She’s known as the mouthy, quick-witted, straight-talking comedian and host, but last week Chelsea Handler showed her serious side and discussed a topic that affects millions of Women.
In an exclusive article she penned for Playboy, Chelsea wrote a candid blog about her experience as a teenager having to go through the experience of an abortion.
At age 16, Chelsea became pregnant with her then boyfriends child. At first she was cool about the idea and made light of it in her head by joking about having twins she could give rhyming names too. But then the reality set in that she couldn’t look after herself let alone a baby.
“Of course, the idea that I would have a child and raise it by myself at that age, when I couldn’t even find my way home at night, was ridiculous.”
After seeking help from her parents and getting the abortion , Chelsea felt a huge sense of relief. But months later the same thing happened again and Chelsea found herself pregnant for the second time, by the same boyfriend within the same year. Whilst Chelsea admits she was ‘irresponsible’ and that she ‘fucked up’, that’s a lot for any Woman to go through emotionally and physically let alone a 16year old girl with an ‘unripened brain’.
“Getting unintentionally pregnant more than once is irresponsible, but it’s still necessary to make a thoughtful decision. We all make mistakes all the time. I happened to fuck up twice at the age of 16.”
Chelsea goes onto saying how grateful she was for coming to her own senses and being able to have the abortion in a safe and healthy environment without bankrupting her parents.
“I’m 41 now. I don’t ever look back and think, God, I wish I’d had that baby.”
However, for hundreds of thousands of Women, this sense of self-righteousness isn’t the case and many Women are still being forced into unwanted pregnancies or made to feel guilty for choosing their right to abort. Some are even branded murderers by anti-abortion believers.
40 years after the Roe vs Wade ruling which saw the United States Supreme Court legalise abortion , politicians are now trying to get the decision overruled. In an effort to prevent Women from making their own decisions for their body and life, politicians have even found ways around subverting Roe vs Wade by closing many of the clinics and restricting Women from accessible abortion assistance. Currently, at least 5 US States only have 1 abortion clinic, which, as you can imagine , is pretty fully booked and ends up letting Women down given the fact time is of the essence when abortion should only be performed within the first 24weeks of pregnancy.
Despite the small minded ignorance of these politicians, Chelsea isn’t worried about the future of the Roe vs Wade law and states how once you go forward in history, you don’t go backward.
“You can’t introduce a black person and be like, “Oh, I just got a slave!” That era is over. It’s similar to what’s happening in Mississippi and some other states with gay-marriage discrimination—marriage equality is going to take. You can’t stop that. We’ve already made the decision, and now we’re moving on to transgender rights. And it’s a wrap on men deciding what women can do with their bodies.”
Chelsea finishes by reassuring Women that choose to go for an abortion as making a smart and sustainable decision. And she’s right, every situation is different but if you feel in your gut that you’re not ready to become a mother or would make a crappy one, it’s your right to make that decision and prevent a child from coming into your life.
“We have 7.3 billion people on this planet. Anybody who carefully decides not to become a parent—let alone a bad parent, which is what I would have become—should be applauded for making a smart and sustainable decision.”
Whilst Chelsea’s brave and powerful decision to open up has no doubt helped many Women, she’s still become a target for the Twitter trolls being accused of bragging about her past. (Seriously, people are weird!) Chelsea responded by setting the record straight…
When I agreed to write an article on a woman’s right to choose, I certainly wasn’t bragging. I chose to tell the truth. #shouldbemoreofit
— Chelsea Handler (@chelseahandler) June 28, 2016
It’s 2016. Women have full control of their bodies and their life and the fact that this is still even a topic is pretty crazy. We’re going to be scrutinised by someone for something no matter what so we may as well just do whatever the hell we want.
“It’s okay if you think it’s not right for women to have abortions—but it’s not your problem, because we decide. I’d love for somebody to try to tell me what to do with my body. I dare them.”