'Girls' Star Jemima Kirke Opens Up About Having an Abortion in College

by Zach Seemayer 11:40 AM PDT, April 15, 2015
Playing 'Girls' Star Jemima Kirke Opens Up About Having an Abortion in College

Girls actress Jemima Kirke is opening up about her decision to have an abortion in college as part of a PSA aimed at starting a dialogue about reproductive rights. The 29-year-old actress, who is now a mother of three (including a stepdaughter), shared her experience with terminating her pregnancy in 2007.

"My life was not conducive to raising a healthy, happy child," Kirke explained in the video produced by the Center for Reproductive Rights. "I just didn’t feel it was fair."

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At the time, Kirke was a college student who was strapped for cash and afraid to tell her mother about her plan to have an abortion. By emptying out her checking account and getting some money from her boyfriend at the time, she was barely able to afford the procedure.

"I realized that if I didn't take the anesthesia, I would be able to afford to do this. The anesthesia wasn't that much more, but when you're scrounging for, you know, however many hundreds of dollars, it is a lot," Kirke explained.

"It’s these obstacles and this stigma that makes these things not completely unavailable… but then there are these little hoops we have to jump through to get them," she added.

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Kirke goes on to explain that she believe conversations about reproductive issues should be talked about freely, but that she "still sees shame and embarrassment around terminating pregnancies and getting pregnant."

Kirke, best known for playing Jessa Johansson on the HBO dramedy Girls hopes that the stigma surrounding reproductive rights will disappear by the time her children grow up.

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"I would love if, when they're older, and they're in their teens or their 20s, that the political issues surrounding their bodies were not there anymore," Kirke shared. "That they have one last thing to battle around their bodies…. I would hate to see them having to fight for rights over their bodies."

The powerful PSA ends by encouraging people to sign a petition at, a campaign organized the CRR, that tells politicians, "My word is the last word on my reproductive health care."