Uma Thurman is sharing a deeply personal experience to condemn Texas' controversial abortion law.
In an emotional op-ed published by The Washington Post on Tuesday, the actress, 51, revealed what she called her "darkest secret" — that she had an abortion in her late teens.
"I started my acting career at 15, working in an environment where I was often the only kid in the room," she wrote. "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."
Thurman detailed calling her parents to discuss her options before they eventually decided as a family to terminate the pregnancy. "My heart was broken nonetheless," she shared.
When the time came, she said she went to a doctor's office in Cologne, Germany, to have the procedure. "It hurt terribly, but I didn't complain," she recalled. "I had internalized so much shame that I felt I deserved the pain."
The Suspicion star now has three children, daughters Maya, 23, and Luna, 9, and son Levon Roan, 19, whom she described as her "pride and joy" in the essay.
"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 shared. "Choosing not to keep that early pregnancy allowed me to grow up and become the mother I wanted and needed to be."
In opening up about the decision, Thurman explained that she hoped "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."
"The Texas abortion law was allowed to take effect without argument by the Supreme Court, which, due in no small part to its lack of ideological diversity, is a staging ground for a human rights crisis for American women," she continued.
Thurman concluded, "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."
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Senate Bill 8, which took effect on Sept. 1, is now the most restrictive abortion law in the country, essentially eliminating the rights established in Roe v. Wade. The bill prohibits abortions after six weeks of pregnancy, which is before most women know they're pregnant. The bill does not allow exceptions for pregnancies that are the result of incest or rape.
Under the law, private citizens can sue doctors or abortion clinic workers they suspect performed illegal abortions after six weeks, as well as anyone who aided in an abortion, including driving someone to an appointment or helping them with the cost. If the lawsuit is successful, they will be awarded a minimum of $10,000.
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Earlier this month, Attorney General Merrick Garland said the Justice Department is "urgently" exploring all options to challenge the bill "in order to protect the constitutional rights of women and other persons."
The attorney general also vowed to "provide support from federal law enforcement when an abortion clinic or reproductive health center is under attack."