Uma Thurman unwittingly says important things about abortion

Uma Thurman normally wouldn’t interest me but her pro-abortion message actually made three excellent points (that she didn’t mean to make).

Uma Thurman occupies a place on the list of Hollywood actresses in whom I have no interest. I believe I last saw her in Pulp Fiction, almost thirty years ago. With abortion on the table again (and let me remind you that this is truly the only substantive issue Democrats care about, with everything else just being about getting wealth and power in whatever way possible), Uma Thurman did an op-ed for the WaPo that unwittingly made three very important anti-abortion points.

Here’s how Metro UK describes it (since I don’t get the WaPo):

The Pulp Fiction star shared her ‘darkest secret’ in an op-ed for The Washington Post, calling the Texas abortion law a ‘human rights crisis for American women’.

Uma, 51, explained that she had started working as an actress aged 15 and was living in Europe when she became pregnant during a relationship with an older man.

While she wanted to keep the baby, Uma made a decision to have an abortion after speaking to her father and mother, who was ‘gravely ill in hospital’, on the phone.

She wrote: ‘They asked me about the status of my relationship — it was not viable — and warned me how difficult it would be to raise a baby as a teen on my own. My childish fantasy of motherhood was soundly corrected as I weighed answers to their very precise questions.

‘I was just starting out in my career and didn’t have the means to provide a stable home, even for myself. We decided as a family that I couldn’t go through with the pregnancy, and agreed that termination was the right choice. My heart was broken nonetheless.’


While the actress said that her decision still saddens her, she does not regret it, as it led her to the life she now has with her three children.

Uma wrote: ‘I conceived my beautiful, magical children with men whom I loved and trusted enough to dare to bring a child into this world. I have no regrets for the path I have travelled. I applaud and support women who make a different choice.

‘The abortion I had as a teenager was the hardest decision of my life, one that caused me anguish then and that saddens me even now, but it was the path to the life full of joy and love that I have experienced. Choosing not to keep that early pregnancy allowed me to grow up and become the mother I wanted and needed to be.’

Let me break down the three points she made:

The decision was difficult. Why? If it’s just a clump of cells, it’s an easy decision. And if you’re saying it’s not a clump of cells, the alternative seems to be that what’s in there is a human life. And in that case, you’re acknowledging that the decision is really hard because you’re killing someone. I don’t think that’s the point Thurman wanted to make.

She got the chance to grow up so she could be good mother. That’s where I bring my personal perspective. I didn’t have children until I was in my 30s. I was well on the way to growing old but I hadn’t grown up. Sure, I held jobs and paid bills, but my life was utterly selfish. It was becoming responsible for helpless infants that made me grow up. That is, I think Thurman got it bass-ackwards. You don’t grow up to have babies.  You grow up when you have babies.

The caveat I’d say to that is that children who become pregnant (rape, child-marriages, uncaring culture), do not necessarily mature when they have babies. They are themselves children and many (most?) probably don’t have the brain development to mature just because they’re suddenly responsible for a baby. A 12-year-old, or a 13, 14, or 15 year old should never have to “grow up” by having a baby. Which leads me to the third point:

It appears that an adolescent Thurman was the victim of a sexual predator. If I read the above correctly, she was 15 when an older man found her and impregnated her. She thinks she was having a relationship. Maybe she was but he wasn’t. He was a pedophile who had sex with an adolescent–and abortion allowed him to walk away from his crime (a moral crime, even if it wasn’t a criminal act in Germany).

And where were her parents? In America. Apparently one of them was very ill (and that’s sad) but the reality is that they sent their child a world away, leaving her as fresh meat to a bad actor — and then encouraged an abortion when she paid the price for what was really a form of abandonment.

I don’t read what Thurman said as a valid defense of abortion. Instead, I see a child abandoned to predatory adults, struggling with a decision that she knew was morally wrong, and trying to justify it by saying that now she’s a good mother. I’m happy that she’s a good mother now and, it may well be true that, as a child herself, she might have been a disastrous mother back then. However, nothing in her sad story makes abortion morally right.

Image: Thurman living the lush life in Cannes with John Travolta and Quentin Tarantino, 1995 by Georges Biard. CC BY-SA 3.0.