This Girl is speaking out. HBO star Jemima Kirke opened up in a new PSA about her choice to have an abortion in college. In a video for the Center for Reproductive Rights' Draw the Line Campaign, Kirke recalled some of the roadblocks she encountered in terminating her pregnancy.
Kirke, 29, who described herself as "an artist, and an actor, and a mother of two," shared how she became pregnant back in 2007 with her boyfriend at the time. "I wasn't sure that I wanted to be attached to this person for the rest of my life," she noted. "My life was just not conducive to raising a happy, healthy child. So, I decided to get an abortion."
The British actress, who was studying at the Rhode Island School of Design, could not tell her mother that she was pregnant, and had to pay for the abortion herself. "I did have to empty my checking account — what I had in there — and get some from my boyfriend," she explained, elaborating on the desperate circumstances.
"I realized if I didn't take the anesthesia, I would be able to afford to do this," she shared. "And the anesthesia wasn't that much more, but when you're scrounging for however many hundreds of dollars, it is a lot. I just didn't have it. It's the obstacle and this stigma that makes these things not completely available... But there are little hoops we have to jump through to get them."
Eight years later, Kirke is now married (to Michael Mosberg), but hasn't seen the progress she longs for in women openly discussing reproductive issues. "I still see shame and embarrassment around terminating pregnancies," she said. "So I have always been open about my stories. Always shared them, especially with other women."
Kirke's goal to empower women begins in her very own household. The star is a mom to an 8-year-old stepdaughter, 4-year-old daughter Rafaella, and 2-year-old son Memphis. "I'm already anticipating their issues with self-esteem, their issues with their body, the whole luggage that comes with being a woman," she said of her girls. "I would love if when they're older and they're in their teens or in their 20s — that the political issues surrounding their body were not there anymore. That they have one less thing to battle around their bodies."
Other stars to join her in the Draw the Line Campaign include Top Chef host Padma Lakshmi, Oscar nominee and Avengers: Age of Ultron actor Mark Ruffalo, and Grammy winner Dee Dee Bridgewater.
Watch her PSA above.