Vanessa Williams Is an Unapologetic Badass When Talking About Her Abortion

Illustration for article titled Vanessa Williams Is an Unapologetic Badass When Talking About Her Abortion

Vanessa Williams has been working the media circuit lately to promote her new memoir You Have No Idea, in which the pageant queen cum singer cum actress reveals several secrets from her past including the story of how she was molested at age 10 by an older teenage girl and how, as a senior in high school, she aborted an unplanned pregnancy. Williams comes off as remarkably stoic when discussing the incidents, offering no tears or apologies. When asked by ABC's Juju Chang whether it was hard for her as "a nice Catholic girl" to get an abortion, Williams responds, "It's frightening. Being pregnant is the most frightening thing that happens in your life and I knew in high school that that was something I was not prepared to do or fight or struggle with."

It's rare and refreshing to see a celebrity discuss her abortion with such candor and confidence. For a procedure so common, it's still sadly clandestine, however, if more women in the public eye were willing to discuss their own abortions with the matter-of-factness that Williams does, perhaps that false sense of shame would begin to disappear. Until then (and after then, for that matter), we'll be lucky enough to settle with Williams as our pro-choice hero.

If you'll excuse me, I have to go compulsively listen to "Save the Best for Last" for the rest of the day.


Image via Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty.

Vanessa Williams' Secrets [Nightline]

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I cannot imagine the anguish and pain that deciding to have an abortion would be for a woman. My wife had a miscarriage and was absolutely devastated for some time by it. However, its one thing to have to make that hard choice. It is another thing entirely to profit from it by sensationalizing book sales and minimizing the suffering many women go through. If she is sharing her story to help young girls who have to make the choice, then I support her completely and without reservation. However, if she is using her experience to increase book sales and catch media attention or to increase her fame then I denounce her as the most vile of all human beings. At this point, I'm willing to give her the benefit of the doubt. I hope she doesn't screw it up.