Academy Award winning actress Ellen Burstyn known for her starring role in “The Exorcist” says her abortion was the Worst Thing in Her Life. While she was in Toronto promoting her new book “Lessons in Becoming Myself” the interviewer asked Burstyn “what was the lowest moment” of her life.
After a pause during which the interviewer prompted with her single motherhood, struggles with her son and more, Burstyn said, “You know, I guess, I hate to talk about this on the air, but having an abortion.”
Burstyn continued, “You know that was really an extremely painful experience.”
“Did you feel you didn’t have a choice?,” asked the interviewer. “At the time I was just young and dumb, I didn’t really want to have a baby then,” she replied. “It was the wrong thing to do and I really didn’t understand that till later.”
“That was very very painful, that was probably the worst,” she said. “I try not to allow regret to settle over me like a shroud, because I think its an unhealthy way to live.”
Burstyn was raised Catholic but rejected her family’s religious background. “I got to the point where I realized the Catholic Church would reject me,” she said in one recent interview. “I did not play by their rules, so I went 10 years without any spiritual practice in my life, as Sartre said: ‘There was a God-shaped hole.’
It’s so sad to hear that people believe the Catholic Church would reject them. We are a church of sinners. Burstyn has now taken to practicing Sufism which she said uses teachings from all great teachers, Jesus, Mohammed, Martin Luther King, Gandhi.
It’s terrible to hear these stories about young women making these decisions and even being praised for these decisions and then suffering through its after effects alone. It’ll be interesting to see if the mainstream media picks up on her point about abortion.
What’s worse is that the same people who laud “choice” refuse to support those women who regret their abortions because they can’t admit there’s anything to regret. Sad.
September 21, 2007 at 9:09 am
I wonder if vocalizing her misconceptions about the Church will bring a corrective voice into her life that may lead her back to it. We can hope I guess.
September 24, 2007 at 5:30 am
We can do more than hope, We can Pray !