Polly Bergen was one of the first actresses who “came out” about having an abortion. It caused major gynecological problems and she became an activist for the legalization of abortion.
Patricia Neal was the reverse. She had an abortion early in her career- the father was Gary Cooper, who was married- and in her later years became a very passionate anti-abortion activist claiming it caused her enormous guilt. (I always found this very hypocritical: she had the benefits of it, for it would likely have destroyed her career to have had a child out of wedlock, and now sought to deny that right to other women.)
Marion Davies had abortions by William Randolph Hearst. This is according to her niece and other women who Davies arranged abortions for with the doctor who she said “did all of mine”.
Joan Collins claimed in her memoir to have had an abortion after a fling with Warren Beatty.
Sharon Osbourne claims that she got pregnant the first time she ever had sex (she was 17) and that the abortion caused her major problems in carrying children to term later. (She had more miscarriages than she had children.)
Silent film superstar Gloria Swanson wrote her memoir when she was almost 80 in which she claimed she’d had two abortions. She said the first was involuntary: she became pregnant on her honeymoon with Wallace Beery and, per Swanson, he tricked her into drinking a “potion” that caused abortion and almost killed her*. She later had an abortion while married to her third husband. (*I find this extremely hard to believe. By all accounts abortifacients generally taste awful- they’re by design meant to be very harmful to your body- and I seriously doubt anybody would drink one thinking it was a Tom Collins.)
Michelle Triola had abortions while living with Lee Marvin.
On the topic of Rita Hayworth, she was rumored to have had an abortion by her father, who according to several biographies raped her many times when she was a teenager and they were touring together as dancers. Speaking of: MacKenzie Phillips claims to have had an abortion that may have been fathered by her father; she said she actually didn’t know who the father was because she was sexually promiscuous at the time and it was during her alleged affair with her father.
If she had been strongly anti-abortion before and while she was having the abortion, it would be hypocritical, but if her anti-abortion feelings and activism came out afterwards, maybe she just had a sincere change of heart.
I’m sure she had a sincere change of heart, but I don’t respect her for it at all. The thing is, Patricia Neal wasn’t against abortion because she felt it was murder, but because as she grew older she desperately wished she had kept her baby. But then by her logic, women shouldn’t give up babies for adoption, either. She stated that despite all the tragedies in her life (one child was severely brain-damaged in an accident as an infant, a daughter died of measles at age 7, another daughter became an addict, her husband cheated on her for years with her good friend, she had a 3-year affair with married Gary Cooper who wouldn’t leave his wife and child for her, her strokes) the *only *thing in her life she wished she could change was the abortion. That seems pretty bizarre.
I surrender to NO one in my hatred for hypocrites (it should be a standard requirement for a political reporter) but I honestly can’t see this as hypocrisy.
I can empathize with someone who goes through with something, then later realizes the consequences of that act and decides, through greater experience, to oppose it. It’s not hypocrisy in that stretch but rather a greater ability to understand the issue and relate to it that leads to the political position.
It’s not like recovering alcoholics shouldn’t preach against the evils of alcohol, right? They’re fully justified in being against alcohol consumption (in some cases even to advocating prohibition again) and attempting to prevent others from doing so due to their experiences.