Wherever you stand on the issue of abortion there’s no denying that choosing to terminate a pregnancy is a difficult decision most women wish they didn’t have to face. And, although there’s been a steady decline in abortions since 1980, 4 out of 10 unplanned pregnancies are terminated each year.
The following 15 celebrities fall somewhere within that statistic and each one share openly their painful and, in some cases, horrific experience.
1. Toni Braxton – The soulful singer revealed that she had an abortion in 2001, and recounts the painful journey in her memoir “Unbreak my Heart.” Because of Braxton’s overwhelming guilt she once thought God was punishing her by giving her youngest son, Diezel, autism. She told US Weekly magazine, “I have since realized that my son is special and learns in a different way.”
2. Chelsea Handler – The outspoken comedienne had an abortion at the age of 16, at the urging of her parents. She says that she has no regrets about her decision because she didn’t think she’d be a good mother.
3. Sherri Shepherd – The actress and TV personality has been very vocal about her “many” abortions, and shared that she’s felt guilt and shame over it. Before she became a Christian, she’s admitted to living a promiscuous lifestyle in her twenties and having, “more abortions than she would like to count.”
4. Sharon Osbourne – The talk show host had an abortion at 17 and 3 miscarriages afterwards, due to a damaged cervix. She said having the abortion was the worst thing that she ever had to do, but her mother pushed her into having it.
5. Penny Marshall – When the Laverne and Shirley actress was in her 40’s she got pregnant. In an extensive interview with Fox 411 she said, “I had a kid already, my womb wasn’t crying out. I talked to my brother (Garry Marshall). We made the pros and cons… It was more ‘do I want this other person in my life, for the rest of my life?’
6. Alice Walker – In the 1960’s, the Color Purple author learned that she was pregnant after her junior year at Sarah Lawrence College. She was frightened and didn’t know how to tell her parents, and even contemplated suicide. She had an abortion, and admitted to suffering from anxiety and depression afterwards.
7. Vanessa Williams – In an interview with ABC’s Nightline, and with her mother by her side, the actress and former, Miss America, revealed to the world that she had an abortion as a teenager. She also admits to being a highly sexualized teen, due to being molested as a child.
8. Whoopi Goldberg – It’s been reported that The View co-host had six abortions. Goldberg admits that at least one of the abortions was self-inflicted when at 14 she used a coat hanger to terminate her pregnancy.
9. Joan Collins – When the actress was dating Warren Beatty, she became pregnant. She states that he convinced her to have an abortion and she has no regrets.
10. Shelley Winters – The Oscar-winning actress admitted to having two abortions, and before her death she was quoted as saying, “I am a very lonely woman. I would give everything – my money, my Academy Awards, my career – if only I could have those children now.”
11. Sinead O’ Connor – At the height of her career in 1990, the controversial singer had an abortion. She confesses to being happy with the pregnancy, but she and the father of the child didn’t work out so she decided to terminate the pregnancy. She said it took a year for her to get past it.
12. Mackenzie Philips – The former, One Day at a Time, star sadly revealed that she was sexually abused by her father, John Phillips, for ten years. When she became pregnant and didn’t know if the unborn child was fathered by her dad or her then-husband, Shane Fontayne, she decided to terminate the pregnancy.
13. Rozonda “Chili” Thomas – The TLC singer confessed to having an abortion before she became famous. She said that it was the most painful decision she ever had to make, because she really wanted her baby.
14. Susan Sarandon – Susan Sarandon admitted to having an abortion in her early twenties. “I had an abortion in my 20s. My first [and only] marriage was falling apart. I had an affair with an insane guy and I knew having a kid with him wasn’t the right thing …” she told The Guardian in 2006.
15. Stevie Nicks – In 1992, the Fleetwood Mac singer shared with VOX magazine that she had four abortions, with four different lovers. She’s said that the men, including singer Don Henley, couldn’t handle her decision. Later she says, “To give up four babies is to give up a lot that would be here now. So that bothers me, a lot, and really breaks my heart…”
Whatever your feeling; whatever your decision; whatever your stance; one thing can’t be debated, the physical and emotional scars that may be left behind, after choosing to terminate a pregnancy, will be left behind forever. Choose wisely.