Busy Philipps opens up about her abortion: I’m really scared for women in this country

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Yesterday, Hecate covered the story that Busy Philipps’ show on E! had not been renewed for a second season. That got lost amid our Met Gala coverage and I wanted to highlight it. We love Busy and hope her show gets picked up by a more worthy network. You know us, we’re not blowing smoke about celebrities. She genuinely grew on me and Hecate/Kat has attended a couple of tapings of Busy Tonight. It’s like the best podcast brought to the screen, she has a rapport with celebrities that only comes from being herself and being open and vulnerable.

Busy disclosed in her memoir that she had an abortion at 15 and that she asked the Pope for forgiveness. In a new segment on Busy Tonight, she spoke candidly about that and about reproductive rights, which have just suffered a blow with the draconian law criminalizing abortion in Georgia. You can see that below and here’s some of what she said.

We tend not to be overtly political, but just trying to be a woman in the world is political. This morning Georgia’s governor signed a bill banning abortion after 5-6 weeks of pregnancy. That’s before most women even know that they’re pregnant. Women and their doctors are in the best position to make informed decisions about what is best for them. No bill that criminalizes abortion will stop anyone from making this incredibly personal choice, but these laws will put more women at risk. Every woman deserves compassion and care not judgment and interference when it comes to their own bodies. One in four women will have an abortion before they’re 45.

I had an abortion when I was 15 years old. I’m telling you this because I’m genuinely really scared for women and girls all over this country. I think that we all need to be talking more and sharing our stories more.

[From Busy Tonight]

After that she said “let’s talk about the Met Gala!” And you wonder why I am a Busy stan. I was so touched by how open she was and I got choked up when she got choked up. It couldn’t have been easy to say that.

I saw on Twitter that there’s a call for businesses and particularly the film industry to boycott Georgia, which would make a huge impact. (Walking Dead among other shows films there due to the tax breaks.) I hope that enough pressure is applied that this law is overturned. We’ve seen the gradual stripping away of our basic rights and this latest move by Georgia is chilling to say the least. Thankfully it will be a little while before it goes into effect.

Here’s that video, it’s well worth watching:

photos credit: Getty and via Instagram

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28 Responses to “Busy Philipps opens up about her abortion: I’m really scared for women in this country”

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  1. BANANIE says:

    Good for her for speaking up! I believe everyone’s entitled to their own decision for their own body. There’s only one weird thing that ever comes up in my friend group/social circles when abortion is discussed.

    And that is — from some women, shockingly — that “I understand if they want an abortion, but they should at least own up to the fact that they had unprotected sex and it’s their fault.” That’s essentially a summary. I don’t think these people mean that anyone is denying that, per se, but that women getting abortions should start the conversation with “well I messed up, but —” when people who get abortions are NOT required to do that and shouldn’t have to!

    I don’t think these people talking are applying that to rape/incest/etc., but it still strikes me as small-minded. Like yes, unprotected sex was had, and you aren’t calling to punish people for it, but you’re still judging.

    • alyssa calloway says:

      I mean, I disagree with that whole line of thought but there’s a giant hole in that logic: not all unwanted pregnancies are caused by unprotected sex. Unprotected sex may be the more common caus, but birth control failure is absolutely a thing that happens. Now, maybe they’re considering imperfect use of birth control unprotected sex?

      And why is it automatically the woman’s responsibility take the blame. It’s just shaming, a moral judgement, makes zero sense and contributes nothing to the situation. When a woman makes that difficult decision, she doesn’t owe it to you or anyone else to “own up” to anything.

      • elimaeby says:

        alyssa is exactly right. I am the product of failed contraception. My parents thought they were being safe. My mom considered aborting me, but decided she had the financial means and the desire to be a mom and my dad was 100% on board. It’s not always a “you fucked up and this baby is your punishment” situation. Which is a sick way to look at it in the first place, no?

      • Tiffany :) says:

        “not all unwanted pregnancies are caused by unprotected sex.”


  2. Erinn says:

    I think the sad thing is that at this point we know that people don’t matter. Hitting lawmakers, dictators, and companies where it hurts (money) is the only way we’re seeing change.

    Brunei only changed their minds about the death penalty for gay people because banks and travel agencies started pushing back against it.

    Human rights are sadly never as important as the bottom line to a lot of people, and it’s sickening.

    I’m constantly rooting for Busy. I think she’s fantastic. She’s not perfect, but nobody is. I really like the brand she’s created for herself, though, and find her really amusing and a genuine person.

