Alyssa Milano has revealed that she chose to have two abortions more than 25 years ago.
In the latest episode of her podcast, Alyssa Milano: Sorry Not Sorry, the actress opened up about her personal experience with abortion — which she says happened twice in 1993, within months of one another, when she was in her early 20s.
“I knew at that time, I was not equipped to be a mother, and so I chose to have an abortion,” Milano, 46, said. “I chose. It was my choice. And it was absolutely the right choice for me.”
“It was not an easy choice,” continued Milano, who shares daughter Elizabeth, 4, and son Milo, 7 with husband, Dave Bugliari. “It was not something I wanted, but it was something that I needed, like most health care is.”
Milano’s revelation came as a wave of restrictive abortion laws have recently been passed by legislators, something that has prompted other celebrities to speak out about their own abortion stories to help end the stigma. Milano previously fought against the bills by calling for women to go on a sex strike.
The actress said on her podcast that she was in a serious relationship with her boyfriend and on birth control when she first learned she was pregnant.
“I was in love for the first time, in the breathless way you can only be in love when you are young,” said Milano, without identifying her boyfriend’s name. “It was huge, overwhelming even. It filled every part of living. And it was a joyful and exciting and powerful time in my life.”
But she “was not ready to be a parent,” Milano said.
At the time, the actress was just a year off Who’s The Boss — the sitcom that catapulted her into stardom when it premiered in 1984 — and was working on a number of TV films, including 1993’s Casualties of Love: The Long Island Lolita Story in which she portrayed Amy Fisher.
“I had a career and a future and potential,” she explained.
Aside from her desire to focus on acting, Milano said she was also on Accutane acne medicine, which can cause birth defects in pregnancies. She said she also “suffered from sometimes crippling anxiety.”
All of that lead to her decision to end her pregnancy, though it wasn’t an easy choice to make.
“It was devastating,” Milano recalled on Sorry Not Sorry. “I was raised Catholic and was suddenly put in conflict with my faith. A faith I was coming to realize empowered only men to make every single decision about what was allowed and what was not allowed.”
After her procedure, Milano continued “to enjoy a sexual relationship with the man I loved” because “sexually connecting with my partner gave me pleasure,” she said on her podcast.
“I refuse to allow any one else’s bulls—- morality to force me into a life of pre-marital celibacy. I refuse to live in the narrative that sexual pleasure is for men and that women exist to deliver that pleasure. My body gives me pleasure,” Milano said. “Nobody will say that he was at fault for enjoying sex with me, but you can be damned sure that the men enacting these laws think less of me for deriving the same pleasure from him.”
Though she continued to use birth control, she learned a few months after the procedure that she was pregnant again.
Once more, Milano had her pregnancy terminated. “I had done what I knew to do to prevent pregnancy and was still pregnant, so once again I made the right decision to end that pregnancy,” she said.
Ultimately, Milano looks back at the choices she made without regret, she said.
“I would not have my children — my beautiful, perfect, loving, kind and inquisitive children who have a mother who was so very, very ready for them,” she said. “I would not have my career. I would not have the ability or platform I use to fight against oppression with all my heart,” she continued. “I would never have met my amazing husband, David, whose steadfast and immeasurable love for me sustains me through these terrifying times.
“Fifteen years after that first love had fizzled, my life would be completely lacking all its great joys,” she added. “I would never had been free to be myself — and that’s what this fight is all about: freedom. Freedom from oppression. Freedom for women to have the audacity to be equally sexual beings as men. Freedom for women to live the life they were meant to have, not just the life that is thrust upon them by a pregnancy that cannot exist in their life.”
Alyssa Milano: Sorry Not Sorry releases new episodes every Monday.
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