? It was a very happy thing for me. Not the actual procedure, but the result. The relief I felt was immense and glorious. I’ve even been flippant about it. *gasp* Yes, it was an important decision to be made, but let’s not keep perpetuating this “sad, serious, big bad wolf” narrative.

      • milla says:

        This. So much.

        Its not a happy ocassion but after you get to be in control of your life.

        Break the freakin stigma its XXI century. Earth is overpopulated. Having an abortion is NOT an insult to women who cannot have kids. It is personal decision. Nothing more. Its not ending a life. It is an option.

        I do not have any regrets. I do not know if i will have kids but i had an abortion and never had any regrets. But i also didnt tell it to all my friends cos i dont wanna hear all the crap people do say. It is somewhat my secret since people are soooo full of something. And stop saying you are pro choice BUT… cos pro choice means just that. Choice. No questions asked. Its like Trump supporters and Hilary’s email… but her emails… no, no and no. Always keep your mind open

      • Justjj says:

        +1 I felt nothing but relief and yes, even levity after my abortion. Abortion itself is not a happy occasion in any woman’s life, but afterwards yes, I felt extreme relief. I was 19, financially unstable, and with a misogynistic physically and verbally abusive absolute horror of a man. He would never have let me give the child up for adoption. I shudder to think what he would have done to me and that baby if I would have had the child. I was responsible enough to not bring a child into a horrific situation, into a low income home, to a mom who didn’t have it together and abusive father. I was on birth control. It’s not something I’m cavalier about but it is something I have literally never given a second thought to. I’ve never regretted my decision. I think she was just trying to normalize abortion and shed a little levity on an undoubtedly hard situation. People joke about death, about sex, about drugs and alcohol all the time. How is this different? It’s because there is a culture of shame that is squarely centered on women. And that’s really gross. And everyone here who is trying to perpetuate should seriously re evaluate their lives.

      • Wren says:

        Justj, excellent point. We (as a society) joke about other serious things all the time, often in very callous ways, but as soon as the subject is abortion? Oooooh, tut tut, what crassness and poor taste! Shaaaaaame!

    • Oh-Dear says:

      I am glad she is speaking out, but I think how she framed her experience is sort of ‘speaking to the choir’, with the context she was in, and just reaffirms the ‘immoral’ vitriol used by the right to shut down abortions.

      The challenge with celebrating abortion as a repeated birth control method is that it detrimental to the larger conversation around abortion rights. Many women who need abortions would not choose one (for the health of mother and baby, teen pregnancies and survivors of rape or incest), but their stories are the least represented in the debate. I imagine it is probably because the circumstances of the abortion are not the kind that women celebrate (being raped or health), so they are under-represented in the pro-choice conversation that would elicit more compassion from people in the middle. I don’t begrudge any woman’s right to have an abortion at all, but I think these comments made in this audience are just going to be used by anti-abortions to dig in their heels more.

    • Oggy says:

      Abortion was a happy choice for me and for all the women I know. You mind your own business and do not decide how every one should feel about It.

    • ysoto says:

      Absolutely, adds fuel to the fire

  7. littlemissnaughty says:

    I’m laughing so hard right now because I think I know what this comment section will look like in a few hours. She’s awesome.

    • BritAfrica says:

      Me too! :)

      And like Weds, I have the day off today too so I’m getting some popcorn…:)

    • bros says:

      I agree. she’s clearly making a joke, and taking the stigma out of having an abortion totally needs to happen in order to move the pro choice movement forward. The longer we act like admiting you’ve had one is some deep dark secret, the longer the other side dominates the conversation by owning the shame mechanism. More women need to freely announce they’ve had one, and guess what, many many of them go on to become mothers later on. My own mom had 2 abortions and for the first one, had to be declared mentally incompetent (this was in the 60′s) in order to get one legally, instead of using a coat hanger in a back alley. She later went on to have 3 kids and was a fantastic mom. My best friend has had 2 and then went on to have 3 kids. Oh, and plenty of women never go on to have kids and that’s perfectly ok too. There’s nothing shameful about talking about it and all discussion around abortion shouldnt be hush hush sacred hallowed ground where we all must talk in measured whispers. She’s making light of a serious situation in a public forum where she was trying to make a joke. That makes some of you really uncomfortable, sure, but perhaps it shouldn’t. Stigma needs to go and the only way it does is by brushing it off your shoulders.

      • Angela82 says:

        My mom also got one in the late 70s when she was only 17 yrs old. My dad had gone back to Canada at the time and she knew she couldn’t raise a kid on her own in her teens. She had a supportive friend take her to planned parenthood and I believe her friend actually let her borrow whatever money was needed at the time. She told me about this a few years back and still claims she has no regrets and made the right choice at the time. A few yrs later my dad came back and they actually married and ended up having my brother and I.

        I also know if it happened to me she would 100% support me if I decided to have an abortion. I personally know I would b/c I am 34 now and still have an intense almost borderline irrational dislike of babies and kids. I guess its better I recognize it than have one end in a disaster. Luckily I have the IUD to protect me at least 99%, but I know many women who have to take greater risks b/c birth control causes them health issues. :-( I am very lucky.

    • ArchieGoodwin says:

      oh yeah, how lot of judging going on here. People saying they are pro choice, but shhhh, don’t talk about it in any way that makes ME uncomfortable.

      because, you know, THATS what matters here. That others feel “comfortable” about someone else’s choice.

      People need to do a ton of self reflection if they are thinking they can support a woman;s right to choose and then turn around and shush her up for speaking about it in a way that makes sense to her.

      have some seats, Ladies.

      • littlemissnaughty says:

        I think this is what even pro-choice people often don’t realize. The weapons anit-choice people very successfully wield are shame and stigma. And until we can talk about it without being uncomfortable at all, they will be able to use those weapons. I don’t accept “Abortions should be legal but rare.” and all the other quasi-pro-choice statements. No. Abortions should be legal and you should feel safe and free to say “I had one.” This is what Martha is trying to achieve and there can’t be compromise in the public discussion. “I am pro-choice BUT” is not valid to me.

      • Megan says:

        Agreed. We need to stop acting like abortion is something shameful. Abortions should be legal, free, and widely available.

      • Anname says:

        But how about giving some respect to people who feel differently? I can disagree with the pro-lifers without being awful about it.

        Martha’s comments are no different than the pro-lifers who line the street with their graphic aborted fetuses posters (as they did in my town a few months ago). Both feed the worst part of the debate, and don’t lead to any worthwhile ends.

        As Michelle Obama recommends, take the higher road, and be respectful even in the face of complete disagreement.

      • littlemissnaughty says:

        Anname, I think I’ve explained why I support the way she’s expressing herself. And why do I need to make everyone comfortable about MY choice? Pro-”lifers” want to take my rights away, that’s the difference. And if you think her comments are as ugly as threatening women walking into a clinic or throwing bombs or attacking doctors, you’ve simply convinced me that Martha really does have the right approach.

      • Who ARE these people? says:

        Yay thanks I finally found my happy place. Solidarity.

      • noway says:

        People can say what they want, but we are all free to feel what we want too. If someone feels it is crass and insensitive to others who think differently, they have a right to their opinion. Reality is there is a hush hush about most female reproductive health care. I know some women who were afraid of their first regular gyno. exams because of the hush hush with them. Abortions are partially caught up in that problem, and the idea that some feel the fetus is a life which makes it even more of a stigma. I wish we talked about women’s reproductive care in a more knowledgeable way all around. I also wish there were more options for all women. We have little blue pills for men to get it up, but we can’t come up with more ways to end a pregnancy than an abortion which is sucking it out of your body. To all who had an abortion sorry that was crass too, but it makes me angry that we really haven’t progressed that much in the last 30 years. I’m sure an abortion is better than it was 30 years ago, but it is still essentially the same procedure. I know there is a Plan B pill but that only works for a limited time. I find it hard to believe we can’t come up with something easier and less costly. At least most of you didn’t have to pay out of pocket for your birth control as insurance wouldn’t cover it when I was young. One very small step that may be taken back soon with Trump.

    • lisa says:

      yeah i want to get her name on a t shirt

      having to speak about it in hushed tones with 15 caveats (must remember to say it should be rare, it is serious, blah blah blah) doesnt help anyone

    • Jenns says:

      I’m LOLing at all the “I’m liberal and support abortion, but…” comments.

      I think context is important here. But even if she said it the way that it reads, then fine. It was her body, her choice and her experience. And she is just sharing how she feels. No woman needs to censor themselves when talking about their own personal experiences with abortion.

    • Sixer says:

      I also think awesome.

      For some women – and I am one of them – having had an abortion is not traumatic, guilt-inducing, a difficult moral choice or any more the extinguishing of a potential life than taking an oral contraceptive. We get to say this without being made to feel crass or callous or unfeeling or wrong in any way. In exactly the same way that women who do feel conflicted and traumatised should have those feelings respected. In exactly the same way that women who would not choose to terminate a pregnancy under any circumstances should have those feelings respected.

      I get to speak about my own experience of reproductive issues in any way I see fit. I terminated a pregnancy. It wasn’t a difficult decision. I didn’t suffer any guilt. I don’t give a toss what anybody else thinks about that. And if I want to make a joke of it, I will.

    • Pandy says:

      So right! She was making a joke – if you read the exchange you can see that. But even if she wasn’t, it was her experience to categorize. And the whole idea is to be outspoken about the abortion experience, not keep it to a shamed whisper. it’s a medical procedure.

    • I Choose Me says:

      Same thing I thought as soon as I saw the headline. I’m with Kitten, Veronica, magnoliarose, Megan, Arlene, Sixer et al.

  8. HH says:

    Admittedly, I feel uncomfortable. I don’t feel uncomfortable by abortion discussions, I feel uncomfortable about the flippant discussion. The “my best” or “my first” is what’s eyebrow raising to me. While I’m religious (and liberal and a feminist), I don’t agree that life starts at conception, but I don’t think it’s just a bag of cells either. I’m somewhere in the middle. I think every single woman should have the right to have an abortion without stigma or shame, and be able to talk openly about it. While I also don’t think it should be an earth shattering choice, it’s should still be a choice treated with respect and seriousness. IDK, I’m just working through my feelings here because caught me off guard.

  9. HelloSunshine says:

    I think it probably makes a lot of people uncomfortable, me included. But is that because we have this expectation that abortion is supposed to be this sad point in a woman’s life? Because for some women, it’s really not and it doesn’t seem like it was for her. For some women, it’s a relief because they know they can wait to have a family when they’re ready and on their terms.

    • Babs says:

      I agree that it’s not necessary sad but is it happy either? A relief, yes, but a joy, really?

      • bros says:

        Who care’s if it’s sad or joyful. we need not police her emotions, nor her joke material.

      • Lee1 says:

        But I really don’t think she’s saying it was a joy. I interpret her comments as it was the most competently performed (since she immediately acknowledges and thanks the doctor) and maybe it was the least difficult decision for her. “Best” doesn’t have to mean she literally enjoyed it.

        And I also think that acknowledging that it was her “first” is pretty huge too. You don’t have to be the perfect representative to advocate for choice. Many people seem to allow a woman one “mistake” and then her moral character is in question. But some people don’t have access or knowledge related to birth control. Some people have bad luck or bad reactions to birth control. Some people forget to use their birth control properly for plenty of reasons. Some people are sexually assaulted. The reasons don’t really matter and she doesn’t have to prove that she is morally acceptable to be entitled to an abortion. Given the crowd reaction, I think she probably struck the right tone for this particular event and I also think that making people (even pro-choice liberals) a bit uncomfortable and forced to question their own thought processes was probably her point.