  3. Alissa says:

    I love her. I know so many women who have had to have abortions for a variety of reasons (not the right time, medical issues, being a teen, abusive partners, can’t afford a child, etc). many of them eventually became mothers (including my own mom).

    it always baffles me that the same people who want to end welfare programs and don’t support family leave and better child care options are also the ones trying to force women into completing their pregnancies and making it difficult for women to get abortions and support abstinence only sex education. like, “we don’t want to limit the likelihood of people getting pregnant that shouldn’t, but you better have that baby and then figure it out once you have the baby we forced you to have!”

    • Elkie says:

      It’s about creating a permanent underclass of the poor (particularly of POC), with no social mobility.

      Cut social safety nets whilst denying lower income families access to affordable birth control options and – voilá! – you have millions of people with mouths to feed who will take any job for any pay and thus never have the time and disposable income to better themselves and climb the ladder.

      The entire “Pro-Life”© movement is designed to insulate the wealthy (mostly white conservatives) from meritocracy and it is zero coincidence that its growth is almost directly proportional to gains by the civil rights movement. Heck, even the evangelical church was pretty much ambivalent about abortion until the 60s/70s.

    • Tourmaline says:

      Because it’s about punishing women and girls and teaching them their place in the world. So yeah, that’s why these anti-choice beliefs do not correlate with beliefs in family leave, support, better policies for women and children.

      A large percentage of the same set of believers also don’t believe women should be “allowed” to work or vote, let alone use birth control.

  4. Original Jenns says:

    Bradley Whitford, I just became a bigger fan. I love that I’m seeing men speaking out to Hollywood and businesses about boycotting Georgia. Unfortunately, that’s who will be listened to, fortunately, they are our allies.

    As someone who had one, thanks to a professional place and doctor, I am still alive, my organs are still intact, I am still able to have children if I choose.

    It’s so funny that Republicans are endorsing these kinds of bills, and speak out against gay marriage, etc. As the party who wants LESS government in our lives, its completely hypocritical to support bills that allow the government into the home and Dr’s offices. It just goes to show that these men (and sad women) would rather strip women and non-Christians of rights and agency than actually follow through with their parties’ beliefs.

  5. savu says:

    I live in Wisconsin, where they wanna pass five new anti-abortion laws. We already have a 20 week abortion ban, only with exceptions when the mother’s life is at risk. I have a friend who lived in another state and found out her baby would die the moment she was born. She wanted to come home for termination to be with her family (she was married, her first pregnancy, they desperately wanted this baby) but couldn’t. 20 weeks is the first time doctors can see these sorts of anomalies. If you find out your baby will die, and you’re totally healthy, here you have no choice but to carry to term.

    Republican lawmakers are trying to pass a “born alive” bill requiring doctors to provide care to babies born during failed abortions. These situations are rare, and it’s unclear if it even happens here. Plus, we ALREADY HAVE LAWS addressing this. But this would make doctors face jail time. This also bans abortion based on sex, race or disability – meaning if a woman finds out the fetus has Down syndrome, she can’t terminate. I don’t know how I feel about that one, people are born with Down syndrome every day and lead successful (of course more difficult) lives. But at the end of the day, that decision shouldn’t be up to someone else. They’re also pushing a bill that would force abortion providers to tell patients the abortion pill “may not work”. ??? What this is supposed to accomplish I have no idea. Shake faith in the doctor or the procedure? Idk. Btw, at the first hearing on these bills, most of the speakers who supported them were men.

    Luckily we have a democratic governor who will definitely veto the born alive bill, and maybe the others too.

    It’s such a scary time to be a woman.

    • Anne Call says:

      The infuriating part of all these republican legislators curtailing women’s reproductive rights is that most of them could care less about this issue, but it’s how they keep their large evangelical base happy. Many of them would happily drive their girlfriends or wives or daughters to an abortion clinic to get rid of an unwanted pregnancy, but they want to make it all but impossible for poor women to have choices. Trust me, rich republicans will still get an abortion without any problems.

      • Elkie says:

        Scott Lloyd, the guy at Homeland Security(?) notorious for denying raped child refugees access to abortion services, not only helped pay for his (one-time) girlfriend’s abortion, but actually drove her to it, to make sure she didn’t miss her appointment!

        Oh, and he’s a “devout Catholic” who doesn’t believe that America’s slatterns and hos should be having premarital sex, but he can because reasons…

    • Tiffany :) says:

      That’s the thing that is missed with all of these “late term” crusades: the vast majority of abortions performed later in pregnancy are because of tragic fetal abnormalities. These are “wanted” babies who are developing in ways that won’t allow them to survive. To force women to carry them to term, can be dangerous for the mother (who may have other living children) and it only causes unnecessary suffering and grief.

