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Actor Jameela Jamil speaks on stage at the 2018 Girlboss Rally at Magic Box on April 28, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Rich Fury/Getty Images for Girlboss)

Reproductive rights

Jameela Jamil says getting an abortion was the ‘best decision’ she ever made

May 16, 2019

This spring, the United States has seen an intense crackdown on women’s reproductive rights. First, Georgia signed a law banning abortion once a fetal heartbeat can be detected—which can happen as early as six weeks post conception. Then, on Tuesday, the Alabama Senate approved the strictest anti-abortion ban in the country, which makes almost all abortions in the state illegal; exceptions will not be made for cases of rape and incest.

Among those outraged by the recent news is actor Jameela Jamil. Responding to the Georgia law—which she called “upsetting, inhumane, and blatantly demonstrative of a hatred of women”—Jamil revealed on Twitter that she had an abortion when she was younger, as Glamourreports.

“[I]t was the best decision I have ever made,” Jamil wrote. “Both for me, and for the baby I didn’t want, and wasn’t ready for, emotionally, psychologically and financially. So many children will end up in foster homes. So many lives ruined. So very cruel.”

The latter part of her comment, Jamil noted, was not made in denigration of foster homes. “I’m in awe of people who take in children in need of a family and a home: but if Georgia becomes inundated with children who are unwanted or unable to be cared for, it will be hard to find great fostering for them all,” she said.

Jamil was not the only public figure moved to speak out about her abortion experience. Also in response to the Georgia law, Busy Phillips revealed on her talk show that she had an abortion when she was 15. And after Alabama voted to pass its anti-abortion bill, the actor took to Twitter to ask women to share their abortion stories using the hashtag #YouKnowMe.

“1 in 4 women have had an abortion,” she wrote. “Many people think they don’t know someone who has, but #youknowme.”

Thousands have responded to Phillips’ call. “The anti-abortion people in this country are so vocal, and for all of those reasons I think women have remained silent,” she told the New York Times. “And I felt like, well, maybe there’s actually value in sharing.

“We need to be as loud as they are, but with the truth. That’s the only thing we have.”

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