      • Sixer says:

        I dunno I’d quite describe it as joy, but I certainly felt happy after my termination. I had just got over one set of significant problems in life only to end up with another (pregnancy). Waking up the following morning and being able to actually get on with life for the first time in the best part of a year made me happy. Unashamedly happy.

      • Wren says:

        I felt happy. I was dealing with other personal issues at the time, so joy didn’t really come into it then, but looking back now I absolutely feel joyous. I’m so, so happy I was able to make that choice, receive proper care, and move on with my life. The only shame and discomfort I’ve felt has been pushed on me by other people. Even now, the only thing I struggle with has been my decision not to tell my parents. Normally I am very open with them, but I don’t know if they would understand and I don’t want to grieve them.

    • HelloSunshine says:

      @Bros: you’re right, even if it makes people uncomfortable, we do not get to tell her how to feel about it.
      @Lee: I agree! Maybe it was “best” in terms of care and support, we don’t know and she clearly knows the crowd she was speaking to. I appreciate her speaking out, I 1000% support a woman’s right to choose and how she talks about it/feels about it isn’t my business.

  10. ArchieGoodwin says:

    I don’t think we get to judge or even comment about how a woman chooses to speak of her abortion.

    • Alix says:

      Maybe not judge, but why the hell can’t we comment and share opinions? That’s why we’re on this site and this thread, isn’t it?

      • ArchieGoodwin says:

        I’ll let you puzzle that one out Alix, why in today’s society and with today’s administration, just listening to women speak is more important that “sharing opinions”.

      • Alix says:

        @archie goodwin: then why are you on this thread? yes, we need to listen to women speak. to shut up about everything they say, because they’re free to express themselves without feedback and orcounter-arguments, is patronizing.

      • Amide says:

        Thanks for all your points.👊👏
        Seems for the other side, women MUST approve Martha’s comments to prove their ‘credentials’.
        Because if you don’t feel the same way, it’s not your own cogent thoughts, but rather symptomatic of something sinister.😐

      • Megan says:

        @Amide Alix (who, if I recall correctly, once wished death on Donald Trump) is trying to impose her own moral perspective onto the situation. That kind of thinking is what has made reproductive freedom such an enormous challenge in the US. So, yes, there is something deeply sinister to her comments.

      • Kitten says:

        @ Alix-I don’t have an issue with counterarguments at all but I don’t see how a “counterargument” can be applied to such a deeply personal experience like abortion.

        It’s one thing to say “I could never have such a cavalier approach to abortion” because that is YOUR truth and it is 100% valid. But it’s quite another thing to shame her for her experience or to insinuate that there is something morally wrong with how she handled HER CHOICE.

        And that’s the thing: if you truly believe in the “Her Body, Her Choice” mentality, then you must also accept that with her body and her choice will come HER personal opinion about abortion, her personal emotions or lack thereof.

        That is HER truth.

        As ArchieGoodwin is saying, it’s truly not our place to make a moral judgment on what abortion meant to her and how she chose to deal with it. It just isn’t.

      • Jegede says:

        @Amide –

        Apparently so.

        I’m with you guys and if it means I’m not feminist by their rules, then so be it.

      • Sixer says:

        Because a mountain of disapproving comments and tone policing makes women afraid to speak up or truthfully, Alix. And then the women who come after only see the negative experiences and comments because the other side has been shamed into silence.

        Unless you’re an obnoxious old boot like me.

        That said, I think you should say what you like. Just be aware that it might have the effect of intimidating others into not saying what they like.

      • Alix says:

        @ Megan: for the record, I made a flippant comment about the fact that no one, surprisingly, has taken a whack yet at Trump. I then realized the callousness of my words and deleted them. Also for the record, many, MANY commenters on this site have overtly wished Trump to drop dead of a heart attack, choking, illness, and whatnot. But yeah, I’m the evil one.

        I’m not trying to impose my moral perspective on the issue any more than Martha Plimpton is, and yet my comments are “sinister”. Get a grip, hon.

        @ Kitten: “It’s one thing to say “I could never have such a cavalier approach to abortion” because that is YOUR truth and it is 100% valid.’ That’s odd, I never said any such thing. Even odder, you’ll defend to the death Plimpton’s right to speak HER truth, but not the right of others to speak theirs in this modest forum.

        @ Sixer: As always, you’re a breath of fresh air on this site. If my views (which I didn’t consider all that inflammatory) are intimidating people into not saying what they like, the sheer venom of other commenters intimidates in the other direction. Everyone’s allowed to say what they want, so long as they adhere to the proper opinions! Plimpton’s comment doesn’t bother me nearly as much as the viciousness on this site.

      • Sixer says:

        Alix – I genuinely think everyone should say what they want. That said, when I have spoken bluntly in the past about not having any ill effects or personal struggle over termination, I’ve often had many messages (usually in private) from other women. They all say “thank you because I’m too scared to say that in public” or “you’re so brave to say that” etc etc etc.

        Well, I’m not brave. I’m just lucky to have been born with a very thick skin. It genuinely costs me nothing to say this and so I say it as often as I can because I’m aware other women don’t feel able.

        It’s true to say that, even within pro-choice environments, there is an expectation that any testament of a termination must be accompanied by a personal struggle or terrible back story. Women who don’t have those things, women who have just had an abortion because they needed one and weren’t at all adversely affected by it, often stay silent, or even worse, “decorate” their story a bit so that it sounds acceptable.

        I wouldn’t want you to change your opinion or ever be unable to express it. But it would be nice if you could consider what I’ve said here – there are ways of putting views out there which don’t potentially make it difficult for others to be as open themselves, you know?

        I do get it that this joke is not one that everyone’s going to be comfortable with. And I also get it that it goes both ways.

      • Kitten says:

        “It’s one thing to say ‘I could never have such a cavalier approach to abortion’ because that is YOUR truth and it is 100% valid.’ That’s odd, I never said any such thing. ”

        @ Alix- Oh believe me, I *know* that you didn’t say that. My point was that if you had, people wouldn’t be calling you out. You went beyond sharing your personal opinion about abortion, you decided to equate it with murder and then issued a moral judgment about another woman’s experience with abortion.

        “Even odder, you’ll defend to the death Plimpton’s right to speak HER truth, but not the right of others to speak theirs in this modest forum.”

        I’m starting to wonder if you even read my comment at all, honestly. My point was exactly THAT: I was defending people’s right to say that they do not share Martha’s view of abortion. I am NOT however, defending your right to JUDGE her view on abortion.

        I honestly don’t know how I can be any clearer. You didn’t merely give your opinion; you gave your opinion then turned right around and judged Martha for hers. Huge difference.

      • Megan says:

        @Alix So you can make a flippant remark about killing a human being, but Martha Plimpton can’t make a flippant remark about aborting a fetus?

      • Kitten says:

        Also meant to add that personally, I would not have an abortion and I don’t feel any need to elaborate on my reasons why.

        I also do not feel a need to judge any other woman’s reasons for having an abortion. If an abortion made her feel sad or mad, happy or relieved–it is simply NONE of my business. My job is to support her and her right to bodily autonomy and whatever feelings come along with that, period.

        Sorry for the gang-up, Alix, but I like you a lot which is why I’m kinda disappointed in some of your comments today. Oh well.

      • Megan says:

        I want to add that I have never had an abortion because I have never been pregnant. I attribute that to growing up in the golden age of progressive education in which sexual health was a mandatory part of public education. Not only were we educated in the full functions of the reproductive organs, were were fully instructed on every type of birth control and how to use them correctly. As a high school freshman, I put a condom on a banana during a school field trip to Planned Parenthood.

        Regardless of your moral position on abortion, anyone who considers herself a feminist should be fighting to bring back this kind of education.

  11. Scarlett says:

    I am pro-life and her wording it that way feels ( IMO) like it is intended to shock and it really makes me cringe ( especially since I struggled so much with infertility before I had my kids ), but I understand her decision, her uterus, her choice. Would it be a choice I would make or be comfortable making, hell no. Do I respect her decision to do what she deemed right for her? Absolutely!

    • littlemissnaughty says:

      I don’t think anyone here is anti-life, to be fair.

    • Erica_V says:

      So I’m reading your comment and however you self identify is how you self identify but based on your comment I would say you are actually pro-choice.

      If you are saying it’s not for you (your choice) but you understand, respect & are fine with her decision (her choice) then you are pro-choice.

      That’s all pro-choice means – you are for a woman making the choice for herself. It does not necessary equal pro-abortion. I feel if more people would understand this the discussion of abortion would be much different.

      • Erinn says:


        I’d say Scarlette you are absolutely pro-choice by the sounds, but personally wouldn’t make that particular choice.

      • Scarlett says:

        I have never really known how to identify myself. When I was pregnant with kid #2, 6 weeks along, I was advised to medically terminate the pregnancy ( took me 13 months to get pregnant ) then that diagnosis, I put my foot down and refused to terminate, and was ready to face the consequences of my choice.

        In my head that was being pro-life, but I see what you ( Erinn and Erica_V ) mean, maybe I am pro-choice except when it comes to me making the choice.

        In the words of Robin Williams , I am like a Volvo with a gun rack, an atheist liberal conservative who is pro-life but chooses to respect the choices others make, so the lines always get muddled LOL.

        tl;dr : Kid #2 was born healthy and well, the test results were wrong.

      • detritus says:

        You can be pro choice for others, and not feel the same way personally, absolutely no conflict there. That’s actually the best possible stance, you are not judging others for making different choices than you.

    • magnoliarose says:

      I find your balanced view refreshing and support your choice and feelings. Every woman’s perspective is valid as long as it is her choice and she is not being forced to do something against her will.
      My father’s childhood friend died because she had an illegal abortion for a tragic reason. That is preventable, and that is what makes it sad. Her life was more important than someone else’s morality.

  12. Kali says:

    My first abortion was in a women’s hospital in 1984. In New Zealand. I was 20. It was free. And it was my best one.

  13. Sayrah says:

    I had an abortion at 22 and while I understand what she’s trying to do, I still see it as a private thing that shouldn’t be bragged about. I know the point is that I and others shouldn’t feel ashamed for our choices but … eh.

    • Honeybee Blues says:

      Then don’t brag about it. Just like the adage “if you think abortion is wrong, then don’t have one.” If you think bragging is wrong, then don’t do it. But please refrain from telling others how and in what tone they may recant their own experiences.

      • CynicalAnn says:

        You couldn’t be more hypocritical. She’s giving her own experience and feelings and you’re telling her she should refrain. EVERYONE has opinions, including you, on other people’s experiences and feelings.

      • Sayrah says:

        Let me be clear. I am not ashamed of having an abortion. I am angry with myself that I knew better and shouldn’t have trusted my partner to pull and pray. I knew I wanted an abortion the minute I found out, but it’s not so easy for everyone. I have gone on to easily get pregnant with and have 3 healthy children with my husband when the time was right for us. It bothers me when anti-choicers say that one abortion can make a woman infertile or that she will forever have guilt because that’s just not true. And just because I don’t “like” the way she’s being flip about something I think is a serious matter doesn’t mean I don’t think she has the right to say it or to feel however she wants to about it. I agree with others saying that we need to destigmatize it, but this celebration of it doesn’t feel right either IN MY OPINION as I’m entitled to.

      • Erinn says:

        Alix and Cynical Ann

        Here’s the difference.

        “I still see it as a private thing that shouldn’t be bragged about.”
        That’s saying that she doesn’t believe ANYONE should be bragging about it.

        “I still see it as a private thing that I wouldn’t brag about”
        That’s saying that PERSONALLY she wouldn’t be able to brag about it, or feel right bragging about it.

