“I am grief-stricken,” writes Thurman, “That the law pits citizen against citizen, creating new vigilantes who will prey on these disadvantaged women.”
Uma Thurman revealed her “darkest secret” at 51 years of age in a powerful op-ed published by The Washington Post in stark opposition to Texas’ aggressive anti-abortion law. In it, she calls the new law “a human rights crisis for American women.”
Skirting around the federal legality of abortions, the new Texas law allows citizens to file lawsuits against anyone involved in any way with an abortion any time after six weeks — often before women know they are pregnant.
This includes the women themselves, doctors who perform them, Uber drivers or anyone else who assists in any way. The person filing suit need not have any connection to the person they are targeting, and the law does not offer any exceptions for rape or incest.
The state is offering a monetary reward of $10,000 in potential civil suits against these individuals, effectively creating a bounty system to try and stop the practice of abortions within its borders.
Even as every situation is different, Thurman detailed the situation surrounding her unexpected pregnancy in her late teens from a “much older man” while she was traveling in Europe just a few years into her acting career.
In her case, Thurman reached out to her family confident at first that she was going to try to keep and raise the baby. “My childish fantasy of motherhood was soundly corrected as I weighed answers to their very precise questions,” she said of the very real logistics of trying to pull this off.”
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“We decided as a family that I couldn’t go through with the pregnancy, and agreed that termination was the right choice,” she revealed. “My heart was broken nonetheless.”
Thurman then offered her current perspective on that choice all these years later, now as a mother of three. “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 explained.
“Choosing not to keep that early pregnancy allowed me to grow up and become the mother I wanted and needed to be.” She said she was sharing her own story “in the hope of drawing the flames of controversy away from the vulnerable women on whom this law will have an immediate effect.”
Speaking about that new law, that’s already survived one Supreme Court challenge before it was enacted September 1, Thurman wrote, “I have followed the course of Texas’s radical antiabortion law with great sadness, and something akin to horror. Now, in the hope of drawing the flames of controversy away from the vulnerable women on whom this law will have an immediate effect, I am sharing my own experience.”
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“You might not be interested in the opinions of an actress, but given this new outrage, I feel it is my responsibility to stand up in their shoes,” she continued.
“This law is yet another discriminatory tool against those who are economically disadvantaged, and often, indeed, against their partners,” Thurman wrote. “Women and children of wealthy families retain all the choices in the world, and face little risk.”
Speaking of the aspect of the law that allows anyone to file suit against any person involved in helping a woman during such a vulnerable time, Thurman wrote, “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.”
And so, Thurman decided to share her own “darkest secret,” writing, “In revealing the hole that this decision carved in me, I 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.”
“I can assure you that no one finds herself on that table on purpose,” she emphasized.
Speaking directly to those frightened women, Thurman wrote, “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.”
Thurman has two daughters, Luna with Arpad Busson, and Maya with Ethan Hawke, with whom she also shares son Levon.