Abortion has been a hot topic for many years now. Should it be legal or illegal? Is it a woman’s right to choose or is abortion murder? No matter what side of the fence people sit on, we can all agree it is still somewhat of a taboo subject. Most of us know someone who has had an abortion or have had one personally. Many women, over 60%, when asked said they felt pressured to have an abortion.
Some women have abortions because they are young and their parents tell them too, or the father of the child doesn’t want it. Many famous women have been pressured by the people they loved and trusted to have an abortion, something most women say they regret when pressured into it.
In old Hollywood women would go into the hospital under the guise of other medical conditions. These celebrities had to be very careful the public did not find out they were pregnant and had an abortion because it could ruin their careers.
Many of the actresses didn’t necessarily want an abortion even though they wanted their career. The studio executives would force them into it even though abortions were illegal back then. Below is a list of celebrities that were pressured into having an abortion or a few.
15 Sharon Osborne
Sharon Osborne, talk show host, reality star, and wife of Ozzy Osborne admitted to having an abortion when she was only 17 years old. She went on to say it was the worst things she had ever done.
Not only did her own mother pressure her into having it, she sent Sharon on her own to have the procedure done. She had three miscarriages over the course of her life and believes it be due to a damaged cervix, something that occurred during her abortion.
When she told her mom she was pregnant, her mother said for her to get rid of it. She was mean to her daughter, and had no feelings of empathy for what young Sharon was going through. She just told her it was wrong and to terminate it.
14 Judy Garland
Judy Garland was treated incredibly cruelly by the studio who felt like they owned her. She was molested by many studio executives by the time she was 16. She was also 16 when she won the part of Dorothy, from The Wizard Of Oz.
By this time in her life she was addicted to amphetamines and barbiturates. Her mother started her on pills when she was very young, and the MGM execs kept pushing them down her throat. One exec in particular, Lois B. Mayer. He also liked to grope the young Judy Garland.
She eloped in 1941 to get away from Mayer, by ways of a legitimate marriage. When she became pregnant in 1942 the executive and her own mother convinced her to abort the baby so Garland could keep her “girl next door” image alive.
13 Jean Harlow
Jean Harlow was around long before Marilyn Monroe, and she was the original “blonde bombshell”. And like Marilyn and many other actresses from that time, her life was not always as glamorous as portrayed in the magazines.
She lived a fast paced life, but was loved by all. She married and moved to Hollywood at the ripe young age of 16. Her mother followed and lived out her own dreams of being an actress, vicariously through “Baby” as she was called.
Those close to her say she was pressured to have an abortion by the studio when she was about 21 years old due to a relationship with William Powell. The studio execs sent her to the hospital saying she needed “rest”. Many of the old actresses went to have abortions under the guise of another procedure, it was standard then.
12 Mackenzie Phillips
Mackenzie Phillips claims she was in an incestuous relationship with her father, lead singer of the Mamas and the Papas, for a decade. The affair ended when she became pregnant, while married and had no idea if the baby was her husbands or her fathers.
The stress and pressure of having an affair is enough to lead many woman to opt for abortion, but when the affair is with ones own father… I cant even imagine the guilt and pressure she felt.
Her father paid for the abortion, and she says after that she never let him touch her again. She also says the relationship turned into a consensual one… If that is even possible.
11 Bette Davis
Bette Davis had many abortions throughout the thirties and forties because she was told that it was the only way to keep her career going. She had a very powerful on camera presence and just as powerful off screen if you talk to the people who knew her well.
When she came to Hollywood in 1930 she was not well received. They said she had no sex appeal, and she only was cast in her first film thanks to her pretty eyes. She married in 1932. Her husband made significantly less than her and was ashamed about it. The studio told her that her career and money would be gone should she have a child. Due to those factors, she had numerous abortions throughout the years.
10 Ava Gardner
Ava Gardner was married to Frank Sinatra and before they were married they had one of the most impassioned affairs the likes of Hollywood had never seen.
She was once called “sexational” he was, well, Frank Sinatra. He was married with 2 kids. Eventually three kids, and his wife adored him and always looked the other way. Gardner had an amazing film career. She was in the height of her career, and became pregnant. Due to her career pressures, and Sinatra being married she had an abortion and didn’t tell him, just a close confidant.
Years down the road she and Sinatra would get married and she once again had an abortion to the pressures of maintaining her career. Even though it cost her, her and Sinatra’s relationship. It was something she later on regretted.
9 Monica Lewinsky
Monica Lewinsky’s claim to fame was her affair with the 42nd President of the United States, Bill Clinton. Not only did she have an affair with the President during that time (1996) she was also having an affair with a Pentagon official known only as “Thomas”.
She claims the lover abandoned her and wanted the abortion, and did not even help to pay for it. She did not want the President to know she was pregnant as her affair with him was getting started. The Pentagon worker has gone on to say he did not abandon her and paid for the abortion.
8 Lana Turner
Lana Turner, another popular actress in her time, an yet another victim of the sexism of old Hollywood. She was a bombshell. A huge hit in Hollywood and like her counterparts, involved some affairs and tabloid-worthy escapades. And like her bombshell counterparts, she succumbed to the pressure that were forced on her to remain a bombshell.
