By now you’ve probably heard about Lena Dunham’s “wish” to have had an abortion, which she expressed during her “Women Of The Hour podcast as a means of connecting with people who have gone through the procedure:

“Now I can say that I still haven’t had an abortion, but I wish I had.”

Basically she was being an insensitive ally, and trivialised an often inaccessible, expensive, highly-politicised and potentially traumatising procedure. A bunch of people who have had abortions were offended by her privileged, out-of-touch comments, and plenty have already shared their outrage on Twitter.

Now, Dunham has offered a clarification and apology-of-sorts for the distasteful joke” on Instagram:

“My words were spoken from a sort of ‘delusional girl’ persona I often inhabit, a girl who careens between wisdom and ignorance (that’s what my TV show is too) and it didn’t translate.” 

“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.” 

“I take reproductive choice in America 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.”

Like most people, I hadn’t actually listened to the podcast in question. I pretty much made up my mind after reading the comment, and the only other information I took in was that a) Dunham is a pro-choice advocate who hasn’t had the lived the experience of an abortion and b) wanted to connect with people who have.

But even if the comments were meant as an insincere form of inhabiting her ‘Girls’ persona, she still chose to make them within an at-best ambiguous context.

As she vaguely acknowledges, her intentions don’t really matter when they’re unclear; it’s the impact that counts. Plus, even if she had made the “joke” more obvious, there’s nothing to suggest it would have been any less offensive.

Still, whatever you make of the persona argument (and the added fact that she doesn’t actually say ‘sorry’ anywhere in the post), Dunham at least puts her money where her mouth is:

“You know how in some households you curse and have to put money in a jar?” 

“Well in mine, if you mess up your pro-choice messaging you have to give a sizable donation to abortion funds (https://abortionfunds.org/need-abortion) in New York, Texas and Ohio ??

“I look forward to fighting with you all for the next four years and beyond.”

Have a look at the full message bellow, and, as always, make up your own mind:

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. My words were spoken from a sort of “delusional girl” persona I often inhabit, a girl who careens between wisdom and ignorance (that’s what my TV show is too) and it didn’t translate. 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. I take reproductive choice in America 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. You know how in some households you curse and have to put money in a jar? Well in mine, if you mess up your pro-choice messaging you have to give a sizable donation to abortion funds (https://abortionfunds.org/need-abortion) in New York, Texas and Ohio ??I look forward to fighting with you all for the next four years and beyond.

A photo posted by Lena Dunham (@lenadunham) on

Source: Instagram.

Photo: Randy Shropshire / Getty.