In the decades since Roe v. Wade, reproductive rights for women are still ripe with stigma and judgment from others. Women are still socially expected to keep to themselves about their abortions, like a dirty little secret. Thankfully, women, like Girls actress, Jemima Kirke, have not kept silent about their choices.
Back in 2007, Kirke became pregnant by her boyfriend at the time. Not feeling financially ready or wanting to be attached to the boyfriend for the rest of her life, Kirke decided to end her pregnancy.
That meant emptying her checking account and getting money from her boyfriend, since she couldn’t tell her mother. It also meant not taking anesthesia. Kirke explains this decision saying:
"I realized if I didn't take the anesthesia, I would be able to afford to do this. And the anesthesia wasn't that much more, but when you're scrounging for however many hundreds of dollars, it is a lot. I just didn't have it.”
Women are forced to make these kinds of decisions every day because they are not able to have affordable birth control and when abortion becomes an option, it is still financially a burden. Not to mention deemed shameful by societal expectations.
Sharing her story, Kirke is helping to normalize something that effects women every day.
Image c/o HBOPrincess Weekes is a part-time bookseller and a full-time writer with a Master’s in English from Brooklyn College. A former intern at BUST magazine, she has since written articles for The Mary Sue, BUST and maintains her own video channel under the name Melina Pendulum, discussing the intersection of pop culture, feminism and race. She is currently working on a fantasy novel about black witches during the Jim Crow era, while attempting to purchase every liquid lipstick the world has to offer.