        There’s a difference between giving your experience and opinion – and giving your experience and stating how the experience as a whole should be discussed. It’s not hypocritical to point that out. Nobody is saying that YOU can’t share YOUR experience, and how you PERSONALLY would act/speak/etc.

        Another example:

        I think icecream is wonderful – chocolate is the best flavor.


        I think icecream is wonderful – my favorite flavor is chocolate.

  14. TheOtherMaria says:

    I’m glad she said it the way she did.

    I’m sure at the time she was conflicted but that was 26 yrs ago! Was it crass? Sure, however, I simply do not care…

    People should be able to process and convey their own experiences in whichever way they see fit. What I find far more cruder is men still having the ability to restrict our options.

    Abortion isn’t a “comfortable” issue, I can appreciate her brazen approach, contrary to what some pro-life propaganda will tell you… It IS possible to move on and find joy on life.

    She is living proof of this.

  15. Kathleen says:

    This is kind of a follow-up to some of the painful discussions going on last week regarding the silence and stigma about infertility but I would point out here that this is a perfect example of what I was talking about. I support this woman’s right to have an abortion and talk about it any way she chooses. But “reproductive rights” ALSO includes protection for the infertile. Access to proper care for the INFERTILE. THESE ARE REPRODUCTIVE RIGHTS. And I have yet to see literally anyone in the feminist reproductive movement recognize that my rights, as a woman trying to HAVE a baby, are just as important and need to be shouted about just as loudly as the choice to have or not have an abortion. My right to affordable and safe fertility treatments for health conditions I cannot control that I’ve had since I was 18 are a part of this discussion and if it’s not a part of your discussion as a pro-choice advocate than your “feminism” sucks. Happy Friday everyone.

    • Sixer says:

      Is this a US health insurance thing? Because it’s not like that in the UK. There is quite a lot of feminist campaigning on the availability of IVF on the NHS for instance – some areas will provide just one cycle and others three. You see a lot of woman-led campaigning for the number of treatments to be a national standard before people are told they must go private for more.

      • jwoolman says:

        In the US before Obamacare, women had to pay thousands of dollars per year extra just to have insurance for a normal birth. Trump and his Republican friends are trying to get rid of the mandatory maternity provisions in health insurance again since the guys in Congress seem baffled about why they should pay for maternity care (having been born under a rock rather than born of a woman). I know a couple who aborted back in the 1970s or so because they couldn’t afford the extra insurance, much less any other complications that might not be fully covered.

        So of course there was no provision for fertility treatments as well. Don’t known if Obamacare helped with that, though.

      • jetlagged says:

        Obamacare has no requirement to cover infertility treatments, I’m guessing getting mandatory pregnancy coverage was probably difficult enough. Most Americans get their health coverage through their employer (at least I think they do) so what is or isn’t covered is as varied as can be. Most large employer plans are more generous in what they cover than what Obamacare mandates, but there is no national requirement that says they have to be. Some employers cover infertility treatments, some include IVF, but about 40% of company health plans don’t cover infertility at all.

    • Kellie says:

      I’m sorry for your situation, but having children is a blessing, not a right.

      • Kathleen says:

        @Kellie, that’s a deeply insensitive comment. “A blessing not a right.” The bottom line is that the majority of reproductive health conditions that CAUSE INFERTILITY could be treated if the US had a more honest and open conversation about female health. And that is entirely my point here. Safe access to treatment for all female reproductive health issues and a free environment to talk about them is what reproductive rights should be. Having children isn’t just some random “blessing” and you are a fool if that’s what you think. Infertility is not different than any other health condition and I have a right to healthcare and a voice to get what I need to fight those battles just as much as a woman has a right to a safe and legal abortion. If you believe that a woman has a right to END a pregnancy as she sees fit (and I do) then you should also believe that our healthcare system should treat infertility as the right to be able to conceive with proper healthcare is no different than the right to end a pregnancy.

      • Megan says:

        @Kelli Most insurance plans cover male infertility, but few cover IVF. Healthcare parity between men and women is a right.

      • sunnydaze says:

        I respect your opinion, but with all due respect, I’m an atheist. I don’t think anything is a blessing, and many people would agree. There are lots of situations where having a child would put them in an objectively terrible position that is deeply unfair. Infertility is a medical condition/diagnosis, and beyond anyone’s control save medical intervention. If a woman is able to support a child and wants one, I believe she has a right to seek medical intervention to address a medical condition.

      • Sixer says:

        “Most insurance plans cover male infertility, but few cover IVF.”

        Well, I wondered if it was a health insurance thing but I have to say that it had never occurred to me that male infertility would be covered but not female. How can this even come to pass when US healthcare is a private market with 50% female customers?

        I’m genuinely shocked.

        And now I understand Kathleen’s comment better in context. In the UK (usual caveat of NI excepted) we have universal access to contraception and terminations without charge. So it makes sense that feminist activism would centre around extending that access to women in NI and ensuring that every woman has access to the same number of free cycles of IVF whatever region of the country they live in. The rest of it has been achieved.

      • Originaltessa says:

        @Kelli… Says who? Every right women have under the law at some point was probably not considered one. The right to vote, own property, to have an abortion… A woman having affordable access to reproductive healthcare, be it for terminating pregnancy, or becoming pregnant, should be under the same umbrella. It’s reproductive health.

      • Kitten says:

        @Sunnydaze-As an atheist I always say that having children is a PRIVILEGE and not a right.

        Because I truly believe that in our society so many people think they are entitled to raise children without considering whether they are adequately equipped to be the best parent they can possibly be. Too many people treat childbirth like an inherent right and not enough people treat it like the exceptional privilege that it is.

        ETA: @Kathleen-this was not directed towards you and the pain of your ongoing struggle, just meant to be a general statement.

      • Megan says:

        @Sixer Healthcare in the US, from policy to insurance to delivery is dominated by white men.

      • Originaltessa says:

        I like to think that women who are seeking fertility treatment are serious in their desire to be mothers, and if medical treatment is available to them, they should have access to it in the same way that women who do not want to be mothers do.

      • Sixer says:

        Megan – sometimes there are arguments on this site that I don’t quite follow (ie Kathleen’s comment above) but can see there are implicit understandings that I’m missing. I get it now. Still shocked now I get it though! The US is a world leader in some respects but in others it trails so far behind.

      • Megan says:

        @Sixer I am an American and I don’t get our healthcare system. No excuse for it.

      • sunnydaze says:

        @Kitten, totally agree – I started to go on about how I have a pretty controversial opinion on the “right” to bear children when people cannot support the ones they have, but deleted it because the answer to that whole issue is a level of complexity I’m not capable of on a Friday :) To be fair, I have very strong opinions on limiting the “right” of a man to produce children when they have multiple children that they aren’t contributing toward. My ex had three children by three different women and isn’t paying for any of them – in my mind, that’s borderline criminal. On a much sadder note I often work with women who have children tied up in foster care due to substance abuse issues and so many have come through with a new boyfriend saying how they wanted to have another child. It’s almost as if they’ve accepted they’ll never regain custody and want to try again, even if it’s the 3rd, 4th, 5th time. I absolutely support reuniting families and keeping families together, but it’s very difficult for me to sit with a homeless woman who is struggling with heroin use trying for her 4th child. But, that’s for me to take up in supervision!

      • Megan says:

        @Sunnydaze DC and MD have a simple solution for child support. As an employer, I am required to deduct it from the employee’s paycheck and deposit it into the account provided to me by the appropriate jurisdiction. There are no parent-to-parent transactions when it comes to child support, and there are no exceptions as a few recent divorcees have discovered.

    • Lee1 says:

      I think you make a really interesting point about how fertility is forgotten in most feminist movements. I myself am very fortunate to live in a country where many aspects of fertility treatements are increasingly covered by our universal healthcare. But I read a really interesting article a few months ago by a woman who had had an abortion in her early 20s and felt so comforted that her femisist beliefs and books were there to help her process and feel empowered by that decision. Then, she had a miscarriage in her 30s after trying very hard to get pregnant and she felt completely deserted by all of her feminist texts and heroines as it seemed to never be discussed. It was such a different experience for her but she couldn’t make sense of why or how to cope because of that.

      I do think we can talk about one without having to take about the other in the same breath, but you are right that we do need to talk about infertility as a part of reproductive rights that should be addressed through that lens too and that isn’t happening at all from what I’ve seen.

      • Kathleen says:

        @Lee1, that’s definitely how I’ve felt and I very much relate to that woman’s experience. It’s very confusing. I don’t think that every conversation about abortion needs to also include conversations about infertility. This was an event specifically about abortion so it makes complete sense why that’s what she’s talking about. But very few of these famous reproductive health ‘advocates” do literally anything to tackle the other side of this. They support a woman’s right to end a pregnancy (as do I) but literally erase the fact that there are barely any measures in place to protect women going through IVF or after miscarriage. It just has left me feeling very empty and conflicted by the whole movement. I know it’s not rational but it often just feels like the pro-choice movement now is out for themselves and that’s it. That’s there’s no room for more inclusive reproductive rights convos that aren’t about abortion. I don’t know. It makes me sad and isolated.

    • sunnydaze says:

      Could not agree more!!!!!

    • Amelia says:

      Kathleen-so sorry to hear of your health and struggle to get the things you want and have a right to! I’m so glad you bring this up, it’s really not something that has occurred to me. We need to be allies on both sides. The hurt and lack of support seems to be going both ways. Pro choice folks are less vocal in supporting infertility and related issues. Those with infertility are can be quite vocal against pro choice. I personally have a friend, well many, but one in particular who has been trying for years to have a baby and when she found out about my abortion (that was 13 years ago), she couldn’t stand to be near me. She said she can’t stand women who treat it like no big deal when there are so many who long for a child. Meanwhile, I as a pro choice woman, did not do all I could to make it clear I was her ally and she had my support. A lot to learn for the both of us!

      • Kathleen says:

        @Amelia, I’m sorry for how your friend treated you but just be aware? From a political standpoint? No this is not a “both sides” issue. IVF is not covered by the majority of healthcare plans. Treatment for pelvic floor disorder, pelvic pain (all of which can be caused by endo) is not covered by the majority of health care plans. It’s all out of pocket. And the pro-life community, in general, does NOT support IVF because the belief is that women should never be allowed to create embryos and then not use them or screen for abnormalities. So just be aware that from a healthcare perspective, the pro-choice and infertile movements are in much the same position—we are both fighting for safe access to healthcare to treat reproductive rights based on personal choice. I’m not saying that there aren’t women dealing with infertility that aren’t pro-life—I’m sure there are. But, in general, it’s not a “both sides” problem here. This is a one sided issue that has to do with the US healthcare system not respecting female agency over their bodies/not providing safe and non-stigmatized access to reproductive treatment.

      • Kitten says:

        @ Kathleen-I think you make a lot of great points here. I absolutely agree that women who struggle with the ability to give birth should have a bigger part of the platform in the pro-choice debate.

        So sorry for your struggles, but I think you may have found a silver lining in that your outspokenness on this issue could be effective in bringing infertility issues to the forefront.

        As a 38-year-old who has never had a child (or an abortion for that matter) but who may decide to have one in the future, your struggle could eventually be mine as well.

        Thank you for your important comments.

    • Snowflake says:

      I’m sorry for your health issues. You are right, that is part of reproductive health. Probably a lot of people don’t think about it because they are not having those issues. I hope everything works out for you.

    • magnoliarose says:

      I advocate for infertility to be included in reproductive rights because of lack of research, support, and choices for women to understand why they are infertile and how to prevent it.
      We know nothing about what causes this. We have names for different reasons after the fact, but we don’t know anything at the root of it.
      Not knowing is another way of robbing a woman of her choice. She is boxed into a corner with no options but all of the devastation.

