Chelsea Handler is getting candid about her past, revealing that she had two abortions when she was 16 years old.
In an essay for Playboy magazine’s Freedom Issue, the 41-year-old “Chelsea” host opens up about making the difficult decisions as a teen, which she admits “wasn’t the first idea that popped into my unripened brain.”
“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!” Handler writes. “Of course, the idea that I would have a child and raise it by myself at that age, when I couldn’t even find my way home at night, was ridiculous.”
She continues: “My parents recognized that, so they acted like parents for one of the very first times in my life and took me to Planned Parenthood.”
Handler goes on to reveal that she didn’t have just one abortion that year, but two, and could barely afford the second one — scraping “together the $230 to pay Planned Parenthood” for the “safe abortion.”
“Getting unintentionally pregnant more than once is irresponsible, but it’s still necessary to make a thoughtful decision,” she writes. “We all make mistakes all the time. 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 don’t ever look back and think, God, I wish I’d had that baby,” Handler later pens.
She credits her decisions to the 1973 Supreme Court ruling on a woman’s right to an abortion, Roe v. Wade, saying “it’s infuriating” when politicians attempt to overturn the ruling. “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,” Handler adds.
Though Handler expresses doubt that abortion is “something America will ever agree on,” she’s fine with the differing perspectives: “It’s OK if you think it’s not right for women to have abortions — but it’s not your problem, because we decide.”
Handler has spoken openly in the past about her decision to have an abortion when she was younger, telling the New York Times in 2011 that she did so “because that’s what I should have done. Otherwise I would not have a 20-year-old kid. Anyway, those are things that people shouldn’t be dishonest about.”
During a 2013 appearance on “The Conversation With Amanda de Cadenet,” Handler explained why she didn’t see motherhood in her future.
“I definitely don’t want to have kids,” the comedian said. “I don’t think I’d be a great mother. I don’t want to have a kid and have it raised by a nanny. I don’t have the time to raise a child. Childhood was heartbreaking enough for anybody. I don’t know that I could handle my own child, especially if I had a girl, going through what I went through growing up.”