      These decisions should ONLY be made by the parents and the doctor. Legislators don’t understand this issue at all.

  6. gingersnaps says:

    I really want men to be able to get pregnant and carry a human and make them experience what it is like, let’s see if they don’t offer free abortions then. I’m also fed up with the women who supporting men in dictating what they can’t or can do with their bodies.

    • Alissa says:

      it’s like that joke from Veep – if men could get pregnant, you’d be able to get an abortion at an ATM.

    • savu says:

      Isn’t that the crazy part?! It’s majority men making these decisions. It’s lost on them the complexities of this issue, while I think even anti-abortion women have a deeper understanding of it. They don’t understand being pro-abortion rights doesn’t mean being pro-abortion. It’s just about not making those decisions for someone else. Republicans should be pro-choice because it’s a libertarian point of view. Give people rights and choice. Republicans who constantly bitch about supporting people on public assistance programs are the ones allowing unwanted children into the world. UGH. It just doesn’t make sense.

  7. BengalCat😻 says:

    This has me so depressed. I had an abortion 25 years ago in Ala-freaking-Bama. It was safe, easy and I was treated with the utmost respect (aside from the protestors, who I was protected from by an excellent group of women who are friends to this day). Call/email your Representatives, ladies. We cannot allow Roe vs. Wade to be overturned. 😔

  8. Sayrah says:

    Here’s an idea: at 12 all boys get vasectomies. Then when they’re ready to have children at an appropriate time, and with signed permission from their wives, they get a reversal. Seems legit and sounds exactly like what happens when we police women’s bodies.

  9. Mel M says:

    Exactly Alissa- we don’t want to you to have access to birth control but we also don’t want you to have access to abortions and we for sure don’t want to help you with the financial burden of a child and if that child has a medical condition that requires medication or therapy or equipment then that’s also a no from us. These are the exact people who go to church every Sunday, send thoughts and prayers for school shootings and say they are prolife. I CAN’T STAND IT!

    ETA: not sure why my comment didn’t appear as a response to Alissa’s first comment.

  10. OriginalLala says:

    These types of bills are insane and basically reduce women to second class citizens who aren’t free to make decisions about their own bodies.

    So much for the land of the free….

  11. CES says:

    I am a huge Atlanta braves fan and was hoping to see them play in person, but until this law is overturned (considering its completely unconstitutional) my travel dollars will not be going to Georgia.

  12. Meg says:

    What makes me mad is people continuing to only discuss abortion as only for women who just don’t want to be pregnant, or have a child to parent. This sounds like this was unintentional by Busy but the reality is women who want to become parents can and have been be told by their doctor ‘this is not a viable pregnancy it’s now life threatening for you’ and they are in need of an abortion.
    I wonder if that was discussed more some would change their minds on being pro life. Next step is for them to work on their slut shaming issues with women because even if it’s not life threatening no woman should be pregnant if she doesn’t want to be.

    • otaku fairy... says:

      Good point.There will always be some who still won’t be moved by the life-and-death reasons behind abortion-whether it’s medical issues, abusive partners or parents that the pregnant woman or girl has to worry about, etc.- too though. People can be very selectively pro-life when it comes to their ‘conservative beliefs’, and being asked to put human decency and the wellbeing of others over what they’ve been taught is ‘morality’. It’s what stops them from working on those slut-shaming issues with women, it’s what makes the thought of young girls getting an HPV vax so controversial for some of them, it’s what would drive someone to revoke a life-saving donation for a baby based on the baby’s parents being a lesbian couple, and it’s why so many want to take women’s access to abortion away.

  13. Snowflake says:

    I’m really scared for our rights. I’m so glad I got a tubal litigation. I was always so scared I would get pregnant. And I definitely didn’t want a child but accidents happen. And if I did get pregnant, I probably would have considered an abortion. I was more scared of having a child and being responsible for them than I am/was of an abortion. It’s a big responsibility having a child and imo, most of it is on the woman. So women should be the ones to decide what’s right for them, not men

  14. Baltimom says:

    If you have a female reproductive system, then you need to fight these heartbeat bills with all your might. 1) These laws criminalize miscarriages and stillbirths. There are women who are currently serving time for nature taking its course. These bills make it easier to throw poor, non-white women into jail. 2) Unless you have a crystal ball and can predict that you would never have an abortion under any circumstance, you should fight this. I have seen women who were adamantly opposed or for it make decisions that went against their opinions. Bottom line – until you have to decide whether you need one or not, you won’t know what you will want to do.

  15. Haapa says:

    Abortion is freedom.