Image Credits: Getty Images

On Monday, famously pro-abortion actress and activist Alyssa Milano revealed that she had two abortions in 1993 and that “it was absolutely the right choice for me.” I am absolutely not one of those pro-life women who are going to shame others for their abortion, because I don’t think that’s helpful at all, but Milano’s story about how she got pregnant and why she decided to have not just one abortion but two and how she believes that it was good for her and her career ultimately got me thinking, and I think we can learn something from her story. 

Milano was concerned about how her acne medicine could lead to birth defects

In her interview, Milano revealed that at the time she first got pregnant, she was taking an acne medicine that has been known to cause birth defects. I wondered, at first, if Milano even knew that at the time she got pregnant, or if she learned that later. However, it reminded me that there are medicines out there that can cause birth defects potentially, but is it vain to say, well, I can’t have this baby, because I’m worried about my acne? And what about in the cut-throat world that is Hollywood? Also, at the end of the day, can anyone be sure a birth defect will occur until it actually does? No. Everyone’s choices are complicated, I recognize that, but Milano immediately turning to her acne medication as a reason to get an abortion showed me that there was something off about the way we process ourselves and our autonomy at the expense of others in a vain world. Unfortunately, though, I don’t think Milano is alone. 

Milano was on birth control

Milano admits that after her first abortion, she was on the birth control pill. One, good for her! Taking control of your own body doesn’t have to mean choosing an abortion. It can mean choosing to take precautions to not get pregnant. But, she admits, she did get pregnant again while on the pill. That’s an important reminder to everyone that no birth control method, besides abstinence,  is 100% effective, so don’t assume that when someone gets pregnant, they weren’t taking precautions. Also, depending on your situation, you may want to use multiple methods of birth control, such as the pill and condoms. 

“I knew at that time I was not equipped to be a mother and so I chose to have an abortion”

Milano, who was born in 1972, would have been 20-21 at the time of her first abortion, and no offense, but women have been having baby as young as their early teens for millenia. To say she ‘was not equipped” completely removes the onus from her as a person who was equipped enough to be in a sexual relationship. Parenting isn’t easy, I acknowledge that, but to say because you aren’t “equipped” at day 1 of the pregnancy to be a mother means you won’t ever be equipped or you won’t allow that child to live rings as very self-centered to me. I think it’s also a disservice done by society to tell young women they aren’t “ready” when pregnancy is a nine month journey that can get you ready. And even people who aren’t “ready” can still succeed as parents. Plus, never forget that adoption is on the table, but that takes us to point three. 

Milano says her career and activism wouldn’t exist without her abortions

This, to me, makes it clear that Milano was more concerned with her career than the abortion of her children. I am sure she struggled with the grief of that decision, but we also must recognize the sad fact that she might be right. And that’s not her fault–it’s Hollywood’s. How can we condone a world in which a young woman with talent and a future feels she has to make that decision in order to succeed? In a world where only women can bring in new life, how can we sit here and applaud a system that says they have to end life if they create it to star in a movie, to land a TV show, to do what they feel called to do? 

I think we should all pray for Milano, who clearly by opening about this story, is still struggling with it, even if she says she’s thankful. But we should also pray for the women who haven’t felt strong enough to open up about being pressured by the world of Hollywood or business or any other segment of the world that tells women they have to choose between life and their futures. Being a mother isn’t a death sentence. It shouldn’t be the end of a career unless you as a mother choose to leave that career. Getting pregnant isn’t a design flaw in women. It’s a part of who they are and people like Alyssa Milano sharing their story shows us that there is a lot of work to be done in promoting that so that women in the future don’t feel the need to get an abortion, regardless of the legality of it all. 

Aryssa D
FFL Cabinet Member