Lena Dunham says she’s “terrified” about where the U.S. is going following the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, but she remains “hopeful” amid an “uprising of dialogue” that’s removing the stigma around abortion.
In an interview with Yahoo Entertainment promoting her new film Sharp Stick, the writer, actress and director talks about making a film with no female nudity in it, the sensitivity around representing the sex work industry and the overturning of Roe v. Wade.
“I’m terrified,” she said when asked whether she’s “scared” about where the country is following the court’s recent decision. “I grew up with a mother who was part of the Downtown Women’s Action Coalition that went and held hands around abortion clinics to make sure that women could enter and exit safely without being harassed by protestors. I was also raised to say ‘anti-choice,’ and not ‘pro-life’ for people who advocate those views. They are anti the livelihood of people with female reproductive organs.”
She later added that the day the ruling came down was “probably one of the darkest days that I’ve experienced in my life in terms of my terror around what’s happening in this country.”
Still, the Generation+ producer says that there is a spark of hope for her, and it’s fueled by how the conversation and language around abortion is being expanded and reframed since the June decision.
“What makes me hopeful is the incredible uprising of dialogue happening that destigmatizes abortion, and making it clear that bodily autonomy is essential for all people,” she says. “And when people who are assigned female at birth don’t have bodily autonomy, we don’t have a free society.”
Dunham also spoke about what she thought her role in the fight to protect abortion rights is, telling the outlet that “it’s my job and all of our jobs to do everything that we can to make abortion accessible and affordable.”
She says this can be done by ensuring people in states without abortion access — “that are locking down” — will have aid and the support of those in states where abortion is still legal and “there is more freedom to get where they need to go and make the choices to live free lives.”
The Girls creator says that her “life exists” as a result of being able to have bodily autonomy, pointing to a procedure she had that allowed her to stop living with chronic pain. “My ability to have and pay for a hysterectomy allowed me autonomy because I no longer lived in chronic pain,” Dunham explains.