Pro-life advocates are criticizing actress Jameela Jamil after she credited her abortion for making her life "a million times better" and asserting that a baby can "ruin everything" if a woman is not ready to be a mother.
Jamil, a British actress who hosts the TBS late-night game show in “The Misery Index,” spoke about her abortion during the ninth installment of her "Ask Me Anything" YouTube series published on Feb. 5.
In the series, Jamil answers questions from fans. One of the questions in this particular episode asked, "How did you get to a place where you feel comfortable talking publicly about your abortion?"
"I love talking about my abortion because I think it is one of the most important subjects in our generation," she responded. "The only side effect I've ever had from mine is relief, and I think it is the single most important decision I've ever made."
After referring to having a baby as a "huge hurdle in your existence if it's something that you don't want," she contended that "it can just f***ing ruin everything if it's not something that you feel comfortable with and that you are ready for." She did say, however, that a baby can be "glorious if it’s something that you do want."
Maintaining that she felt "no shame whatsoever about having had my abortion," she reiterated that her abortion was the "best thing I've ever done, and my life is a million times better for that decision."
Acknowledging that she was "not in a dramatic situation" where her life was in danger nor was she a victim of rape or incest, Jamil cited the fact that she was "not in the right relationship," "not ready," "not financially stable enough," "not emotionally stable enough" and "not psychologically stable enough" as the justifications for terminating her pregnancy.
"I didn't want a baby. I would have hugely resented a baby at that time. I was not in a stable place in my career," she added.
"I had dreams and things that I wanted to and deserved to achieve because I'd worked so hard for them up until then," she continued. Jamil described not wanting a baby as an "OK enough reason" to have an abortion.
“[Y]ou don't have to have a super dramatic reason to not want to go through the biggest life change that you can ever go through,” she said.
Pro-life advocates have condemned Jamil's comments.
Kristi Hamrick, the spokesperson for the pro-life campus organization Students for Life of America, which has chapters in schools and colleges nationwide, took issue with Jamil's "misogynistic message."
According to Hamrick, the abortion industry “likes to hide behind a lot of talking points as it indoctrinates women with the message that there is a civil war within us between our children and our future."
"Abortion sells women short as it sells them the end of a special life," she continued. "The abortionist tells women that they can't balance relationship and work, so buy the abortion and stay at work. It's sad that such a misogynistic message comes from an actress with a following."
"But for the women out there who have the hope of both, they should know that many stand ready to help them succeed in all things and that they can work, play, enjoy family and accomplish great things as more than one thing only,” Hamrick added. “Women don't need abortion to succeed. We are powerful, strong, capable and deserve support and respect."
Hamrick pointed to the Students for Life of America program, Standing with You, as a resource for "women who are working to embrace career, school, and family."
Cassy Fiano-Chesser of the pro-life activist group Live Action argues that while Jamil said she felt nothing but relief after her abortion, “the reality is not the same for all post-abortive women.”
“Indeed, the bulk of medical literature has found that women who undergo abortions are at a higher risk for mental health disorders afterwards, such as anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol abuse and suicidal behavior,” Fiano-Chesser contends. “While the abortion industry touts the Turnaway Study, which claims that 95% of women do not regret their abortions, the study itself was deeply flawed.”
This is not the first time that Jamil has faced criticism for her strong support of abortion. She made similar comments during a 2019 interview with feminist Gloria Steinem in the magazine Harper's Bazaar.
"People have abortions, sometimes a woman just wants her liberty, and we have to normalize that it's okay to just make that choice for yourself, because your life is as important as a newborn life that doesn't even exist yet,” she argued.
Following pushback from the pro-life community, Jamil doubled down on her pro-abortion advocacy, declaring that "My life *is* more important to me than an unborn fetus' one. Suck on that."
She also chastised pro-life activists, calling them "pro-birth” and telling them "once they're out of the womb, you don't give a (f***)," a common liberal talking point in response to pro-life criticisms of abortion.
The actress urged pro-lifers to "help the kids who are alive first, then call yourself 'pro-life.'"
Jamil is not the only celebrity to express a lack of remorse after having an abortion.
Actress Michelle Williams used her platform at the 2020 Golden Globe Awards to thank God for her abortion, claiming that her career would not have been possible without it.
Singer Stevie Nicks of the band Fleetwood Mac made similar comments in an interview later in the year, saying that without her abortion, "there would be no Fleetwood Mac." People Magazine compiled a list of "27 Celebrities Who Have Shared Their Abortion Stories to Help Women Feel Less Alone."