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Prior to the release of her new memoir, “Glee” actress talks about her abortion

by | Aug 24, 2016

By Dave Andrusko

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Naya Rivera

Naya Rivera

Her memoir, Sorry Not Sorry, does not come out until September 13, but former “Glee” star Naya Rivera gave an “exclusive” interview in advance to People magazine in which the 29-year-old actress and mother said she had an abortion in late 2010.

I have obviously not read the book, and all anyone can know is what she told Patrick Gomez. Within those limitations, what do we say?

For starters, that she had just broken up with actor Ryan Dorsey to focus on her career when she found out she was pregnant. According to Gomez, Rivera “chose not to tell Dorsey about the unplanned pregnancy and had an abortion instead.” (She and Dorsey subsequently married in 2014 and had a son Josey a year later.)

And that she had the abortion on one of her days off filming the Fox network program, “Glee.”

“It was very scary to open up about everything,” Rivera told the magazine about sharing her abortion in her upcoming memoir “Sorry Not Sorry.”

And then this curious and subject to differing interpretation statement:

“It’s not something a lot of people talk about, but I think they should. I know some people might read it and say, ‘What the Hell?’ But I hope someone out there gets something out of it,” she said.

Two quick thoughts.

First, judging by the interview, Rivera had a rough upbringing which included a battle with anorexia. “I’ve done a lot of living,” she told People. “I’m a 79-year-old trapped in a 29-year-old’s body.”

Second, Rivera said of her anorexia, “I was so young and it just seemed to be the norm. Everyone was going through similar stuff…I had no way of knowing if I was going through it worse. I was juggling my feelings and it makes me sad that there are girls still going through that 15 years after I went through it.”

If we were to carry those thoughts over to abortion, thankfully it is much less true that it is “the norm” for teenagers to have an abortion, as NRLC’s Dr. Randall K. O’Bannon has explained.

In 1985, with abortion rates at 44/1,000 and birth rates only slightly higher at 51/1,000, a pregnant teen was almost as likely to have an abortion as to give birth. Citing figures from the Guttmacher Institute, Dr. O’Bannon notes that in 2011, the abortion rate for teenagers (15-19) was 13.5/1,000 women.

This is only about a third of the birthrate (31.3/1,000) and it represents a decrease of 69% in the abortion rate from the peaks in 1985 and 1988. That is a dramatic reduction, a great many lives not lost.

Second, without knowing Rivera and not having followed her career, I can’t possibly know what she meant when she said (referring to opening up about her abortion) that she hoped “someone out there gets something out of it.”

We can say that she is not following the pro-abortion line by touting her decision to abort her child. That appears to be clear, at least in the People interview.

But then there is her concluding thought:

“I hope Josey will read it one day,” she says of the book. “I hope it gives him a better perspective on the issues women face.”

Truly? That she aborted the “issues” — Josey older sibling?

That I will never understand.

Categories: Abortion Celebrities