Chelsea Handler revealed something very personal in a new essay for Playboy magazine: She had two abortions at 16 years old.
The 42-year-old comedian and Netflix star wrote that she was having unprotected sex with her boyfriend at 16 years old, and the risky behavior led to not one, but two unplanned pregnancies. However, in her young mind, she originally considered keeping the baby during the first pregnancy scare.
“I wasn’t really playing with a full deck of cards, and when I got pregnant I just thought, ’Why not? I can have a baby. Maybe I’ll have twins and give them rhyming names!'” she wrote.
But that didn’t happen. Handler penned that her parents, who she “hated” at the time, “acted like parents for one of the very first times” and took her to Planned Parenthood for an abortion.
“I felt parented, ironically, while I was getting an abortion,” she wrote. “And when it was over, I was relieved in every possible way.”
Later that year, it happened again: Handler’s same boyfriend got her pregnant.
“We all make mistakes all the time,” she wrote. “I happened to f–k up twice at the age of 16. 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. I’m 41 now. I don’t ever look back and think, ’God, I wish I’d had that baby.'”
Handler’s essay comes at a very important time when lower courts keep pushing laws to restrict women’s access to establishments like Planned Parenthood. However, Handler isn’t worried about abortion rights regressing.
“We’re too far ahead of the game,” she wrote. “Once you go forward in history, you don’t go backward. We’ve already made the decision, and now we’re moving on to transgender rights. And it’s a wrap on men deciding what women can do with their bodies.”
Damn straight. It isn’t anybody’s business what a woman does with her body but the woman herself, a point Handler harped on at the end of her essay.
“I’d love for somebody to try to tell me what to do with my body,” she wrote. “I dare them.”
Yaaas, queen. In all seriousness, Handler is very brave for opening up about this. Here’s hoping it starts lots of necessary, productive conversations.
Read Handler’s essay in full at Playboy.com.