Culture

Uma Thurman Opens Up About Her Abortion As A Teenager, Calls It Her "Darkest Secret"

By Jessica Marie Baumgartner··  5 min read
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Actress and mother, Uma Thurman, recently penned a piece for The Washington Post calling the new Texas abortion law “a human rights crisis for American women.”

But her own story is not just about unwanted pregnancy. It vaguely details that she was “accidentally impregnated by a much older man” when she was a teenager. 

Hollywood’s track record of allowing sexual abuse is well-known at this point, but being taken advantage of by an older man before the legal age of consent is child sex abuse. Since she doesn’t disclose her exact age at the time, it’s unclear if it was statutory rape, but the nature of the situation should make Thurman’s story less about abortion and more about the sexualization of children and the elitist acceptance of sexual misconduct, especially toward minors and young women.

Uma Thurman’s Story

Uma Thurman may not consider herself a victim, but in her own words she wrote, “I started my acting career at 15, working in an environment where I was often the only kid in the room. In my late teens, I was accidentally impregnated by a much older man. I was living out of a suitcase in Europe, far from my family, and about to start a job. I struggled to figure out what to do. I wanted to keep the baby, but how?”

Thurman continued, “I telephoned home. My mother was gravely ill in the hospital. My father went to her bedside to discuss my options. We had never spoken about sex before; this was the first time, and it was terrible for all of us. They asked me about the status of my relationship — it was not viable — and warned me how difficult it would be to raise a baby as a teen on my own. My childish fantasy of motherhood was soundly corrected as I weighed answers to their very precise questions. I was just starting out in my career and didn’t have the means to provide a stable home, even for myself. We decided as a family that I couldn’t go through with the pregnancy, and agreed that termination was the right choice. My heart was broken nonetheless.”

“There is so much pain in this story. It has been my darkest secret until now.”

Thurman then details how the doctor who performed the abortion made her feel better by telling her, “You have beautiful hands — you remind me of my daughter.” Instead of seeing her as just a teenager getting an abortion, he compared her to his own child and that is a beautiful thing. 

Thurman also admits that “There is so much pain in this story. It has been my darkest secret until now. I am 51 years old, and I am sharing it with you from the home where I have raised my three children, who are my pride and joy.”

Her Reaction to the Texas Abortion Law Contradicts Her Pain

Uma Thurman’s story is heartbreaking, but also confusing because she supports abortion while simultaneously describing how it broke her heart. After disclosing that she was basically talked into an abortion even though she wanted to keep her baby, Thurman then goes on to champion abortion and shame Texas lawmakers for taking both the lives of the mother and the baby into account. 

Thurman champions abortion even though she describes how getting an abortion broke her heart.

Instead of thinking about the baby she aborted, she’s focused more on the political propaganda slogans and narratives that “disadvantaged” women are hurt when they must carry a baby to term. Instead of even acknowledging the fact that she was preyed upon by an older man and then told to abort the evidence, instead of prosecuting him or at least decrying his actions, she directs her concerns to the “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.” 

Uma Thurman Is a Victim Who Needs To Acknowledge That She Was Abused

In her conclusion, Thurman writes, “To all of you — to women and girls of Texas, afraid of being traumatized and hounded by predatory bounty hunters; to all women outraged by having our bodies’ rights taken by the state; and to all of you who are made vulnerable and subjected to shame because you have a uterus — I say: I see you. Have courage. You are beautiful. You remind me of my daughters.”

Instead of asking for harsher punishments for child sex crimes and sexual misconduct she looks to abortion as a solution, but until she admits that she was victimized, she will never be a true champion for girls and women who face similar situations to what she went through. 

Until she admits she was victimized, she will never be a true champion for girls who face similar situations.

She is misdirecting her anger. She is vilifying lawmakers instead of those who allowed her to be abused and then coerced her into having an abortion that she didn’t want.

Closing Thoughts

Uma Thurman’s story isn’t rare. Many of us were coerced into killing our own children while they grew in us. 

Nothing can take away what’s been done. But how we move forward will shape the future for our daughters and their babies. Uma Thurman was correct in making one special point – when a woman writes about her own tragedy she feels especially connected to the women reading her work. I only hope she doesn’t forget the countless women who experience abortion regret when she speaks about this divisive topic.  

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