Comedian-actress Milana Vayntrub, who is known to millions of TV viewers for playing cheerful saleswoman “Lily” in AT&T’s ubiquitous wireless commercials, has penned a personal essay in which she expresses gratitude for abortion, describing her own experience terminating her unwanted child as “no big deal.”
She also describes women as “all of us with a uterus” and abortions as a form of “essential health care.”
“Over the past decade, I’ve hardly thought about my abortion, except for when I think of those who may not have access to one,” she wrote in an essay (see below) for The Daily Beast.
Vayntrub uses her more recent experience of a difficult labor to argue why the Supreme Court should uphold Roe v. Wade.
“Now that I’ve experienced a full-term pregnancy and given birth, I find myself thinking about how imprisoning it would be to go through this if I didn’t choose it,” she wrote. “All of us with a uterus may soon be stripped of the constitutional right to an abortion. Forced pregnancy and birth sounds medieval—as medieval as secret, unsafe abortions. And yet, here we are.”
The Supreme Court is expected to rule shortly on Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health, which concerns a Mississippi law that bans abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy. The decision could result in the overturning of the landmark 1973 case Roe v. Wade if the justices decide to uphold the Mississippi law.
Vayntrub is the latest Hollywood figure to pressure the high court into upholding abortion. Others who have harangued the Supreme Court in recent weeks include CBS’ Stephen Colbert, Whoopi Goldberg, Elizabeth Banks, and Alyssa Milano.
In a recent episode of CBS’ The Late Show, Colbert attacked the legitimacy of the Supreme Court, arguing it shouldn’t have the power to decide the abortion case. “We don’t live in a democracy anymore,” he said.
Milana Vayntrub concluded her essay by saying, “I am grateful for the beautifully boring abortion I had and the essential health care I received.”
‘This Is Us’ Actress Milana Vayntrub: My Abortion Story
The actress and activist writes about how crucial it is for women to make their own choices about their bodies and why you should support the Women’s Health Protection Act (WHPA).
My cmnt: While I strongly disagree with Milana’s stance of abortion on demand at any stage in a woman’s pregnancy I do want to note that she is a clever, funny comedian and writer. I have seen any number of her AT&T commercials and she is also a gifted actor and presenter.
In May 2020, I injured my ankle so badly I couldn’t move a toe. The slightest twitch sent a paralyzing bolt through my leg—like head-splitting microphone feedback that makes you recoil and cover your ears. That’s what back labor felt like—but in my spine.
My baby was “sunny side up”—a vaguely appetizing term that meant his head was pushing against my spine. Every time I had a contraction, it felt like my back was breaking. The pain felt unfair—like an injustice. Surely, this must be against some law! I thought, followed quickly by, I must call the head of the hospital! As the pain intensified, it became, I need to call the police! Finally, I landed on the president. Actually, scratch that. Kamala. She’d know what to do.
Madam Vice President, if there’s any way you could put in a call to my uterus and ask this kid his ETA? See if he’d consider assuming a more comfortable position? I’m sure you have friends in high places, soooo…
My cmnt: Milana apparently doesn’t follow the news much. Even in jest you wouldn’t ask Kamala about anything this important as she is an incompetent moron.
I was in labor for so long I genuinely forgot I was in the hospital to have a baby. The pain had taken over, and I thought my life was just going to be about managing it. The doctors had already tried to give me an epidural, but it didn’t work, so my options were limited: I begged the doctors to try the epidural one more time. (They couldn’t.) I begged my husband to squeeze my hips every time I had a contraction. (He did.) I begged Siri to turn on my “Breathe & Chill” playlist. (She said I had to unlock my phone first. We haven’t spoken since.)
Just when I believed I was at the very end of my rope, the nurse told me I was ready to push. And I did. For two glorious hours, I pushed like a champion. Between pushes, I cracked jokes. I told the nurses this is how I should record my stand-up special. When else would I get such a captive audience? I was sweaty, exhausted and hilarious—even if only to myself.
My baby arrived slimy, half-covered in his own poop, and heavy as a bowling ball. As the nurse placed his little, loud body on my chest, I remembered why I was there and why I’d gone through all this. I remembered that this was what I had chosen to do. I wanted to create a family. I knew that this was the first of many ginormous sacrifices I would make in my son’s life.
My cmnt: Milana apparently is unaware that declaring her baby’s gender based solely on his having a penis is very medieval of her and is a denial of his right to choose.
For me, birth was bearable because I had chosen it. I could only manage the nausea, pain, and expenses (financial and emotional) of pregnancy because I wanted a child. Now that I’ve experienced a full-term pregnancy and given birth, I find myself thinking about how imprisoning it would be to go through this if I didn’t choose it. If I was forced into it because laws didn’t give me any other option.
Unfortunately—terrifyingly—this isn’t some far-off dystopian thought experiment. In 2021 alone, 600 abortion restrictions were introduced across the country; 90 were enacted into law. That’s more than any year since Roe v. Wade was decided in 1973. And right now, the Supreme Court is deliberating a case that could overturn Roe v. Wade.
