Madeline Brewer earned a 2021 Emmy nomination for her portrayal of Janine Lindo on The Handmaid’s Story (which returned to Hulu for season 5 on September 14). Although viewers have watched Janine survive one trauma after one other in Gilead, the present has additionally revealed a few of the character’s backstory previous to changing into Ofwarren, together with the secure and authorized abortion she underwent at a clinic earlier than giving delivery to her son, Caleb. Because the Supreme Courtroom overturned Roe v. Wade, thousands and thousands of individuals throughout the US have misplaced their reproductive freedom. This terrifying shift moved Brewer to share, through an Instagram put up, that she additionally had an abortion offscreen at age 20. Right here, she tells SELF her abortion story in full, as advised to author Samantha Vincenty, and she or he explains why she’s by no means regretted her selection.
I used to be 20 years previous after I acquired pregnant. I had simply graduated appearing college and was dwelling in Queens, New York. I used to be working two jobs, at a restaurant in Midtown and at a Victoria’s Secret, whereas auditioning each likelihood I might. As is extremely widespread, I didn’t understand that I’d change into pregnant till weeks afterward. I missed a interval, however that was common for me at the moment. Not solely was my physique beneath the stress of working and auditioning, however I additionally had undiagnosed anxiousness, melancholy, and consuming issues. I continued life per traditional, auditioning, working, spending any free time I had both on the gymnasium or out consuming with my associates. I acquired an audition for some type of “streaming” collection for Netflix (the DVD firm?) and booked it. Orange is the New Black was my first gig.
Reflecting on these months of my life, I’m so grateful for the life-changing job and the gorgeous character Tricia. They thrust me into the world and, now, a lifetime of TV and movie. It’s a lifetime of which I’m so proud. Nevertheless, the overwhelming feeling I recall in these months is worry. Anxiousness dominated my life utterly; it dominated each second, each step, each breath. And it was throughout this time that I needed to make an enormous life determination: to terminate a being pregnant. Rising up, I by no means noticed any media or leisure even talk about abortion in the best way we portrayed my character’s determination on The Handmaid’s Story. Each onscreen and on this planet round me, abortion was a shameful phrase stated in hushed voices.
I knew with absolute certainty that I wasn’t able to carry a baby into the world—I used to be firstly of my profession and changing into a father or mother wasn’t what I wished. However, extra importantly, it was as a result of I used to be not okay. I knew it subconsciously then and I do know it very clearly now. I used to be deeply unwell, unhealed, and sad.
I had the abortion at a clinic in New Jersey. It was an in-office process as a result of I used to be too far alongside to take a capsule at house. I awakened subsequent to a lady about my age. We each felt somewhat uneasy however relieved. We talked about our choices and experiences. She had a one-year-old. She knew she couldn’t give one other youngster the life they deserved with one so younger at house. I admired her. She wasn’t solely making a choice for herself, however for the well being and happiness of her youngster. I consider her typically, particularly when talking about Janine. The subsequent morning, I boarded my practice again to New York for work that night time.