      It is a women’s health issue before it becomes a reproductive choice or a choice not to have children.

  16. Katherine says:

    No, I don’t feel uncomfortable, why? Glad she talked about it, the yelp joke was funny)

  17. adastraperaspera says:

    Love her all the way. Women are tired of being shamed about abortions. It’s still a free country and she should get to express herself about her business any way she wants. Let’s face it, if men had abortions there would probably be HBO comedy specials devoted to it.

    • Alix says:

      It shouldn’t be about shame or guilt. It might be about a certain sense of the magnitude of such a decision. The idea that women get abortions the same way the get a new haircut is what makes the pro-lifers fit to be tied, and I can’t say that I blame them.

      • Honeybee Blues says:

        So, Alix, what all of your comments have clearly stated thus far in my perusal, is that you believe in a woman’s right to choose as long as she’s guilt-ridden and sad about it. As long as every woman seeking the simple procedure considers the decision to one of magnitude and shame, then it’s ok with you. Guess what. It isn’t a big emotional crisis for a lot of women. Not in the least, and I for one will not ever permit the Alix’s of the world to spread that shame.

      • Originaltessa says:

        I don’t think you’re ever going to convince a person that sees a fetus as a human life that an abortion is a “simple procedure.” It’s not a haircut for those of us that regard a 26 week fetus as more than dead strands of hair. I am pro choice, btw. I believe that what a woman chooses to do with her body is her decision, and her decision only. But, I think there are people, like me, that don’t see an abortion as a simple procedure. And I don’t want to feel ashamed for feeling that. There can be more than one way to view abortion while still supporting the fundamental right of abortion. If I never see it as a mindless simple procedure like a haircut, I think the people that do see it that way shouldn’t shame me .

      • CynicalAnn says:

        @Originaltessa, I totally agree with you.

      • Mel M says:

        @originaltessa- I feel the exact same way. I’ve had a abortion and this thread makes me feel like my guilt over it is not my own, like it’s my fathers, or religions, or the old woman next door. Like without society and religion I would be totally a ok about it. I do feel guilty because I believe it was a life and I chose to end it. I’m forever grateful that I had that choice because I can’t imagine what my life would’ve been like without it but can’t I also feel bad about it? It wasn’t a decision I wanted to make but I put myself in the position to have to make it. I’m grateful I had a safe procedure I could afford but I hate that I had to have it and hat should be ok.

      • Originaltessa says:

        @Mel M, yes I agree. I’ve had little influence in my life by religion or religious people. My opinions and feelings have always been my own, and made with thought and careful consideration. I’m not a brainwashed moron that hasn’t been allowed to form my own opinions. And I quite frankly resent the suggestion that an opinion that doesn’t tow the party line perfectly is not valid, or somehow a judgment of others.

      • Otaku Fairy says:

        @OriginalTessa and MelM: Of course you have the right to your own feelings about the decision for yourselves. There are going to be rights people aren’t personally eager to exercise, want to protect and support for others. I believe you when you say that your positions on abortion for yourselves aren’t because of misogyny or religion, but that’s not the truth about everybody. Women/feminists/liberals being able to discuss the ways patriarchy and religion can shape people’s thoughts and feelings on bodily autonomy, gender, sexuality, morality, etc. is an important part of addressing oppression and inequality. We can acknowledge that and still agree that women are able to have their own feelings about abortion for themselves without being brainwashed. The ‘regrettable and emotionally devastating but necessary choice’ narrative on abortion is very much the party line and a more ‘acceptable’, palatable response from women in our patriarchal society than this “Glad I made the best choice for myself. Come at me, Deplorables and the like” take that Martha is delivering in a comical way. One woman’s being glad she made one choice about abortion doesn’t take away from women who are glad they made the opposite choice, or the women who wished they did/could have made a different choice.

    • Alix says:

      @ Honeybee Blues: I don’t think you read very carefully, dear. I have never, not once, on this thread even suggested that women should feel shame or guilt over an abortion. I am simply appalled that, so often, so little weight is given to what the procedure actually involves. This is my opinion — the sharing of such being the point of this thread. But any dissenting opinion seems, in your view, an attack. The Alixes of the world are not spreading shame, but you seem to want to think so.

  18. LadyT says:

    Are there not a lot of possibilities between shamed and celebrated? That’s where my feelings lie. How about just accepted?

    • Kathleen says:

      This is where I am too. I don’t want to shame women who have had abortions. And I don’t want to force them to feel something they don’t feel. I want women to live their truth and I support their right to do so. But, as a member of the infertile community and someone who has miscarried, these kinds of conversations from the pro-choice community make me feel very isolated and sad. Because it makes me feel like my experience as a liberal feminist who can’t conceive but desperately wants to isn’t the “right” expression in their eyes. So much of the science that supports IVF and reproductive health desperately needs the pro-choice movement to support it. But we basically get forgotten. So I don’t want to police what she says or how she feels. I do think this is an important convo. I just wish she and women like her thought about how it made people like me feel.

  19. sunnydaze says:


    I’ve never had to have an abortion (thank you Plan B and Planned Parenthood who had my back when my ex would pop my bc down the toilet), but I know many women who have. It’s so important for these stories to be given a platform to counter the other “stories” (I’m not saying they’re false, but I am side-eyeing their “truthiness”) touted by the anti-choice movement. Photoshopped bloody babies fully developed with captions saying “This is your baby at 12 weeks”, or stories of women who heard their baby cry as it was vacuumed out of them. People believe this. It plays to people’s deepest fears that a mother would murder her baby and throws all science out the window.

  20. Mermaid says:

    I am firmly pro choice. The tone she used did make me uncomfortable because it is such a serious decision but I am not judging anyone or their reasons for having one here. I’m just wondering was this when she was with River Phoenix?

  21. katydaley says:

    I had an abortion which I never regretted but broke my heart for a long time. The number one lesson I learned was to never get into that situation again. I am pro abortion but there is no getting away from the morality of it. I understand what she said and why but I think its a horrible insensitive statement and suggests something lacking in her.

  22. Millenial says:

    I don’t really care how she describes it.

    Should we start a thread where we discuss our abortions? I had an abortion at 21. I missed a pill and that’s all it took. I was a senior in college, and I wasn’t ready (emotionally, financially) to be a mom. The father was sort of 2-3 month fling, and while it was fun, we had an emotionally volatile relationship. I didn’t want to be tied to him for the rest of my life. I knew I wanted to wait on children and do things when I was ready.

    At 27, I became a mom. I’m glad waited on children and I have no regrets.

    I should say, too, I had a miscarriage after my first child. That pregnancy was very much wanted, but even then I didn’t regret it. Timing is everything.

    • bettyrose says:

      Your comment about “2-3 months” really resonated with me. I think most people over 25 or 30 have former sexual partners they haven’t spoken to or even really thought about in years. We’re all human and we should be entitled to figure out who we are before entering life-altering relationships. Voices like yours matter so much!

  23. detritus says:

    If anyone is going to joke about abortions I’d like it to be ladies. This is tongue in cheek for laughs. It’s a medical procedure, no one wants to get it done, it would never be pleasant. She’s making a joke, so I’m not going to start clutching for my pearls.

  24. Jerusha says:

    I don’t remember the exact year, early 70s before Roe v Wade I believe, the same effort was made in that a large group of famous women spoke out about having an abortion. I recall Gloria Steinem and Brigitte Bardot were two of them.

  25. Rapunzel says:

    Nope. Just nope. Sorry Martha, you can’t destigmatize abortion by playing into the stigma.

    Those who support this and think it removes shame from the topic, please think again. This attitude just feeds anti-choice rhetoric and harms the pro-choice cause.

    This is not the way to make abortion less taboo. It just reinforces negative stereotypes.

    • Honeybee Blues says:

      SO, let those who would remove our choices control the narrative? I don’t think so.

      • Rapunzel says:

        You’d rather give them ammunition?

        You ARE letting anti-choice control the narrative if you reinforce their narrative, which is what Plimpton Is doing.

      • Kitten says:

        @ Rapunzel- The point is that the abortion conversation has been one that has centered around morality and shame since the first abortion was performed.

        Guess who decided to make a medical procedure into a moral quandary?


        So how do you fight against that?

        You take the conversation BACK, you take the shame and morality OUT of the equation and you make it about SIMPLE. PERSONAL. CHOICE.
        This is what Plympton is attempting to do here-nothing more and nothing less-she is trying to say that her choice was not one that was made with deep shame or guilt. To her, it was simply a medical procedure that was ultimately a relief for her.

        Again, you don’t have to share her opinion but if you are truly pro-choice you should support her desire to steer the collective conversation away from morality and religion and back to what it should be: a PERSONAL CHOICE regarding an elective medical procedure.

      • CynicalAnn says:

        @Kitten-I totally disagree. I don’t think it moves the discussion forward at all. I’m pro-choice, but apparently not the “proper” type of pro choice.

      • Kitten says:

        @CynicalAnn- It’s not about “moving the conversation forward” but rather de-stigmatizing.

        I honestly don’t understand how you can read the comments on this thread from women saying that the abortion itself was fine, but the shame that they felt afterwards was excruciating, and not be moved by their stories.

        Do you honestly feel that women being made to feel like they are somehow tarnished or evil or selfish because they chose to have an abortion is somehow a good thing or acceptable on any level? Martha Plimpton is giving these women a voice, she’s saying “it’s OK to be relieved and it’s ok to feel good about your choice to have an abortion.”

        If you don’t see how that is a good thing then maybe you need to dig a little deeper.

      • CynicalAnn says:

        @Kitten-I never said anywhere that women are evil/selfish/tarnished if they’ve had an abortion. I’ve said all the over the place that I support Planned Parenthood, I support a woman’s right to choose. Furthermore, if my teenaged daughter got pregnant I would be holding her hand during the procedure. However, I had an ultrasound at 10 weeks of pregnancy and I saw that it’s not a “bunch of cells”, it looks like a tiny baby/life form–so I can see the other side when people feel like it’s ending an life. But again: it doesn’t matter what I feel personally–it’s what I support and vote for. I’m never, ever going to say a woman shouldn’t have the right to choose. I will always donate to Planned Parenthood and vote for pro choice candidates. But it’s not just a “medical procedure” like getting a tooth removed-and I stand by thinking it’s gross for her to joke around about it.

  26. Sullivan says:

    I am pro-choice. If someone wants to share her abortion experience(s) that is also her choice, but I’m ok with knowing that a woman’s decision to have an abortion (or multiple abortions) is absolutely none of my business. All I care about is that the choice remains legally available and safe.

  27. mz says:

    I had a medical abortion as the consequence of a very early miscarriage while trying to conceive my second child, and I approached the procedure with so much stress, but it was the MOST comfortable and pleasant medical experience I have ever had! I made the same Yelp joke for weeks – because it was funny to me and because it felt good to talk about something that seemed scarier than it was.

    Like abortion, miscarriage is not something people talk about openly so I think being flippant about a serious subject is one way to shine a light on the issue and to normalize experiences that are often shamed.

  28. Chelly says:

    Ive had several friends and even gone w & supported some through the procedure & although i coudnt imagine ever having one now in my older years. I would always remember the fear they all had & the feeling of why it was necessary for them, so i dont judge women ever for having a procedure that was so personal & necessary for them to do. And i never will

  29. Electric Tuba says:

    I’m not here to police her tone or thoughts or her body or choices.