This is not a drill, people. All of us with a uterus may soon be stripped of the constitutional right to an abortion. Forced pregnancy and birth sounds medieval—as medieval as secret, unsafe abortions. And yet, here we are.
My cmnt: Libness prohibits Milana simply calling “persons with a uterus” women. In today’s enlightened world men can have a uterus too.
My life as I know it, and motherhood as I know it, was shaped by my right to make choices about my own body. In that way, my birth story is inseparable from my abortion story.
Ten years ago, I was pregnant for the first time. I was living in an apartment I could barely afford with my first boyfriend out of college. We were doing whatever it took to get by. I was taking random babysitting jobs, working at a smoothie shop, and performing improv in tiny LA theaters as often as anyone would allow me on stage. I accidentally missed a day or two of my birth control, and my period was late. So, I did what countless women have done since pioneer times: I bought a two-pack of pregnancy tests, took them right there in the drug store bathroom, and buried the positive results in the trash underneath some wet paper towels.
I immediately knew the right thing to do was to have an abortion. There was no handwringing, no confusion, no sleepless nights. I’ve always had a strong moral compass—the kind that sets off blaring sirens and flashing red lights in my chest if I feel like I’m doing something wrong. In this case, all was silent. My compass pointed very clearly in the direction of not bringing a child into the world that I did not want and could not care for.
My cmnt: I am curious what exactly does set off Milana’s “strong moral compass” with blaring sirens, etc., besides the thought of not having an abortion.
Within two weeks, I had a safe procedure in my doctor’s office, and it was no big deal. My abortion story is uncomplicated and straightforward, based on a decision that was all my own. I understand this is a privilege. I also understand that access to abortion should never be a privilege; it should be a protected right.
Over the past decade, I’ve hardly thought about my abortion, except for when I think of those who may not have access to one. Abortion restrictions disproportionately harm those already most vulnerable in our country—from Black, Latino, and Indigenous communities to young people, immigrants, those living in poverty, and rural areas. This comes as no surprise. Marginalized Americans have always been the most impacted by racist and classist reproductive policies throughout history.
I’m haunted by the prospect of what we all stand to lose. If the Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade, half of U.S. states could control our personal reproductive decisions by summer. Over 36 million people could be forced to give birth.
Becoming a mother has made me even more adamant about access to safe, legal abortions. I now know how hard it is to carry a bowling ball-sized human to full term. I know the back-breaking will it takes to give birth to a baby. I know the toll of sleepless nights and a torn body, the necessity of support, the pause it puts on your career, relationships, and goals. I cannot fathom the cruelty of enduring all this plus a lifetime of childrearing if you do not want it.
I wouldn’t wish the labor pain I experienced on anyone. Okay, except maybe the politicians who continue to use their power to try to strip us of our rights. But I wish this for them in a benevolent way. Maybe laboring would grow their empathy toward those of us whose bodies they use as talking points in their re-election campaigns.
It’s never been more apparent to me that the abortion “debate” is not about life or even policy; it’s about power. And while I don’t have the power to cast a vote in the Supreme Court case, I do have the power to raise my voice as one of the nearly 25 percent of women who will have an abortion in their lifetime. So, as we approach the 49th Anniversary of Roe v Wade, I am telling you all these personal details because I believe in the power of our stories to offer perspective. And more than that, the ability of our actions to create protections for everyone.
Deep down, I think most Americans understand that we should all have the freedom and power to make choices about our bodies, lives, and futures. It’s 2022! I want to shout at my newsfeed. How could we live in a country where people are forced into doing something so life-altering, so personal? But shouting just wakes up the baby and accomplishes little else.
My cmnt: I must assume that the “power to make choices about our bodies” also means not having to take the Covid Jab if I don’t want that substance in my body?!
Instead, we need to take action. The Senate will soon vote on the Women’s Health Protection Act (WHPA). This is critical legislation that would protect the right to abortion throughout the country. I’m calling my senators and urging them to pass the Women’s Health Protection Act. I hope you’ll join me. We need to get their attention every way we know how—email, letters, calls, protests, and, of course, that one precious vote we each have.
My cmnt: As a good democrat I also assume that the “one precious vote we each have” applies to illegal aliens, non-citizens, dead people, under age people, unregistered voters, voters from another area, felons, etc.
For so many reasons, I am grateful for the beautifully boring abortion I had and the essential health care I received. Mainly because today, I can show up for my little person with open arms knowing I’ve chosen our life together.
My cmnt: Enjoy your life together with your son while it lasts. If democrats get their way your “little person” can be removed and given over to the State if you transgress any of their arbitrary decrees about anything, such as gender naming at birth, using an inappropriate pronoun, taking your child to an unsanctioned church, home schooling, unapproved choices in food, incorrect beliefs about global warming or evolution, dressing your child in sexist clothes, vaccination status, voting Republican, being a Christian, protesting democrats, et al.