Lena Dunham Apologizes for 'Distasteful Joke' About Abortion

PHOTO: Lena Dunham arrives at the Glamour Women of the Year Awards at NeueHouse Hollywood in Los Angele, Nov. 14, 2016. PlayJordan Strauss/Invision/AP Photo
WATCH Lena Dunham Apologizes

Lena Dunham is apologizing for what she called a "distasteful joke" she made on her podcast last week.

In a lengthy Instagram post on Tuesday, the "Girls" creator wrote, "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."

The controversy started last week, when Dunham, 30, said in her "Women of the Hour" podcast that she hadn't had an abortion, but wished she had. She made the quip after recalling a visit to a Planned Parenthood in Texas where she was asked to share her experience with abortion.

"And I realized then that even I was carrying within myself stigma around this issue," she said on the podcast. "Even I, the woman who cares as much as anybody about a woman’s right to choose, felt that it was important that people know that I was unblemished in this department."

She later concluded, "Now I can say that I still haven’t had an abortion, but I wish I had."

Dunham now says she spoke from the persona of a "delusional girl" who "careens between wisdom and ignorance" -- a persona she often inhabited on her TV show.

"It didn't translate," she said. "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."

Dunham went on to say that she takes reproductive choice "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."

She concluded the post by saying she plans to put her money where her mouth was.

"You know how in some households you curse and have to put money in a jar?" she wrote. "Well, in mine, if you mess up your pro-choice messaging you have to give a sizable donation to abortion funds in New York, Texas and Ohio. I look forward to fighting with you all for the next four years and beyond."