11 Celebrities Who Have Spoken Out About Having An Abortion

Although we are in the year 2016, abortion is still a word that summons very conflicted and strong opinions for people on both ends of the spectrum. But despite it still being a highly controversial subject even today, some celebrities have spoken out about having abortions, and in doing so, have increased awareness and further understanding on the subject, as well as helped make it less of a taboo.

While it must be a hard decision to make to share their stories publicly, it is important that these women in the public eye have shared their abortion stories, because it is a powerful way to spread awareness and remove the shame and stigma that is still placed on so many women. Going through with an abortion can leave a woman feeling isolated, but seeing other women proudly share their stories creates a positive reinforcement that you can have an abortion and that it will be OK.

I admire the women who have spoken out about such a deeply sensitive and personal subject in the hopes of helping others. Without further ado, here are 11 celebrities who've shared their abortion stories and how they coped and moved forward.

1. Chelsea Handler

Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

Handler shared her thoughts on MTV's 16 and Pregnant and told the New York Times, “I had an abortion when I was 16. Because that’s what I should have done. Otherwise I would now have a 20-year-old kid."

2. Kathleen Hanna

Mike Coppola/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

Punk musician Kathleen Hanna of Bikini Kill and Le Tigre shared with The Rumpus in 2014 of how her abortion as a teen positively changed the course of her life. She said,

3. Amy Brenneman

Jason Merritt/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

Actor Amy Brenneman has been candid about the decision she made to terminate a pregnancy in her 20s and is still an advocate for women's rights. She told HuffPost Live , “When I was 21, I terminated a pregnancy and was so grateful, and it was not a bad experience, and I had a sweet boyfriend and a sweet doctor."

4. Nicki Minaj

Frazer Harrison/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

Minaj got very candid about an abortion she had while she was in high school. She told Rolling Stone ,

5. Gloria Steinem

Jonathan Leibson/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

Feminist Gloria Steinem opened up to The Guardian about having an abortion at the age of 22. She spoke of the guilt many women are told they should feel, but how the decision liberated her. She told The Guardian ,

6. Vanessa Williams

Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

Vanessa Williams shared with ABC News about an abortion she had while in high school. She said, "Being pregnant is the most frightening thing that happens in your life. I knew in high school that's something that I was not prepared to do, or fight, or struggle with."

7. Jemima Kirke

Center for Reproductive Rights on YouTube

Girls star Jemima Kirke teamed up with the Center for Reproductive Rights for a video in which she spoke of having an abortion in 2007. She said, "I wasn't sure that I wanted to be attached to this person for the rest of my life... My life was just not conducive to raising a happy, healthy child. So, I decided to get an abortion."

8. Sinead O'Connor

AFP/DDP/Getty Images

Back in 1991, O'Connor had an abortion after she broke up with her boyfriend and was in the middle of a tour. She told Spin Magazine,

9. Margaret Cho

Chelsea Lauren/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

Cho is adamant that women must be open in speaking about abortions and menstruation. She told XO Jane,

10. Toni Braxton

Jason Merritt/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

Toni Braxton opened up to Entertainment Tonight about the wide range of emotions she felt after an abortion. She said,

11. Penny Marshall

Angela Weiss/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

Marshall confessed to Fox News that she had an abortion in her 40s, after she didn't want a relationship with the father. She said,

By sharing their abortion stories, these women continue to make strides to remove the stigma of abortion and towards letting all women make the right decision for their bodies, which should only be theirs to make.