Actress Jameela Jamil is listing several arguments for abortion on social media. But, despite her efforts, she has yet to answer the central question the pro-life movement poses: When does life begin?
In December, a Townhall.com column drew attention to an interview where Jamil and feminist activist Gloria Steinem declared that abortion is necessary for democracy. In the following weeks, The Good Place actress doubled-down on her comments by repeating common abortion talking points. They included: “My life *is* more important” than a “clump of cells,” the pro-life movement disregards mothers and their children after birth, and abortion will “help the earth a lot.”
Before her flood of tweets began, Jamil retweeted the Townhall.com story, which she called “f***ing stupid.” A couple of days later, she decided to tweet “To the people trolling me and @GloriaSteinem because we said there is no democracy without a woman’s right to choose.”
“I SAID WHAT I FUCKING SAID and you’re clueless if you think I’m going to take it back,” Jamil typed on December 2. “My life *is* more important to me than an unborn fetus’ one. Suck on that.”
To Jamil, the issue is a personal one: Earlier this year, she publicized her own abortion as the “best decision” she had “ever made.”
That might be because Jamil refuses to see abortion for what the pro-life movement says it is: the destruction of another’s life.
“At 6 weeks the fetus has no limbs. It’s a clump of cells, it doesn’t have a skull...it’s a non sentient being... it was speedily removed from my womb,” Jamil tweeted to commentator Candace Owens on December 13. “I will never, EVER regret making that decision. No need to forgive myself. It was best for ME. It is MY body/life.”
Even according to major media outlets, that six-week-old “clump of cells” does have something: a beating heart.
And yet, Jamil’s argument provides an opportunity to say: No woman should ever feel like she’s forced to choose between having a baby and a successful career – a successful life. A society or culture that encourages Jamil or any other woman to feel like that is their “choice” is unjust. That’s something that all women – whether they identify as pro-life or pro-choice – should be able to agree on.
Women deserve better than that. Jamil deserves better than that.
“Receiving THOUSANDS of messages about how I made a mistake having an abortion 7 years ago and how I must be a miserable person,” Jamil tweeted on December 6. “I am in fact a happy, thriving multi millionaire, madly in love, with free time, good sleep and a wonderful career and life.”
And yet, women can accomplish all of those things and still choose life. That’s the message the pro-life movement champions: Jamil could have been successful and still have given birth to her child.
It’s a message that she sadly missed.
“You people are Pro birth. Not pro life,” she insisted in a December 4 tweet. “There are plenty of starving, homeless babies currently. Over 100k currently seeking foster care. You care about fetuses, Once they’re out the womb, you don’t give a fuck.”
A simple Google search would reveal that’s not the case. Americans who identify as pro-life care for foster kids, adopt, babysit, donate baby supplies and much more. They support thousands of pregnancy centers around the country – centers that provide pregnant women and new moms with free housing, medical supplies, clothing, and educational classes, among other things.
That’s the pro-life solution. Jamil’s solution is to view abortion as an effective population control.
“The earth can physically currently hold us...but can it take the imbalance of billions of extra humans that would start coming in quick and fast if we took away abortion?” she asked on December 13.
She continued, “I think normalizing [abortion] and making it more accessible would help the earth a lot.”
Abortion spelled “freedom” in other ways too.
“[A]bortion if you don’t want a baby is freedom,” she said on December 6, and “Being forced to carry and then raise a child you don’t want and can’t handle... is being enslaved.”
To drive her point home about abortion as a choice, Jamil tried to make an abortion analogy in a since-deleted Instagram post – by comparing women to landlords and the unborn to tenants.
On a picture of herself with her legs spread, Jamil typed the words, “The choice is the Landlord’s, not the tenant’s, nor the neighbor’s. Your uterus. Your choice.”
After she received backlash from both sides, Jamil defended her word choice on December 10.
“I understand that the concept of the Landlord is not socialist,” she said. “It’s just a technical analogy, to highlight the concept and laws of ownership, which we (bizarrely) passionately apply to property/land and not to a woman’s body somehow.”
Jamil now describes herself as “pro-choice” in her Twitter bio. Let’s hope that, one day, she considers the protection of a precious unborn life as one of those choices. The pro-life movement calls her life precious, too.