Jameela Jamil has shared the story of her abortion in protest against new laws in the US state of Georgia, which will make it illegal for women to have one once a heartbeat has been detected in the womb – usually from around six weeks.
The 33-year-old British actor tweeted on Monday night, describing the termination of her pregnancy as the “best decision” for herself and the baby.
She wasn’t ready emotionally, psychologically or financially to become a mother at that age, she said – although she didn’t specify exactly when it happened.
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Jamil, who has been in a relationship with singer James Blake since 2015, was speaking out against the introduction of the controversial “heartbeat bill” in Georgia. The new law effectively bans abortion after six weeks and will make Georgia one of the hardest US states in which to obtain the procedure.
Currently, women in the state can get abortions until 20 weeks of pregnancy. This is set to change in January 2020. Women who miscarry during pregnancy because of their own conduct – say, using drugs while pregnant – could also be liable under this new law.
″[The bill] is very simple but also very powerful: a declaration that all life has value, that all life matters, and that all life is worthy of protection,” Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp said before signing the legislation, according to CNN.
Jamil described the law, which was signed on 7 May, as “upsetting, inhumane, and blatantly demonstrative of a hatred of women”. She said it showed a disregard for women’s bodies and mental health, and would be a punishment for rape victims forced to carry a child.
The Good Place actor also believes not allowing women access to legal abortions could lead to a rise in children being placed in foster homes. “So many lives ruined,” she said. “So very cruel.”
She later went on to clarify her tweet, saying: “This isn’t a diss at all to foster homes. I’m in awe of people who take in children in need of a family. But if Georgia becomes inundated with children who are unwanted or unable to be cared for, it will be hard to find great fostering for them all.”