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Why Lena Dunham shared a photo of negative pregnancy tests on Instagram

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Moya Crockett
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Turning 30 can send some people into a tailspin, but not Lena Dunham. The Girls creator, who celebrated her 30th birthday in May, has spoken openly about her happiness at reaching the milestone. Last year, she said that she was “psyched about it”, adding: “There’s so much torture that comes with being young, female and trying to figure it out. I mean, I made a whole TV show about it.”

But even though she’s no longer a twentysomething, Dunham is still keen to remind us that being young, wild and free isn’t always all it’s cracked up to be.

The writer, actress and director recently shared a photo on Instagram of her holding two negative pregnancy tests in the bathroom of a pharmacy, with the caption: “Throwback to 2011. First time I got a gel manicure/last time I took two pregnancy tests in a Walgreens bathroom. G-D BLESS being 30.”

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It was a characteristic move for Dunham, who has always been deliberately open about life’s less glamorous moments. However, there was also a political message behind the apparently light-hearted post.

In the photo, Dunham tagged the Instagram account of Planned Parenthood – the US non-profit organisation that provides women with reproductive health services, including abortions. Women’s reproductive rights, particularly when it comes to abortion, have always been a contentious issue in the States, and Donald Trump has said that he would restrict women’s access to abortions at Planned Parenthood if he became president.

Hillary Clinton, in contrast, is an outspoken advocate for Planned Parenthood, calling restrictions to abortion services “a concerted, persistent assault on women’s health across our country” in a speech delivered to the Planned Parenthood Action Fund in June.

Dunham is a vocal Clinton supporter, writing in a Time essay this April that she admires the Democratic candidate’s “commitment to women’s reproductive health and rights”. So while her Instagram post might ‘just’ be a picture of two pregnancy tests, it’s also a reminder that she has some control over whether or not she has children – and in America’s present political climate, that's not to be taken for granted.

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Moya Crockett

Moya is Women's Editor at stylist.co.uk, where she is currently overseeing the Visible Women campaign. Carrying a tiny bottle of hot sauce on her person at all times is one of the many traits she shares with both Beyoncé and Hillary Clinton.

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