sorry not sorry but actually sorry

Lena Dunham’s apology for her misguided abortion comments leaves a lot to be desired

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It’s been about three months since Lena Dunham apologized for saying some real dumb shit, so I guess that means we’re due for another one!

The actress, activist, and Feminist Who Always Means Well™ got into trouble after the most recent episode of her podcast Women of the Hour. The episode, titled “Choice,” explored women’s reproductive rights, Dunham’s own advocacy, and the stigmas surrounding abortion. She explained that, when asked a few years ago by a young girl at a Planned Parenthood in Texas to share her abortion story, she realized she didn’t have one because she had never had an abortion (which is surely an example of how well birth control and proper women’s healthcare can work!). She added that her “being unblemished in that department” made her realize that she had internalized some stigma about it. Yeah. I don’t really know either. Anyway, she concluded the segment by saying, “Now I can say that I still haven’t had an abortion, but I wish I had.”

Naturally the internet lost it on her for diminishing a very complicated and—with all these abortion restrictions sweeping the country—often traumatizing experience to what amounts to a fashion trend.

Last night Dunham took to her confessional platform of choice, Instagram, to apologize for the comment.

My latest podcast episode was meant to tell a multifaceted story about reproductive choice in America, to explain the many reasons women do or don't choose to have children and what bodily autonomy really means. I'm so proud of the medley of voices in the episode. I truly hope a distasteful joke on my part won't diminish the amazing work of all the women who participated. 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. I take reproductive choice in America more seriously than I take literally anything else, and therefore own full responsibility for any words I speak that don't convey this truth clearly. I know plenty of people will never like a thing that leaves my lips, mea culpas or no, but this apology is for the women who have placed their trust in me. You mean everything to me. My life is and always will be devoted to reproductive justice and freedom. You know how in some households you curse and have to put money in a jar? Well in mine, if you mess up your pro-choice messaging you have to give a sizable donation to abortion funds (https://abortionfunds.org/need-abortion) in New York, Texas and Ohio 💰I look forward to fighting with you all for the next four years and beyond.

A photo posted by Lena Dunham (@lenadunham) on

An excerpt from the caption: “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.”

She also mentioned that she made a “sizable” donation to abortion funds in New York, Texas, and Ohio.

I do think Dunham truly understands where she went wrong, but attributing her words to a bad case of Hannah Horvath is not a great look for her or Girls. Such a joke may have done better if it had been teased out over a six-minute stand-up routine with a couple callbacks afterwards, but whatever.

Once again, it would be really nice if the loudest white feminist could just think twice before undermining herself instead of simply saying something stupid and cashing in on the public’s apparently endless forgiveness of her, but I guess we really can’t have it all.

And so, the patented Lena Dunham News Cyle—first transgression, then apology—strikes again. See you guys in another few months!