Lena Dunham just admitted abortion is emotionally and physically “challenging” on Instagram after facing a backlash to her bizarre comments on abortion from last week.
“Now I can say that I still haven’t had an abortion, but I wish I had,” the creator of HBO’s “Girls” said in her most recent episode of her podcast. Unsurprisingly, her remark offended a lot of people who thought Dunham’s comment showed an alarming lack of empathy for women who have experienced reproductive challenges or undergone an abortion.
She has since walked back her comment, claiming that it was a joke and that she was merely playing a persona. A portion of her apology reads (emphasis added):
My words were spoken from a sort of ‘delusional girl’ persona I often inhabit, a girl who careens between wisdom and ignorance (that’s what my TV show is too) and it didn’t translate. That’s my fault. I would never, ever intentionally trivialize the emotional and physical challenges of terminating a pregnancy. My only goal is to increase awareness and decrease stigma.
Dunham isn’t wrong — abortion is physically and emotionally hard on women. And not even the most pro-choice of women can pretend otherwise.
The truth is, women are often coerced into getting an abortion. In a 2005 study, researchers found that 34 percent of the women they surveyed who were recruited from a domestic violence program said they had been pressured into getting an abortion by their partners. A 2010 Guttmacher Institute study affirms that reproductive control, including forced abortions, is a huge problem among women who have suffered domestic abuse at the hands of a partner.
Bre alludes to something important. We tend to conveniently forget that men often play a crucial role in abortion - coercing their partner into it, providing financial assistance or giving moral support. Even those who may do nothing in the way of support but simply and knowingly stand idly by, are guilty.
James 4:17 declares, "Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn't do it, sins." Paul juxtaposes two concepts in Romans 7:14-20. He decries his tendency toward both types of sin. He does what he doesn’t want to do and knows is wrong—the sin of commission—and he doesn’t do what he knows he should do and really wants to do—the sin of omission. In the New Testament, the classic example given by Jesus is the account of the Good Samaritan. After a man had been beaten and left in need of help, the first two men to pass by—a priest and a Levite, both of whom knew better—failed to act. The third man, a Samaritan, stopped to show compassion to the man in need (Luke 10:30-37). Jesus used this example to teach that we are to likewise help those in need. By doing so, he clearly communicated that it is sinful to avoid doing good, just as it is sinful to pursue what is evil. Jesus further describes the sins of omission in Matthew 25:31-46. The goats, those who are sent away by Christ, are those who saw others hungry and thirsty, but did not provide food and water. They are those who saw others in need of clothing, who were sick or in jail but did nothing to clothe or comfort them. These are all examples of sins of omission. There was no sin committed against these needy people—they were not intentionally starved or deprived of their clothing. But the sin of omission was committed when those who could have provided for them chose not to.
Barring repentance, many men will one day stand accountable for murder. It's not just about women.