    • Otaku Fairy says:

      Agreed. I actually think she’s brave to come out with a provocative statement like this. It’s unfortunate that the same people standing up for the right of pro-choice women with the more socially accepted/expected viewpoint on their own abortions to not be criticized for it respond to a pro-choice woman who’s glad about her decision and not afraid of anti-choicers seeing her lack of ‘repentance’ by basically saying “Shh, you can’t talk like that about it because that’s not how we feel about it! OMG, do you want people with the most conservative stances on this issue to hate us and not support our rights?” It’s not all that surprising though. When it comes to anything related to the body- women’s bodies, specifically- women are always expected to tip-toe around and pander to someone with more conservative stance.

      • CynicalAnn says:

        That’s not remotely what we’re saying. You’re interpreting it to fit your narrative. What matters is action. I’ve given, and will continue to donate $$$, to Planned Parenthood because I think safe abortions should be guaranteed. And guess what-if you can’t even manage to not alienate other pro choice women-there’s no way in hell you’re ever going to convince the Right that abortions should stay legal.

      • Veronica says:

        The hard right is never going to believe that abortions should be legal. Their entire narrative starts at the extreme – abortion is murder, abortion is evil. There is no middle ground there. There is no convincing people who firmly believe that and who believe a fetus’s rights override an adult woman’s is acceptable. You are talking about a group of people who have actual members who believe a woman should die in childbirth before she terminates a pregnancy. That is how little women’s lives are valued to them. For then, anti-choice is as much about control of women as its reproductive rights. They are the last people you should care about convincing because the chances are extraordinarily slim that they’ll ever come around.

        Look, nobody is saying that abortion is a light-hearted issue. It’s a choice that has an impact, one way or another. It is a surgical procedure. It should not be laughed off as something that lacks the potential for harm. But when we sit here and say, “This is the only way a woman should feel about abortion,” you’re getting into dangerous territory. You are feeding into the mindset that women are somehow incapable of being rational, informed, and capable of engaging their own emotional responses in an mature manner. It’s fine if you don’t like what she said. It’s fine if you don’t agree. But saying that she shouldn’t do it is feeding right into the stigmatized narrative the right weaponizes against women.

        As far as I’m concerned, telling the Martha Plimptons of the world to be quiet is far more dangerous than letting them speak. You may never reach the right. But you may reach plenty of young men and women out there who have only ever hard abortion framed through shame and guilt finally gaining insight into how complex the emotional response can actually be. I know – because I was one of them. I spent most of my teen years on the fence or outright against abortion. It was hearing the voices of women across the entire spectrum, the hurt or the anger or even the joy, that changed my position.

  30. BJ says:

    If anyone is uncomfortable with what she said that’s fine and you can express that.But it has nothing to do with her.She is sharing her experience and your opinion is not her reality.Abortion is not a serious,somber experience for every woman.You may think it should be but it is not.
    I have a cousin who has had six children over the last 20 years , she has given all them away either through adoption or to their fathers custody.Many women would find that a sad or serious decision,she is happy.She still sees ,most of them but doesn’t want to care for any of them.She will probably get pregnant again and give that child away.It is what it is.
    Having an abortion or giving your child away doesn’t affect every woman the same way.

    • minxx says:

      Should we now applaud your cousin’s choices? She keeps breeding like a rabbit and giving her kids away. Is she mentally challenged? She sees them from time to time but doesn’t feel like caring for them. Ask those kids when they grow up how they feel about their mother’s “choices”. Am I judgemental? You bet.

  31. Aang says:

    Had an abortion at 17. It was not easy and it still makes me sad. But I recognize it as the best choice at the time. I remain staunchly pro choice but I’d also consider myself anti abortion, in that I do consider it a sad choice. I wonder if she is this flippant as a self protection mechanism. Maybe there are feelings she has yet to deal with. Or maybe she really takes it very lightly. Either way it’s her body, her choice.

  32. Giddy says:

    Being one of the older commenters here I have perhaps a more unique view on this conversation. Because I got pregnant in college, in the days when abortions were highly illegal. My boyfriend asked around quietly and a friend of a friend gave him a name. The doctor was in another state and his office gave instructions to come to the back door after hours. Cash only.

    After a 10 hour drive we arrived. I was taken in a back room and given a hospital gown. The doctor came in, asked me if I was sure, then told me to lie down. My boyfriend was on one side, the silent nurse on the other. I was given no medication of any kind, but the nurse handed me a rolled up washcloth. She told me to put it between my teeth and bite down. The doctor then performed a d and c . Imagine having a root canal without anesthesia and multiply it by 100. I had tears running down my face and would have screamed my head off, but that washcloth was like a gag. I remember biting down until it felt like my jaw would crack. When it was over I was handed a large Kotex, and told that if I began to hemorrhage to go to an E.R. That was it. I had literally had a back room abortion.

    My bf helped me out to the car. I remember crying for a very long time from pain and severe cramping. We had to stop for more Kotex as I wondered if I was hemorrhaging or not. The pain, shame, and fear were overwhelming, as was the knowledge that I could die from the procedure. It took me a long time to get over mentally.

    So I don’t care how Martha P expressed herself. I care that she had safe legal procedures without shame. I care that if she wanted , she could have had support and counseling. I care that at no time was she in physical pain or danger, nor did she have to worry about being arrested.

    I apologize that this is so long, but please, protect reproductive rights. I’d be horrified if an animal was given such a procedure without anesthesia. We can’t let that day come again.

  33. Cristin says:

    Thank you for this post and for the sensitive and courageous way you’ve written about it. I would give so much to see this stigma lifted. The personal choice can be hard enough. The public shaming only makes it worse.

  34. nicegirl says:

    This is too real for me. Wow, thank you, Martha.

    Just typed a bunch and deleted the entire thing. I still can’t ‘tell’ anyone, ‘type’ the words of it all, because I am, well, ashamed, I guess.

    I am also afraid of the ‘abortion police’ – our president sucks eggs . . .

    3 is my number. First was the worst.

    • detritus says:

      Nothing to be ashamed of. You wouldn’t be ashamed by getting a tooth pulled, or stitches, or any other procedure that made you healthier and safer in the long term. Im sorry if anyone made you feel like that. It isn’t fair.

      • JosieH says:

        Tooth pulled? Wow, false equivalency.

      • detritus says:

        Nope, it’s not. About the same size and same mass of cells depending on the timing. Thanks for playing, but take your shaming elsewhere, I don’t have time for it.

      • magnoliarose says:

        I find it hypocritical that no one thinks about the children who are alive and suffering. A bunch of cells means more. Where is the outrage for children in poverty or living on the margins? How about the DACA kids? Minority children?
        The children we drop bombs on during war don’t seem to register. They feel everything every single day.

      • Sixer says:

        In the UK, where abortion is accessible (and free) to all, 80% are carried out under 10 weeks (with 55% overall being medical not surgical). 92% are first trimester. So no, not a false equivalence.

        And, by the way, the 2% that are carried out over 19 weeks are invariably those for which advocates of lower limits would create exceptions – very young teenagers who have hidden their pregnancies, late diagnosis of catastrophic problems with the foetus, threat of life to mother, concealed rape.

      • detritus says:

        Frig Mag, I 100% agree with that. If any of these people complaining about loose women and their abortions voted Trump, they deserve hellfire.
        You can’t force women to have babies, and the refuse to help take care of the babies. If there is not adequate social support it’s absolutely unconscionable, and really, no one, except maybe Finland, handles that shit correctly.

        People who have access to medical care, education, financial stability and healthy relationships abort less. No shit. Almost as if women knew what the hell was up and when they wouldn’t be good moms and hurt the children.

        @Sixer, thanks for the data back up, this type of nonsense needs to be nipped in the bud.

  35. SBS says:

    Many of the comments here by people who are “pro-choice” is one of the reasons abortion is still so stigmatized.

    • CynicalAnn says:

      I donate to Planned Parenthood. I believe there should be access to safe abortions. I recognize that there are situations where women are not able to have children, where there are medical reasons why women have to terminate their pregnancies. I think the people who demonstrate in front of clinics are vile. I don’t think women who have abortions should be shamed. But I also had an ultrasound at 10 weeks of pregnancy, and I could see it’s not a bunch of cells-so I also understand how people feel like life belongs at conception. It’s not black and white.

      • Alix says:

        @CynicalAnn: Unfortunately, on this thread, it seems to be so.

      • magnoliarose says:

        I respect your view point. I do not regret my abortion, but I do know there is a time limit before it does become a lot more complicated.
        Once I was married and wanted to have children the moment the test is positive it is a happy feeling for the potential of a baby. I think it should be framed that way so that miscarriage is understood not to be a failure but our body doing what is natural.

      • detritus says:

        I appreciate you trying to play both sides here, but ‘life’ does not begin at conception, and I have no respect for people who push that belief on others.

        You can have a fertilized egg and have it not implant, that’s what almost ALL non spermicidal contraceptives do. Unless now implantation is ‘conception’, anyone on BC is killing children based on your definition.

        And all those cells, even before fertilization, were alive.

      • CynicalAnn says:

        @detritus: so just like the right to lifers are unreasonable, so are you. You “have no respect for those who push their belief”–you’re doing the exact same thing. I don’t believe life begins at conception. But I had an ultrasound at 10 weeks-it looks like a baby-it doesn’t look like a bunch of cells. So my understanding of their beliefs is based on my experience. Does that mean that people shouldn’t have abortions? Of course not-that’s why I donate $$$$ to Planned Parenthood. But just like everything in life–it’s not black and white.

      • detritus says:

        Ahaha oh no. Cynical, you are wrong. I have no respect because it’s absolutely incorrect. This is scientific fact, not opinion. You can quibble about a soul, but life itself, does not start at that point.

        I have zero tolerance for those who infringe on the rights of others. You are welcome to your incorrect opinion, but sharing it is dangerous, and intolerant itself. I have no responsibility tolerate intolerance, and pro life is intolerance.

        Your constant need to say what is and isn’t ok or women weakens the pro choice argument and I will reiterate: pro life is not an opinion I will tolerate, because it is based on incorrect facts and religious morality policing. Just as I will not accept racism, or sexism, I will not accept this facet of those biases.

      • CynicalAnn says:

        Gosh-I had no idea by donating to Planned Parenthood and voting for pro-choice candidates I was “incorrect” or “dangerous” or “intolerant”. I’m so glad that you were able to point out how wrong I am to feel uncomfortable but still support women’s right to choose.

    • jwoolman says:

      People will always have different personal feelings about abortion and all those feelings are valid. I know many people who have doubts or certainties about the morality of an abortion, but who also feel it must be left in the hands of the woman and the government has neither the wisdom nor the right to intervene. So it must stay legal. That doesn’t mean they think it’s dandy or a good choice. As long as they believe it has to be the woman’s choice, right or wrong, there is no reason to push them out of the discussion.

      Don’t assume that those who want to take away a woman’s right to make her own decision represent all religious people, either. They are actually a minority, just very loud.

  36. Guest says:

    To be honest, reading it took be back – thought it was inappropriate and I’m 100% pro choice

  37. LucyHoneychurch says:

    I don’t feel uncomfortable. I think it’s something women should be able to talk openly about. We’d all be better off with more honestly regarding this topic.

  38. HelloThere says:

    Just no – making a joke out of something that is a serious discussion for many across the world doesn’t help anyone. I am pro choice to a point. Repeated abortions being used as a form of birth control is a problem. Ultimately we are all just a bunch of cells when those cells become a “life” is the question. Is it when the heart beats, is it when the brain can function. Huge debate about this in ethics and it ultimately determines many of society issues with regards to medical care etc. For example if you can abort a fetus at 24 weeks then if a fetus is born at 24 weeks should we try to save it (we do now) or do we consider it not a life? To act like it is a badge of honor to have an abortion without weighing all the aspects of what you are doing is just being immature.

