Uma Thurman reveals teenage abortion as she criticises 'horror' of Texas ban

·2-min read

Uma Thurman has revealed she had an abortion in her late teens as she criticised the "horror" of Texas's new ban.

The 51-year-old actress said she is opening up about her "darkest secret" for the first time in a bid to draw "the flames of controversy away from vulnerable women on whom this law will have an immediate effect".

The law, which came into force earlier this month, bans abortions once medical professionals can detect cardiac activity, which is typically around six weeks.

Writing in The Washington Post on Tuesday, Thurman said she had watched the course of the new law with "great sadness" and "something akin to horror".

The movie star then revealed how she accidentally fell pregnant in her late teens with an older man and, despite wanting to keep the baby, ultimately chose to have an abortion for various reasons, including being unable to provide a stable home at that stage in her life.

Thurman described the "shame" she internalised as she went through with the procedure, adding: "There is so much pain in this story. It has been my darkest secret until now."

"The abortion I had as a teenager was the hardest decision of my life, one that caused me anguish then and that saddens me even now, but it was the path to the life full of joy and love that I have experienced," she added.

Thurman, who has since had three children, said she was speaking out in hope that, "some light will shine through, reaching women and girls who might feel a shame that they can't protect themselves from and have no agency over".

Writing about the Texas ban, which allows private citizens to sue abortion providers and facilitators, the actress said it was a "staging ground for a human rights crisis for American women".

She said: "This law is yet another discriminatory tool against those who are economically disadvantaged, and often, indeed, against their partners.

"Women and children of wealthy families retain all the choices in the world, and face little risk.

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"I am grief-stricken, as well, that the law pits citizen against citizen, creating new vigilantes who will prey on these disadvantaged women, denying them the choice not to have children they are not equipped to care for, or extinguishing their hopes for the future family they might choose."

It comes as a US doctor, who said he performed an abortion in defiance of a new Texas law, is being sued by two people seeking to test the legality of the state's near-total ban on the procedure.