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On June 24, 2022, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned 1973's Roe v. Wade, which gives constitutional protection of abortion rights and a woman's right to privacy.
Here are brave women who have come forward about their own experiences with the right to choose.
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Lil' Kim - The femcee was 18 when she found out she had gotten pregnant by Notorious B.I.G. Biggie was married to R&B singer Faith Evans. She told The Breakfast Club, "I don't know if I have regrets about not keeping it. Sometimes I do, sometimes I don't. But then I'd say, what would happen to my career."
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KeKe Palmer - In 2019, Palmer revealed she had an abortion. According to The Los Angeles Times, she tweeted, “I was worried about my career responsibilities and afraid that I could not exist as both a career woman and mother."
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Tami Roman - The reality star inadvertently made history when she became the first woman to go through an abortion on television after her pregnancy became a storyline on the second season of The Real World. “My thought process when I did it was to show young girls what happens when you don’t handle your life responsibly," she later reflected. "I wanted it documented. The turmoil I went through in making the decision, how it affected my mother, having to go to the clinic and have complications after… I wanted people to take that journey with me and see.”
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Vanessa Williams - The actress and former beauty queen revealed in her memoir You Have No Idea that she had an abortion as a teen. "Being pregnant is the most frightening thing that happens in your life," she said on Nightline. "I knew in high school that's something that I was not prepared to do or fight or struggle with."
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Toni Braxton - The singer, who was raised in a strict religious household, revealed in her memoir that she had an abortion in 2001. "I was suddenly faced with a choice I'd never thought I'd have to make," she wrote. "Amid my major misgivings about abortion, I eventually made the gut-wrenching decision."
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Sherri Shepherd - The talk show host got emotional when debating abortion on The View back in 2012, bringing up the race and class dimension to abortion. "We stop at the picket signs and we don't help you past that!" she said of the double standard of banning abortion but also canceling programs like welfare that young mothers depend on. "I'm speaking as a girl who had a lot of abortions and I swear to God, if they had shown me a picture of the fetus... I would have put my child in a lot of situations that wouldn't have been good because I didn't have the mental capacity to deal with having a child."
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Whoopi Goldberg - The Oscar winner opened up about her harrowing experience with a back-alley abortion in an essay for the book The Choices We Made by Angela Bonavoglia. "I found out I was pregnant when I was fourteen. I didn't get a period. I talked to nobody. I panicked," she wrote. "I sat in hot baths. I drank these strange concoctions girls told me about — something like Johnny Walker Red with a little bit of Clorox, alcohol, baking soda (which probably saved my stomach) and some sort of cream. You mixed it all up. I got violently ill. At that moment I was more afraid of having to explain to anybody what was wrong than of going to the park with a hanger, which is what I did."
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Alice Walker - The famed author shared her experience with terminating a pregnancy in her essay "Abortion," which os from the collection of her essays You Can't Keep a Good Woman Down. She later said of the decision, "Although I believe that an abortion was the right decision for me then, the aftermath haunted me for decades. It ate away at my self-confidence and, until I had [my son] Tenzin, I was terrified that I’d never be able to have a baby because of what I had done to the child I had destroyed."
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Tina Turner - Unlike many women who choose to terminate a pregnancy, the Grammy-winning singer was neither particularly young or single when she decided to have an abortion. Turner already had two children, a son with saxophonist Raymond Hill and another with her husband and manager Ike Turner, when she got pregnant in 1968, a second time by Ike. Also, he reportedly had gotten one of the duo's back-up singers pregnant.
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Karrine Steffans - The video vixen-turned-author has never been one to be dishonest about her past. In an op-ed Steffans admitted, “I have been married three times, and in the past year, aborted the two babies conceived with my third husband."
Adding, "I figured the marriage could be undone, but our children would be forever, and they deserved a better father and a happier, healthier mother."
(Photo: Arnold Turner/WireImage)
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