Life

Hannah Gadbsy recalling her rape related abortion is terrifying, but it’s essential we listen

Posted by
Hollie Richardson
Published
backgroundLayer 1
Add this article to your list of favourites
Hannah Gadbsy

“I was assaulted, raped, and very, very vulnerable. How was I going to raise a child?” says Nanette comedian Hannah Gadsby

Comedian Hannah Gadsby has a big year ahead with her new tour Douglas (which is coming to the UK) and next month’s turn as the headliner for The Guilty Feminist Live at the Royal Albert Hall

It’s only been a little over a year since Gadbsy’s breakout Netflix stand-up show Nanette, which saw her swapping punchlines for tough truths. After living her life suppressed in shame, it feels like she definitely isn’t afraid to speak out anymore. This includes opening up about her experiences as a queer woman growing up surrounded by homophobia, and the physical and emotional abuse she has faced.

You may also like

Nanette’s Hannah Gadsby reveals how autism diagnosis transformed her

Explaining why she chose to do this in her stand-up routine, Gadsby recently explained during a Ted Talk: “I realised that I’ve been telling my stories for laughs. I’ve been trimming away the darkness, cutting away the pain and holding on to my trauma for the comfort of my audience.”

She added: “I had an idea to tell my truth, all of it. Not to share laughs but to share the literal, visceral pain of my trauma and I thought the best way to do that was with a comedy show.”

Now, Gadsy has continued to unravel the layers of her traumas by responding to the recent abortion bans in America. Just this week, Donald Trump spread misleading pro-life rhetoric at his 2020 campaign launch, saying Democrats support taxes to “rip babies straight from the mother’s womb.” His comments came after 16 states passed anti-abortion legislation this year. 

You may also like

How Margaret Atwood predicted America’s future in The Handmaid’s Tale

Speaking to Variety magazine, Gadsby responded to what’s currently happening in America, saying: “They’re getting away with it because they’ve got into the branding really well. It’s not pro-life. What a stupid fucking statement! I’m pro-life, but I had an abortion. That sits very comfortably in my head as a duality.”

She then went on to recall her abortion and why having the freedom to do it was so important.

“Had I been in that state, under these laws, under these politics at that time in my life, I would be dead. It’s as simple as that,” she said.

“I was assaulted, raped, and very, very vulnerable. How was I going to raise a child? I would have ended up dead. How is that pro-life? You can’t say women can’t have abortions and then provide absolutely no infrastructure to help them.”

Sign up for our essential edit of what to buy, see, read and do, and also receive our 11-page Ultimate Guide To Making Your Home Feel Bigger.

By entering my email I agree to Stylist’s Privacy Policy

Worryingly, Gadbsy’s abortion experience is a relatable one for many women living under the new laws in America. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s most recent report found that almost three million American women experience rape related pregnancy in their lifetime.

Having voices like Gadbsy’s can only amplify the fight against these laws, and we salute her for sharing another important truth with people who it might help. 

You can find help and support for rape victims at Rape Crisis

Image: Getty

Topics

Share this article

Author

Hollie Richardson

Hollie is a digital writer at Stylist.co.uk, mainly covering the daily news on women’s issues, politics, celebrities and entertainment. She also keeps an ear out for the best podcast episodes to share with readers. Oh, and don’t even get her started on Outlander…

Recommended by Hollie Richardson

People

Until abortion laws change, Sophie Turner won’t work in Northern Ireland or Georgia

It's one of the reasons why the actor says she's glad that Game of Thrones, which partially filmed in Belfast, is over.

Posted by
Digital Team
Published
Life

Alabama abortion ban: Leslie Jones explains how laws are part of “war on women”

The comedian and actress used an SNL sketch to speak out against the ban.

Posted by
Sarah Shaffi
Published
Life

Lady Gaga, Reese Witherspoon and Courtney Cox speak out over Alabama abortion ban

"So there’s a higher penalty for doctors who perform these operations than for most rapists?"

Posted by
Hollie Richardson
Published
Opinion

This genius pamphlet perfectly sums up the problem with America’s abortion ban

Are you a man wanting to regulate abortion? There’s only one way to effectively do so.

Posted by
Hannah-Rose Yee
Published
Life

“I am American and I am afraid: Why the abortion ban is so disturbing”

Land of the free, but not allowed an abortion after rape or incest? Why Virginia-born writer Kylie Lynch is angry.

Posted by
Stylist Team
Published