Is Lena Dunham the Right Voice for Pro-Choice?

“Now I can say that I still haven’t had an abortion, but I wish I had.” — Lena Dunham

Several months ago, Lena Dunham came back under the media's microscope for some pro-choice comments that were a bit *too* enthusiastic. Unsurprisingly, the comments section squatters who love to hate Lena Dunham (of which there are, like, millions) had a lot to say. None of it was encouraging. 

The comment aired on Dunham’s podcast, “Women of the Hour,” which is usually high-key feminist and loaded with famous guests--Zadie Smith, Emma Stone, and Amy Sedaris, to name a few. The episode which got Dunham in trouble, titled “Choice,” was largely inoffensive; when Dunham praised the bravery of the women in her life who have undergone abortions, however, she overstepped. After praising those women who exercised the controversial reproductive right, Dunham jumped on the bandwagon and was promptly thrown under the wheels. She expressed her own desire to have an abortion, trying to de-stigmatize the controversial choice and show solidarity with women who have terminated pregnancies. In the ongoing battle between pro-choicers and pro-lifers, Dunham voiced a position that seemed more pro-abortion than pro-choice. Not exactly a win for the socially liberal community. 

I think Lena means well, but the phrasing here is embarrassing at best. It’s reassuring to see an outspoken, successful female TV personality possess international visibility *without* having an immaculate bod. Sometimes, though, said visibility backfires; Dunham is proof. 

In an unofficial follow-up to the abortion controversy surrounding Dunham, the latest and final season of “Girls” features Dunham’s character (Hannah) carrying out a pregnancy sans father-figure. At first it seemed like the setup for an abortion storyline, but it’s become one of pregnancy/motherhood instead. An interesting choice for Dunham’s character--possibly a result of the abortion backlash Dunham felt a few months ago. Regardless, the pro-choicers will fight on through the increasingly conservative political climate. Lena’s recent faux pas just goes to show that the fight for reproductive rights must be fiercely fought but carefully worded.