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Lena Dunham calls comment about wishing she'd had an abortion a 'distasteful joke' made in character

On Tuesday, actress Lena Dunham made some ill-chosen comments about abortion in a new episode of her Women of the Hour podcast, earning the rare distinction of angering people on both sides of the abortion debate. After talking about a visit to a Planned Parenthood clinic in Texas where she'd checked her own privilege ("Even I, the woman who cares as much as anybody about a woman's right to choose, felt it was important that people know I was unblemished in this department"), Dunham said: "Now I can say that I still haven't had an abortion, but I wish I had."

Late Tuesday, Dunham issued a mea culpa of sorts via Instagram. "I truly hope a distasteful joke on my part won't diminish the amazing work of all the women who participated," she wrote. "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." You can read the rest of her comment below. Peter Weber

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 Dec 20, 2016 at 6:39pm PST