Comedian Chelsea Handler, in a personal essay on reproductive rights, says she is grateful to have been able to have two safe, legal abortions as a teenager.
“When I got pregnant at the age of 16, getting an abortion wasn’t the first idea that popped into my unripened brain,” Handler, 41, writes in the new issue of Playboy magazine. “I was going through a very bad stage in my life. I hated my parents and I was having unprotected sex with my boyfriend. . . . I wasn’t really playing with a full deck of cards, and when I got pregnant I just thought, Why not? I can have a baby.”
Her parents, she says, realized the extraordinary difficulties of teen motherhood and took her to Planned Parenthood for the procedure. “And when it was over,” Handler writes, “I was relieved in every possible way.”
Handler, whose series “Chelsea” is Netflix’s first original talk show, became pregnant again that year and underwent another abortion. Conceding that “getting unintentionally pregnant more than once is irresponsible,” she notes that, “We all make mistakes all the time. . . . I’m grateful that I came to my senses and was able to get an abortion legally without risking my health or bankrupting myself or my family. . . . I don’t ever look back and think, God, I wish I’d had that baby.”