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Kerry Washington reveals she had an abortion in her 20s: 'Really important for me to share this'

The 46-year-old Kerry Washington, Emmy-nominated star and mother of three, shared her story in her new memoir.

Kerry Washington reveals she had an abortion in her 20s: 'Really important for me to share this'
Cover Image Source: Kerry Washington attends the 28th Annual Critics Choice Awards at Fairmont Century Plaza on January 15, 2023, in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images for Critics Choice Association)

For decades, women refrained from sharing their struggles in the fear of being judged and this often left them feeling isolated in their pain. But now, more women are sharing their stories to help others not feel so alone, helping them heal and push through difficult times. Actress Kerry Washington has decided to share her story in her new memoir, "Thicker Than Water." The Emmy-nominated star and mother of three revealed that she had an abortion in her 20s.

 Actress Kerry Washington attends the SAG-AFTRA Foundation Conversations -
Image Source: "Unprisoned" with Kerry Washington and Delroy Lindo event at the SAG-AFTRA Foundation Screening Room on April 16, 2023, in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Amanda Edwards/Getty Images)

The 46-year-old told PEOPLE she was initially apprehensive about sharing something so personal but then decided it was an important story to share. "I struggled a lot in the beginning with whether or not to include my abortion story. At first, I wasn't really sure how it fit into this story of my life. But I started to feel like it was really important for me to share this," Washington explained, adding, "This story had so much to do with my understanding of myself and the world as my career unfolded."


 
 
 
 
 
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In the book, the actress looked back at the early days of her career, starting with the success of "Save the Last Dance" in 2001 as well as landing the lead role in Spike Lee's 2003 dramedy "She Hate Me." The "Scandal" star also spoke about her personal life and getting pregnant in her 20s, which was unplanned. She had to give doctors a false name to protect her identity and career at the time. Having been a sexual health educator in her teens, Washington shared, she felt ashamed and a bit hypocritical while talking to medical staff and undergoing the procedure. Now, she is opening up about it to own her truth and destigmatize the issue.


 
 
 
 
 
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"It's just so important to me that abortion is not a bad word and that my abortion is not another thing on the list of things that I'm ashamed of," Washington said. "We're at a moment where it's really important to be telling the truth about our reproductive choices because some of those choices are being stripped away from us. I'm telling my truth about my life, excavating some of my secrets. I don't want my not telling it to make anybody think there is a shame to be had."


 
 
 
 
 
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Washington is currently the mother of three kids: a teenage stepdaughter as well as a daughter, Isabelle, 9, and a son, Caleb, 6, whom she shares with her husband of 10 years, 42-year-old Nnamdi Asomugha. Washington married the former NFL player in 2013 in a private ceremony and continues to keep details about her relationship on the down low. "I do have an incredible husband," Washington told Entertainment Tonight. "Do you remember how secret my wedding was? How private and secretive it was? That's how the (tenth) anniversary is gonna be too!"

 Nnamdi Asomugha and Kerry Washington attend The 2023 Met Gala Celebrating
Image Source: Nnamdi Asomugha and Kerry Washington attend The 2023 Met Gala Celebrating "Karl Lagerfeld: A Line Of Beauty" at The Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 01, 2023, in New York City. (Photo by Arturo Holmes/MG23/Getty Images for The Met Museum/Vogue)

Earlier this year, the "Django Unchained" actress briefly mentioned her relationship with Asomugha in an interview with Marie Claire. "I'm in my immediate truth with [him]," she said. "Those mirrors are important because they help me get back to myself." She also keeps her children's lives as private as possible and doesn't post pictures of them on social media. She hopes to see her kids grow up to be strong individuals. "Part of their journey is to know not everybody's going to hold your hand all the time," she said. "I try to show up as the person they need to help them be the best versions of themselves."


 
 
 
 
 
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