Actress Naya Rivera has been praised for bravely speaking out about having an abortion.
In her new book ‘Sorry Not Sorry’, Rivera revealed that she decided to terminate an unwanted pregnancy while filming TV show Glee back in 2010.
The 29-year-old told People magazine: “It was very scary to open up about everything.
“It’s not something a lot of people talk about, but I think they should. I know some people might read it and say, ‘what the hell?’, but I hope someone out there gets something out of it.”
The actress has been praised by abortion charities for breaking stigma and giving courage to others who feel unable to speak out for fear of being judged.
Rivera found out she was pregnant in late 2010, just after she had split from Ryan Dorsey, whom she is now married to and has an 11-month-old son, Josey Hollis.
She explained that she didn’t tell Dorsey about her pregnancy at the time and made the call to continue focusing on her career.
On her day off from filming, she went and had an abortion.
The actress decided to write about her experiences in her new memoir, to help other women who may be in a similar position.
Her actions have been widely praised, with Twitter user Ilyse Hogue saying: “This is what a role model looks like. @NayaRivera thank you for your honesty.”
Cecile Richards tweeted: “Thank you @NayaRivera for sharing your abortion story – shattering stigma and shame that isolate and silence too many.”
Katherine O’Brien from the British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS) told The Huffington Post UK: “Despite the fact that one in three women will have a termination in their lifetime, abortion sadly remains a highly stigmatised issue, and many women feel unable to talk about their own experience for fear of being judged.
“When a high-profile woman such as Naya Rivera makes the brave decision to speak out, this should be applauded.
“Hearing actresses, politicians, and musicians discuss their abortion openly helps to break down taboos and counters the idea that ending a pregnancy is something to be ashamed of.
“We hope that this will spark much needed discussions, and empower more women to speak about their own experiences.”
Speaking anonymously to The Huffington Post UK, one woman, who experienced two terminations in her early twenties, said that while she wanted to see Rivera’s move as a positive step, it is unfortunate that women should feel like they have to choose between career success and a family.
She explained that when she fell pregnant on both occasions, she “felt pressured to have to make an uncomfortable choice”.
“The doctors looked down on me for having one, then even more so when I had two,” she said. “The stigma and negativity surrounding young mums can arguably be the deciding factor in many people’s terminations – it most definitely was for me, as I was not ‘doing things in the right order’.”
She did add, however, that Rivera’s openness may help a number of girls feel more comfortable discussing why they have had abortions.