Career first, everything else came second. And while abortions weren’t legal back then, the studios always were able to make them happen.
In Turner’s autobiography she stated she had two abortions. The second was the worst one. It was performed on her hotel bed, where she was in Hawaii promoting a movie. Her mother was there for it, it was performed without anesthesia and her mother had to cover Lana’s mouth so nobody would hear her scream.
7 Marilyn Monroe
Marilyn Monroe is one of the most famous actresses in history. She still, to this day is looked upon with fondness and admiration. She was a beautiful lady, with a heart of gold, immense talent and a life that was full of sadness and despair.
She was used and abused by many around her, including the studio she worked for and loved ones. She was married a couple of times and had an affair with JFK. It is said JFK impregnated her and forced her to have an abortion.
He was running for President at the time, as well as being married. There is also speculation she had an abortion in 1953 based on her private letters and recordings. She had an affair with Joe DiMaggio before marrying him in 1954, and speculation has it he forced her to have an abortion.
6 Tallulah Bankhead
Tallulah Bankhead had four abortions before she was even thirty years old.
Once again, old Hollywood struck and called the shots for another wonderful actress. She was know for her films, her distinct looks and her distinct name. She also had a healthy sexual appetite and claims to have slept with 158 men. She said she could never say no.
She had a rough start in Hollywood and was often overlooked for parts. She knew she had to keep her career afloat, and to not ruin anything, so the times she got pregnant she had to have abortions.
The studio execs made it very easy for the starlet to have abortions back them, despite abortions being illegal. Bankhead had no children of her own due to an emergency hysterectomy caused by venereal disease. She later said she regretted the abortions and felt coerced into them.
5 Suzanne Somers
In 1968 Suzanne Somers became pregnant by the man that would become her husband. And she is still married to this man to date. However, at the time he impregnated her he was still married to his previous wife. Due to this, and the high profile life of Somers, abortion was the decision they came to. Once again, society and what people would think led to another starlet forced to have an abortion.
Somers’ abortion did not go well either. She had an illegal abortion which led to her almost bleeding out. The bleeding went on for several days. Now it is interesting that she and her then lover, Alan Hamel, are still married. They married in 1977, he had 2 children with his ex wife, and Somers had one child from a previous marriage.
4 Dorothy Dandridge
Dorothy Dandridge not only had it hard in Hollywood in the 1940’s and 50’s she also had a hard time because she was an African American as well.
She was able to perform in shows, sing in lounges and hotels, but could not sit with the people attending. She was also the first African American woman to be nominated for an Oscar award. And like the other leading ladies of the time, she too was forced to undergo an abortion.
She was in a film titled Carmen Jones and began an affair with the director, Otto Preminger. Though Preminger was married, he was very devoted to Dandridge and helping her career move forward. She ended up becoming pregnant by Preminger and wanted to marry him and begin their family. He did not want that and left her, leaving her forced to have an abortion.
3 Claire Henley
Claire Henley gained some fame for appearing on Leah Remini’s documentary series “Scientology and The Aftermath”.
The series talks to people who were once very heavily involved with The Church Of Scientology and have since gotten out. We all have heard terrible things about Scientology and this show really shed some light on more terrible things.
Claire and her husband, Marc, were married while involved in the church, and she was 17 and he was 19. They were part of the “Sea Organization’ and due to that Claire said she knew people who had 6 abortions to be able to stay in the church.
People in the Sea Org were immediately scheduled for abortions when the church found out they were pregnant. Scientologist believe if a woman becomes pregnant while in Sea Org, they want to leave the church.
2 Josie Cunningham
Josie Cunningham is an infamous celeb from the UK. She aborted her baby so she could have a claim to fame.
While she did choose to have the abortion, the pressure for a shot at a better life, and fame was the guiding light behind her reasoning. She was or has been labeled as an absolutely horrible person. Not only did she abort her baby so she could have plastic surgery, she was then told she could not have the surgery anyway.
She aborted her child for nothing. She also claims that she is trying to have this career so she can put food on the table for her other children, the children she had already put her life on hold for. No matter her reasons, it was still a form of pressure that led her to have an abortion.
1 Princess Diana
Princess Diana became pregnant before her divorce from Prince Charles by a man she had an affair with. She wanted to keep the baby, thinking perhaps it would have been a girl. And struggled with the making the decision.
Due to the pressure that came with being a Princess in the Royal Family, she opted for an abortion. She was worried about the scandal it would bring upon her family and the damage it would have done to her sons and her husband.
The pressures of being this perfect person led her to do something she ultimately regretted immensely. It is well known she had a 4 year affair with art dealer Oliver Hoare and it is during this time she became pregnant. He was also married at the time.
The women on this list all had a variety of reasons and pressures that led them to choose abortion, and many later regretted these decisions. It does not happen as often in Hollywood, pressuring women to forgo motherhood for fame, but it does happen. Maybe they are better at hiding it now. Women are still told to look and behave how a man would want, it’s the culture of celebrity.
As of now it is a women’s right to choose. But is it really? Women and young girls all over are coerced into it. Whether it is because they don’t want to disappoint their family or boyfriend, abortions happen everyday because women are being pressured into them.