  39. Margo S. says:

    Good for her. Her being outspoken is her right and I support it.

  40. Magda says:

    I’m from Poland. Abortion is generally banned here, except in cases of rape, damaged fetus and when the pregnancy is endangering woman’s health and/or life.(to find a doctor to perform even a legal one is a different matter). Last year, thousands of women protested in what was called a Black Protest, against our right wing governement’s plan to further restrain our reproductive rights. The protests were successful. The same year our celebrity singer confessed in an interview to an abortion because “her flat was too small”. The right wing nuts started a witch hunt against her but what is worse, they tried to make the whole Black Protest movement look like a gathering of blood thirsty egoists (while a left wing newspaper named her a Woman of the Year). So while I admired her courage to just say it in such a flippant manner, I still thought that it put the whole matter in a wrong perspective. Just my two cents. Btw, please excuse any typos/ errors on my part.

    • Anitas says:

      Coming from a conservative country where too many doctors refuse to perform abortions on grounds of personal convictions, I understand what you’re saying. Yes, Plimpton’s choice of words does make me feel uneasy, but digging deeper, could it be because I’m conditioned to support a woman’s right to choose but only if she shows sufficient piety? Does a woman have to be a victim before she should be able to exercise her choice? This is the narrative that the patriarchy insists on and we buy into.

  41. detritus says:

    Um. Abortion isn’t always a super serious horrible decision. It’s a medical procedure that can save a woman pain, suffering and a dependent she is unable to care for.

    Women have the right to make this choice for themselves, and the right to feel however the hell they want about it. Joyous, angry, hurt, heartbroken, content, nothing. All allowed.

  42. iulia says:

    Hmm, just a little literary analysis . It ‘s one thing to have the liberty to have an abortion and a different thing to talk about the ‘right” to have one. I am all for liberties/freedom to use my body, I am not sure about the right. This word is not suitable to the concept. Like the right to suicide . These are liberties, not rights.
    But in this woman’s quote, we get to something else, to good and evil, meaning judging. All of a sudden you can have “best” and abortion in the same sentence. I guess it is the opossite of having falsely for so long “bad” and abortion in the same sentence.
    Anyway there is something sad and nauseating for me to see us humans so so stuck in “good” and “evi;” simplistic , Garden of Eden thinking. In our post modern high tech society.

  43. Jaded says:

    While her wording could be construed as flippant and inappropriate, she has opened up a great dialogue here. Abortion is the elephant in the room and when people do talk about it they tend to be extremely polarized in their opinions. But the common thread I see here is that an unwanted pregnancy can be more detrimental to a woman’s mental and emotional health than an abortion. I had an abortion when I was 21. I’d been in an on/off, abusive relationship and was going on and off the pill. I couldn’t go through with a pregnancy as I was working for minimum wage (this was back in the early seventies so I was REALLY poor) and no medical benefits, I had ended the relationship because the man was emotionally abusive, and I was an emotional wreck. The only thing I could do to keep my job and my sanity was to terminate. I had mixed emotions about it but it was definitely the lesser of two evils.

  44. Honestly when I first read the article I immediately thought her comment was insensitive and inappropriate. There’s a huge amount of educated, open women in this post and I thank y’all once again for swaying my opinion. It’s not my place to judge her and I immediately thought of my cousin who had an abortion. Her boyfriend at the time was a complete loser. He beat on her, cheated on her, and was in/out of jail. That abortion was something to be celebrated and honestly if I was brutally raped and got pregnant as a result I couldn’t get the abortion fast enough. The truth here is, we should support our right to choose, that’s the whole point. We don’t know or deserve to know why they got an abortion, all we should do is support our right to get one.

  45. Neelyo says:

    THE WORST OF TIMES is an out of print book still available online used, comprised of testimonials from the pre Roe vs. Wade days. The stories are from the women, families, doctors, lawyers, police and anyone else whose life was touched by an illegal abortion. It is a powerful read and an excellent reminder of why abortion must remain legal.

  46. Barbcat says:

    If you are a believer of science as I am, there is no debate that abortion is killing an organism that has a genetic code programming it to become a human being. Debate all you want about when life begins, but that fetus is genetically programmed to be human.

    So celebrating killing any human organism is disgusting. Argue about a woman’s choice all you want, but don’t argue the science and the fact you are keeping a human organism from living.

    • Andrea says:

      But who is supporting that child? Are you willing to pay more taxes to support that child if the mother/parents can’t afford the child?

      • Marianne says:

        Who is keeping most children living? Who cares. We don’t kill them after they are born, why is it funny to celebrate killing them before they are. I have a uterus, and so if that “entitles” me to an opinion, despite the opinion police on this site, count me in as deeply disgusted.

    • detritus says:

      All stem cells have that blueprint, and as a believer in science, I am disappointed in this argument. You this mad about onanism too? Or periods? Every period is a waste of genetic material that has genetic code programming to be a person. Same with every teen jacking it into a sock.

    • Otaku Fairy says:

      Having the potential to become a human being and actually being a human being are not the same thing though.

      • Marianne says:

        It is one thing to argue “personhood”, a legal construct, but human being? That’s just science. Of course your unborn child is a human being. She’s not feline. She’s human. It’s that logic that made me pro-life.

        People have different views about whether/when it is ok to take a human life. But, let’s not pretend that having an abortion, the deliberate killing of a fetus, is anything but that.

        Oh, and remember, that once upon a time, this was the type of language and thinking that justified slavery. Not a person. My slave, my property, my choice. Aren’t we better than that?

      • detritus says:

        At Marianne. Don’t kid yourself, that’s not logic, that’s your innate desire to judge your fellow woman and a lack of science education.

      • Marianne says:

        @detritus This site is about judging. You are judging me, your fellow woman, assuming, which I don’t know, that you are a woman.

        We are all discerning individuals who come to conclusions. They are not always the same. I’m as confident in my views as the most vocal of others on this site with whom I disagree profoundly. Nevertheless, I try to be respectful of others which is why I return to this site given its clear commitments against racism and sexism and so on. What is disappointing is the profound hypocrisy of much of the debate and commentary on the site, especially about abortion but not exclusively so.

        (this is not to you @detritus but i feel compelled to add that) I note that while toleration is the over-riding theme on this site, and not “judging”, toleration of a countervailing viewpoint is often disregarded by commenters, when a pro-life point of view is expressed. There are a lot of assumptions made about why one holds those views. If it weren’t such a serious topic, they would be laughable in their ignorance. It is commonplace here that virtually every commenter who expresses disagreement with what she said in any way, first has to open with saying that they are pro-choice on abortion or somewhat so or whatever. That should not be necessary and, it is telling.

    • nicegirl says:

      Bummed about what Barbcat said.

    • Veronica says:

      If you’re a believer in science, you should be aware that there is hardly a consensus in the biological community as to when life begins and how exactly that period should be defined. For that matter, the biological elements that define human life as inherently unique compared to any DNA-based organism mostly develop external to the womb through years of developmental maturation. If Plimpton’s emotional response contradicts your personal moral feelings on the subject, that’s fine, but it’s not supported by any rigid biological theory. For the record, I’m a pre-med with a degree in medical biology who is starting her masters next year and then applying to medical school. I’m not exactly ignorant of what I’m talking about.

      (If you want an example, the classic case study used in most Evolutionary Biology classes is that of the burning fertility clinic – if given the choice between an unconscious human adult at the secretary’s desk and a canister of fertilized embryos, which would you save? How would you feel about somebody who grabbed the canister and left the person to burn? The point isn’t really about the moral reckoning. It’s acknowledging that our definition of life is more complicated that we think.)

      • detritus says:

        I agree with your major points, but some quibbles.

        Life is defined. Age of viability is not. Neither is when or if there is a soul.

        Don’t equate life with soul though please, many non science people are already doing it and it’s getting lot of people confused as to what is opinion and what is fact.

        Your example is technically not about when life begins, but the ‘value’ of a fetus. As most people would argue a possibility is not a ‘zero’. Freakonomics dies a brief piece about this if you are interested in more information on the thought experiment.

  47. Gone With The Wind says:

    I am pro choice and a REPUBLICAN woman and I found her words insensitive and offensive. Abortion is nothing to celebrate. It is often a difficult painful choice for many women and something that sits with you for a long time. To have multiple abortions and use it as some form of birth control rather than using something like a shot or a pill is kind of disgusting. There are options like the morning after pill even. How many abortions has this woman had? To proclaim and boast about her abortions is appalling. I never liked her anyway. It’s important to talk about abortions and their aftermath but being proud of boastful is not okay.

    • jetlagged says:

      The morning after pill wasn’t available in the US until 1999. If I’m doing the math right that’s almost a decade after Martha said she had her first abortion. Birth control is not always 100% effective or perhaps grave health concerns dictated the need for another.

    • jetlagged says:

      The hows and whys of her circumstances are largely irrelevant to the central point here. Your disgust at how cavalier she seems is why she is speaking up in this way. For some women abortion is a difficult and painful choice, but not for all, and society needs to stop trying to shame women into silence or self-hate about the reproductive choices they make for themselves.

    • Annetommy says:

      I don’t think I could be a member of a party that appears to hold such extremist views on women’s reproductive rights. It would just be too big a disconnect. Maybe you are trying to change it from the inside.

  48. Andrea says:

    As an American living the past 5 years in Canada, I find the attitude towards abortion is vastly different in both countries. In Canada, abortion is legal and you must undergo 2 psychologist meetings a week apart to ensure this is the right choice for yourself. It is paid for by universal healthcare. I have zero friends up here who have had an abortion thus far. Most of my friends are against having abortions themselves up here, but they are pro choice. It seems people take birth control more seriously up here (just from the sample of people I speak to).

    In the US, it is $800-1500 to have an abortion, I have a lot of friends who have had abortions, some multiple abortions. I also know some people who couldn’t afford the abortion and now struggle big time. I know in some places you have to travel several hundred miles just to get an abortion. I have many friends in the US and dated many guys who were against condoms and birth control and thus, had unplanned pregnancies. I have never been pregnant to be clear (I have fertility issues). The differences are stunning.

    • jetlagged says:

      The psychologist appointment requirement is deeply disturbing to me.

    • Peeking in says:

      What? I live in Toronto, have had an abortion and have never had to have any psychological exams. I have friends who have had abortions, with no psychological exams. Where do you live?

    • detritus says:

      Where do you live Andrea? I’ve lived in Ontario and Nova Scotia, and have friends in Alberta and PEI and BC, and have never heard of this.
      I could definitely see this being an issue in more remote or conservative communities though, especially north of 60.

    • Veronica says:

      It’s not that birth control is taken more seriously in Canada, it’s that the United States lacks universal health care (which bars access to health care for the U.S.), a profit based drug system (companies can essentially relabel generic drugs and release them with brand pricing), and a puritanical religious movement that promotes abstinence education over realistic sex ed and has put in place legislative measures in many states that’s severely restricted or outright removed abortion access. The women most likely to be affected by this are, surprise surprise, the poor and very young.

  49. Betsy says:

    She’s being provocative, which she’s rather famous for. I don’t think a statement like this does anything to change the weirdly anti-choice, anti-woman sentiment the vocal minority has managed to make the conversation in this country, and that worries me.

    Beyond that, all this “BUT THE CHILDREN” hand-wringing that never helps children, expectant mothers, poor mothers is annoying as gobs, too. I’ve had three children, no abortions. People pretending that adoption is always some light and easy choice for all involved are deluded. Reducing women to incubators for those who want children is no better than her “best abortion” quip. So it’s probably not the words I would use, but I don’t care, either.

