The comedian, now 41, used her own “irresponsible” actions, and the opportunity she had to safely correct them, as the launching-off point for a fierce defense of a woman’s right to choose.
Handler began the essay by explaining her 16-year-old self, an angsty teen that “wasn’t really playing with a full deck of cards.” With little parental guidance and a boyfriend she admits she probably shouldn’t have been having sex with in the first place, Handler said her first reaction upon finding out that she was pregnant was to keep the baby.
“Of course, the idea that I would have a child and raise it by myself at that age, when I couldn’t even find my way home at night, was ridiculous,” she wrote. Her parents recognized this reality, she said, and took her to Planned Parenthood, where she safely had the child aborted.
But then she got pregnant again.
This time, she was left to collect the $230 needed herself. Once she did, she was once again able to take care of the situation safely.
“I’m grateful that I came to my senses and was able to get an abortion legally without risking my health or bankrupting myself or my family,” she continued.
Using her own experiences as an illustration, Handler argued the importance of upholding Roe v. Wade, though she refuses to accept that the ruling is really in danger.
Pointing to other issues such as gay marriage, the comedian noted that, “Once you go forward in history, you don’t go backward.”
Handler then acknowledged the inevitable disagreement on the topic, but maintained that it shouldn’t matter because it should be every woman’s choice.
The essay comes just in time for the Supreme Court’s decision Monday to strike down a law in Texas that many pro-choice advocates opposed on the basis that it would force many clinics in the state to close.