    • Keaton says:

      I have a good friend who gave a child up for adoption and she was extremely emotionally affected by it. To this day she feels loss and she wonders if she did the right thing. She wonders if the little girl is OK or being treated right.
      I get really angry when Anti-Abortion people say “Why doesn’t the woman just give the baby up for adoption?” as if it’s an easy solution and the only reason a woman would *not* do it is selfishness. People really need to sit back and be a little more empathic and little less self-righteous.

      • Veronica says:

        You should ask them how many adopted children they have because my experience is that the answer is almost always “none.”

      • magnoliarose says:

        Piggy backing on Veronica’s most excellent post.
        Ask them how many special needs children they have adopted and how do they enjoy being foster parents. Follow it up with how many hours a week do they volunteer to help homeless women or women fleeing an abusive situation that also have children. What is their opinion about drug addicted mothers who know they are a mess and can’t get clean so to spare children from a horrible life they had an abortion?

  50. Keaton says:

    I don’t think women should feel bad about their reactions to having an abortion either way. If a woman’s abortion experience is like a PAP smear for her and she never thought twice about it after ward? Good for her! Apparently Martha is one of those women. She shouldn’t feel shame about that and neither should other women who react similarly.

    But that’s not every woman’s reaction. IIRC Nicki Minaj said she felt sad about her abortion. I think that reaction should be respected just as much and not dismissed as weakness or being manipulated by societal pressure. That sadness *might* be due to societal pressure but not necessarily.

    This may sound like a callous analogy but it’s like divorce for some people: Some people just feel relief when it’s final. But there are other people who feel a strong sense of loss, EVEN WHEN THEY KNOW THE MARRIAGE WAS BEYOND REPAIR. I think the mere POSSIBILITY of a child can loom just as large emotionally as an existing marriage. It’s a picture in your head about what your life moving forward could be: That picture is gone so you feel loss.

    • Kitten says:

      “But that’s not every woman’s reaction. IIRC Nicki Minaj said she felt sad about her abortion. I think that reaction should be respected just as much and not dismissed as weakness or being manipulated by societal pressure”

      But I think everyone here agrees on that (I hope), Keaton.
      The argument that most of us are making on this thread isn’t “you should/shouldn’t feel ____ way after you have an abortion” but rather, “you have every right to feel ANY. WAY. THAT. YOU. WANT. TO” after an abortion.

      I can feel utter sadness for a woman who felt traumatized and despondent after having an abortion.
      I can also feel happy for a woman who was relieved and maybe even joyous after having an abortion.

      The problem is that society at large tells women that we are only allowed to feel the former and never the latter. The societal message is one of shame, condemnation, and judgment if a woman feels anything other than devastated after undergoing an abortion.

      And that’s why so many of us are applauding Martha Plimpton for putting an alternative narrative out there, one that many women very much relate to, but are too ashamed to express.

      • Keaton says:

        I see what you are saying @Kitten: The dominant societal narrative is that women should feel shame about abortion and that is why Martha feels compelled to make this public declaration. She thinks it will help de-stigmatize abortion. I get what she’s doing and support her right to do it.
        But here was one of the points I was trying to make: Underlying this strategy is the assumption that the *only* reason (or the overwhelming *major* reason) a woman would feel a sense of sadness about her abortion is that same dominant societal narrative: That is, her sadness is being foisted on to her by outside patriarchal forces. I don’t think that’s necessarily true. I think it makes alot of sense psychologically to feel a sense of loss after an abortion and that’s OK.

        Maybe this seems like a small issue in the larger scheme of things but I do think it’s an issue the pro-choice movement should consider. There are women who expect it to be a simple medical procedure, like pulling a tooth and are surprised by the sense of loss they feel. At a strategic level those women are prime picking for the anti-abortion crowd when they don’t need to be.

  51. Sayrah says:

    Can even well-meaning pro-choice feminists refrain from qualifying that “I would never have an abortion but I am completely pro-choice?” Why are you saying the first part? Even you are separating yourselves from those of us who have made that choice. That’s always made me upset and confused that you talk a good game but you still “other” women who have had abortions.

    • Kitten says:

      Eh. With a few exceptions, I think it’s not about “othering” but rather, making it known that an opinion is not based on projection or personal experience. I also think context matters. Sure, within the broader discussion of pro-choice vs anti-choice it’s not always relevant to disclose whether you had an abortion or not. But when people are relating their personal stories, there can be a huge divide between those of us who have and those of us who have not experienced it.


    • Originaltessa says:

      Because like it or not, a lot of pro-choice women aren’t necessarily pro-abortion. It’s a complicated moral issue for many, and believing in the right for other women to have it, doesn’t mean that you would have one yourself. I think there are more women that are pro-choice/ anti-abortion than you know, and are very much needed voters and advocates. Is it offensive to know it’s a choice they wouldn’t make themselves? If so, why? It’s all about choice.

  52. Sarah says:

    I had an abortion at age 19…my mother found out and shamed me, scared me about physical issues that could arise afterwards etc, told me birth control pills would make me sick etc. 🙄
    I felt the most awful about the fact that I didn’t feel guilty and was made to feel like I should…which made me wonder what was wrong with me.
    Decades have passed and I can’t imagine ever treating my own daughter in such a way, should she ever be faced with such a decision. I hope parents and loved ones remember that their crass comments and judgments will haunt their daughters forever. I’ve never felt the same about my mom and it’s really sad.
    I never regretted my decision for a minute, but if I hadn’t felt shameful about getting on birth control, I would likely not have had an unwanted pregnancy to deal with. The whole issue of responsible sexuality can be tough for parents to discuss/accept, but is just SO important.

  53. CMT says:

    I think to me what she said was offensive because it fails to be sensitive to the fact that to many people it is a moral, painful, complex issue. As demonstrated on this thread, there are many women that have issues with abortion, moral or otherwise, but would fight for every woman’s right to choose and would not dream of trying to dictate to others. Martha Plimpton’s comments seem intentionally and deliberately dismissive of many people’s deeply held personal views.

    • Otaku Fairy says:

      Her expressing a less socially accepted opinion about her own abortion isn’t being insensitive toward the right of other women as individuals to feel differently about their decision. If anything, it looks like the opposite is happening here. People are insisting that because many women have pain or regrets about abortion and have the right to feel that way, she doesn’t have the right to admit that she feels glad about hers. (And some are even demonizing her for it)

      • CMT says:

        Otaku Fairy – let me try to explain my thoughts a little better. There are women who believe that having an abortion is terminating a life. They believe that anyone who has an abortion is terminating a life. Those same women may fully understand that other women do not feel that way (nor are they required to live according to any beliefs but their own) and that every woman has a right to choose. They would never dream of saying to a woman that had an abortion: I believe you terminated a life – because that would be imposing their view of an extremely personal belief/decision/choice on that woman in a way that would be offensive and potentially hurtful. I think it is equally offensive for someone to try to force the viewpoint that an abortion is of little importance. No one is required to feel any way about it but I do think people should be sensitive to others viewpoints on both sides.

  54. I had an abortion at 22 because I was a naive little girl in an abusive relationship. At the time I was very confused about my decision and my mother was a big influence. I’m glad she was there to take some of the blame and to give me another choice to think about. It was still my choice at the end of the day. I could barely take care of myself let alone a child that wasn’t wanted. I’m sure I could’ve stepped up and been a decent mom but I wouldn’t want my child around the father or me. And I didn’t want to live a lie. Not having a child yet and if ever gives me limitless possibilities. If you think bringing unwanted children into this world is gods will then you yourself do not know God. Life is never over. We always get reborn. I always knew my baby would come back to me in another way. If my mother had gotten an abortion with me I wouldn’t mind. I rather her put herself first. There’s always another rodeo ❤️

  55. Marianne says:

    I support whomever who wants and gets an abortion….but it just seems to weird for a bunch of people to go “Yay!” over a situation like that.

    • detritus says:

      Yay (i won’t have a teen pre gnancy that reduces my chances of success)
      Yay ( I won’t have to carry my rapists baby to term)
      Yay (I won’t have a fourth child, after the three I love but can barely afford)
      Yay (my life in not over)
      Yay (Idon’t need to find the one night stand and explain my BC failed)

      There are many reasons people could be excited.

  56. Melanie says:

    Jeez. The amount of shaming going on here. Clutch your pearls somewhere else. She was being funny and I thought it was a hilarious remark. While you may not personally find it funny, it’s fairly obvious she was being sarcastic. If her remarks made you uncomfortable, stop pointing fingers at her and take a look within as to why that is.

    • CynicalAnn says:

      I don’t see the “shaming” or pearl clutching. I see people with different opinions having a discussion.

      • Otaku Fairy says:

        It IS a lot of one-sided shaming, pearl-clutching, and respectability politics. The same people here saying “How dare anyone even hint that my own personal feelings of guilt/shame/regret/seriousness about abortion could possibly in any way be related to the patriarchal society we’ve all been born and raised into! That’s oppression! I have the right to my own feelings without other women trying to dismiss or delegitimize them!” are doing exactly to this woman (and her defenders) what they’re accusing others of doing. If women who are on team “It was a big deal, emotionally difficult, and regrettable for me or my friend” should not be silenced or labelled negatively, then women on team “It was one of the best decisions I could have made for myself. #Shameless #UMadConservatives?” shouldn’t be either.

      • CynicalAnn says:

        No. 98% of the people who commented above were pro-choice. People saying they don’t think abortion is like getting a tooth pulled is not “shaming.” You people are like the thought police. It’s like if it’s not expressed exactly the way you deem it should be, we’re not “supportive” or “true feminists.” I’ve got news for you-life isn’t black and white. And guess what? I get to express myself too-just like you.

      • detritus says:

        Uh what?
        There is a constant discussion of exactly how much shame is acceptable on this sad, sad post.

      • Otaku Fairy says:

        @CynicalAnn: ironic coming from one of the commenters who’s policing this comedian’s expression of her opinion on HER OWN abortion. Clearly you either didn’t pay attention to every comment here, or you’re being dishonest to suit your own “The ‘Good Girls’ (and manspainers) who disagree with Martha’s unpopular opinion are the real victims of ‘thought-policing’, y’all!” narrative. Painting someone as a bad person who shouldn’t be allowed to reproduce, as an irresponsible asshole and a heartless killer, as having no humanity or emotions, and implying that it’s wrong, tragic, or somehow ‘unfair’ for any woman to express that she was glad about an abortion or for a female comedian to joke about her experience just because others feel differently IS shaming. But please, go on about how good girls with good girl pro-choice stances are the ones being shamed and policed here. These conversations always have to go back to not making people with a conservative opinion uncomfortable.

      • CynicalAnn says:

        @Otaku Fairy huh-please point out where I called anyone an “asshole” or “heartless killer”? Oh, right, I didn’t. Get back to me when you’ve given as much money to Planned Parenthood or voted for as many pro-choice candidates as I have. Actions speak louder than words.

      • magnoliarose says:

        I believe she was referring to the other posters above who did say those things as examples of shaming and judging.
        Pro-choice means, in my view, that a woman made a choice and how she reacts of feels as a result of her choice belongs to no one else. Our role is to fight for choice, but that is where it ends. It shouldn’t come with caveats or conditions. What she does with her choice and how she exercises it is no longer our concern.
        The outrage makes no sense. It isn’t logical to project our morality onto someone else when there was no crime committed and no one was harmed. There wasn’t an adverse outcome or emotional scarring so her language shouldn’t matter.
        It can be a serious decision but processed differently, and feelings about the result depend on the woman.

      • detritus says:

        So here’s the difference, Ann.

        I’m saying – don’t feel ashamed of a medical procedure that helps you. If you are upset, that’s ok and normal. If you aren’t, that’s ok and normal too. When people say they feel shamed for abortion, I will help them, because they do not deserve that.

        You are saying – Dont feel ashamed if you do things the exact way I think, I get the right to tell everyone how ashamed they should be. If they don’t feel like me, I will tell them they should, even if that makes people feel horribly.

        That is what you are accomplishing by these posts, laying out how people should be shamed and when. You are not voicing an equal and opposing opinion, you are voicing a narrowing of choice and judgement.

        Do you understand now?

      • Otaku Fairy says:

        I don’t doubt that you’ve had the oppurtunity to vote for more pro-choice candidates than I have, and have probably donated more to planned parenthood in your lifetime than I have as well, since you’re most likely older. However, votes and money are not shields that we all get to throw up to keep our microagressions from being criticized, or to get to tell other members of different marginalized groups that they’re only allowed to speak up about their rights, their experiences, and their bodily autonomy in a way that we personally agree with.

    • Oh Melani thank you for saying it better than me! Exactly

    • Tulsi 2020 says:

      @cynicalnn: I agree. So sick of people being thrown under the bus for using imprecise language.

  57. Tulsi 2020 says:

    ‘Also meant to add that personally, I would not have an abortion and I don’t feel any need to elaborate on my reasons why.’

    That’s understandable. Elaborating would only make you a target. Sometimes it’s better to keep our rationale for our beliefs to ourselves.

  58. Tassi says:

    Maybe Martha is referring to her abortion as being ‘the best’ in the same way that I would describe my third c-section. It was by far the best. The best pre-op care, the best stitch work, the best post op care. The best. It’s a medical procedure and I am not ashamed of saying that the third one was the best in the same way that Martha isn’t shamed to say her first abortion was her best. #StoptheShame

    By the way I GET it that they are politically not the same but in my mind we need to start identifying abortion and all other women’s health issues as primarily being a health issue. Nothing more and nothing less.

  59. CK3 says:

    I’m glad she’s talking about it. I’m pro-choice and I don’t demand that every woman seeking an abortion consider it a serious and sacred moral choice. And frankly, just like Kim Kardashian’s (ugh her) “I hate being pregnant” (because it’s a rather intense 9 month physical process that kills a lot of women) remarks, I think that there is more than enough room for different narratives surrounding women’s issues.

  60. minxx says:

    I’m totally pro-choice but I’m offended by her comment. It’s not about being kept silent or ashamed of abortion but bragging or making a joke about an actual abortion is just extremely insensitive. Most women don’t find it to be an easy choice and I’m speaking from experience. I don’t regret having an abortion but I regret finding myself in a situation that required one. It’s not the same as popping a pimple.

  61. bettyrose says:

    80s kids grew up on movies like Fast Times at Ridgemont High & Dirty Dancing, where abortion was a plot device, not a central theme. The politicization and moralization of abortion are heavily influenced by shifting social context in different societies. Not everyone has to feel okay about abortion, but don’t assume it’s universally traumatizing.

  62. Elian says:

    Pro-life woman here. Definitely think what she said is crass and tragic.

  63. Bliss 51 says:

    For the pro-life among the commenters I pose this question and truly, I’d like to read and understand your answers. What would you like to see on the question of abortion in this country? Aside from doing away w/ Roe v. Wade, what do you want to see on the books in terms of law/judicial branch?

  64. Anya says:

    I am pro choice. But also know that had the option been easily available when I was conceived, I would have been aborted. Instead I was adopted. I am grateful to my birth mother for being brave and loving enough to have me and to my adoptive mother to be be brave and loving enough to raise me. Neither was an easy choice, and neither is abortion. So while I support the right for each woman to decide for herself, I also struggle with the cavalier attitude that some people seem to equate with equality.

  65. claudia says:

    that is not being pro-choice. having multiple abortions is being too lazy to use a condom.

    • nicegirl says:

      claudia, I think that is BS.

    • Patty says:

      Yeah, no. I have three married friends who got pregnant while having an IUD. I have two co-workers who got pregnant when they were doing Depo. There’s always a chance, no matter how small, that you can get pregnant when you have sex (if it happens during a woman’s fertile period). It’s not as simple as so and so was too lazy to use a condom.

      Nice to know so many people still don’t understand what feminismsm is, le sigh. I don’t understand what is so hard about allowing women the agency to have their own experiences. I thought her best one comment was togue in cheek – and she was talking about her experience not someone else’s. It has nothing to do with me.

      • claudia says:

        so feminism is aborting every time it happens? even 40 or 50?
        it’s sad to see grown up person not able to take their responsabiities and acting like children.

      • magnoliarose says:

        Yes. It is her body. What is the problem with someone making their own decisions and owning the result? Who is affected by the woman and why?

      • claudia says:

        noone is, absolutely, but then accept the fact that people could start to guess about your psych, if everything is ok with that,after more than a couple abortions. I’m not talking about accidents, or broken condoms, or pills that didn’t work, Im talking of people that don’t use precautions on purpose knowing that “eh, i can still abort if something goes wrong”
        I would think the same of someone wo has her nose reshaped 24 times or her lips made up fifteen times: do they hurth me? no, but still I will start to think that’s quite not psychiatric ok.

      • magnoliarose says:

        I would think it would be a form of self-abuse if someone did do that and I would think she would be sent to a psych, but then again the consequences of her decisions would be hers to own.

      • detritus says:

        Claudia, a pathological use of abortions would most likely result in infertility making this unlikely.
        When discussing feminism and the right to control ones body, we don’t usually extend the discussion to the mentally ill as they tend to be exceptions requiring extra attention.
        I’m concerned that this type of discussing leads to purity testing – when is a woman pure or good enough to ‘deserve’ an abortion. That’s a really dangerous direction.

  66. Sirius says:

    I applaud her for telling her truth. It is a bit cringy, but I agree with other commenters that it’s the right time to speak out. There’s just so much judgement, people might think she’s irresponsible for having what appears to be numerous abortions . . . but that’s really her business.

  67. RedWeatherTiger says:

    I’m with Martha.

    Expecting, even INSISTING, that we all speak about abortion with reverence or that we all feel emotionally traumatized by abortion is tyranny, pure and simple. Must we all feel and speak the same way about marriage, divorce, childbirth, illness? Please, someone write the book of the single appropriate response to all these life experiences so I don’t get it wrong when speaking about them.

    Hey, the law allows us (for now) to have abortions. But as long as we can discourage women from talking about it any way they want to, we are still shackled.

  68. cari says:

    Not sure why, but I right away thought, wasn’t she with River Pheonix at about age 19? Imagine it was his child? Just came to mind that he could of had an off spring.
    I’m not judging, I am a River Pheonix fan, and thought how cool it would of been if he had a child.

  69. j says:

    If you’re a feminist that feels this topic should only be treated with “gravitas”, then you’re STILL implying that it’s WRONG to have an abortion. Go to your corner and really think about whether you’re pro-choice.

    • detritus says:

      Succinct, salty and correct. My favourite type of comment.

    • Misti64 says:

      I think some have straight up admitted that their own views will not be considered feminist. And that’s OK in my opinion.
      Women are not a monolith and in fact our divisions will likely get stronger as time goes on.

    • CynicalAnn says:

      The whole point of being “pro-choice” means that you make sure that work to keep abortions safe and accessible-through your votes and donation dollars. It doesn’t mean we have to think a certain way about every issue. You guys are so short sighted–you insult and belittle people because they don’t think exactly the way you think or what you’ve defined as “pro choice” or “feminist.”

      • detritus says:

        Well I can’t speak for the others here, but I confront peoples opinions when they are judging and shaming others and contributing to the general negative rhetoric surrounding a necessary medical procedure.

        You are entitled to your opinion, about yourself and your body. That’s where your ability to judge how a woman should feel ends.

        There are quite a few women here who are pro choice, but not for themselves, personally. Scarlett in comment 11 for example, Kitten, and many more I’m not mentioning. They’ve expressed themselves clearly and not a single person has called them unfeminist, because they are allowing women real choice, regardless of their own personal choice.

      • CynicalAnn says:

        And where was I judging or shaming? And point out where I even said I wouldn’t have one? I even said I’d support my teenaged daughter having one if she chose to. (Which you must have seen since you’ve clearly read through and picked out who explained themselves appropriately according to your definition.) You are yet again putting words in my mouth.

  70. Bliss 51 says:

    There are strong feelings on this Plimpton story. What are people’s feelings on the passage of ultra sound laws, fewer and fewer abortion clinics in some states, easy access to affordable birth control? Good or bad.

  71. Caty says:

    My second abortion was my best. Shout out to Planned Parenthood of Chicago!

    It’s not ‘insensitive’ of me to state my personal experience in an unemotional manner. It’s not ‘insensitive’ of others to share their experiences in a more emotional manner.

    What’s ‘insensitive’ is to attempt to silence or tone-police abortion stories that differ from our ow. Women aren’t a monolith required to have a shared reaction to any experience related to reproduction.

    While IVF and other reproductive health issues are also key to our reproductive freedom, let’s stop co-opting this thread and making it about all reproductive issues. It muddies the waters and doesn’t give us the space to discuss IVF with clarity, which the issue deserves.

  72. nicegirl says:

    Shout out to this kick ass website for providing a place for these kinds of discussions.


  73. aenflex says:

    Um, no. The conversation can be had without being crass.

    • Sasha says:

      “for many women, abortion is a necessary choice and one they make with few, if any, regrets”
      I really don’t agree with that statement. I think most women, whether it be a necessary choice or not, find the contemplation and ultimate decision painful.
      I also do think that it’s ‘crass’ to comment that one was ‘the best one’.
      Whilst I do appreciate that abortion is an option and always should be, I don’t feel that it’s anything to celebrate. It’s not an easy choice, but it’s ours to make.
      Having read only a few comments, I see that my opinion is not a popular one.

  74. Railyn says:

    The language used and the “yay” is pretty disturbing. Instead of encouraging abortion and making it sound like a trip to the ice cream shop, why don’t we get really real. Abortion isn’t something easily gotten over, it’s traumatic and gut wrenching. Yes I have had one. Yes it was the best decision….but it was a crappy thing that I had to do.
    Let’s try and promote safe sex and sex education to young women instead of having a party for abortions. I don’t think pro choice should mean handing out abortions like oprah hands out cars.

    • Patty says:

      For some women it is traumatic and gut wrenching, not for all. Apparently, it wasn’t for Martha (or at least the example she used). I guess I don’t understand why she isn’t allowed to own her experience and instead should be forced / shamed into saying it was traumatizing. It wasn’t for her. It’s her experience.

      We don’t tell women who come out and talk about how hard their decision was that they should get it over, or that it’s their fault so they just deal with it. Generally we treat them with compassion. But someone says their abortion was a good experience and suddenly they are the villain for not being contrite enough? That’s frightening to me. Why? Because it says that if a women’s reaction / response / experience with her abortion isn’t traumatic than she’s just a loose ho who uses abortion as birth control and she’s a disservice to feminism, pro-choice people, and women everywhere.

      Truth is, if someone is against abortion they are against it. You can’t change their minds. Woman is traumatized? That’s why it should be illegal. Women are not traumatized? That’s why it should be illegal; they are too flippant about life, blah blah blah.

      I’ve never had an abortion. I hope I’m never in a position to have to even consider it. But I believe that women are more than capable of making the decision that is best for them, their health, their body, their families, etc. I also fundamentally respect every woman’s right to speak about her abortion and her experience without resorting to shaming them because I don’t like their response.

      It’s one thing to comment on the tone of her remarks but a lot of the commentary went way beyond that to basically shaming and vilifying. That’s not cool.