‘Pretty Little Liars’ Torrey DeVitto Recounts Her Two ‘Very Different’ Abortions to Criticize Bans

"No two abortions are the same," the actress wrote in an op-ed for USA Today. "But all abortion options should be available and stigma-free for everyone."

‘Pretty Little Liars’ Torrey DeVitto Recounts Her Two ‘Very Different’ Abortions to Criticize Bans
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In a new USA Today op-ed published Thursday, Pretty Little Liars’ Torrey DeVitto recounts two “very different” abortion stories—the first when she was 21 years old, early in her acting career, and needed to end an unplanned pregnancy, and the second, a few years later, to safely end a miscarriage.

“In these moments, I feared the abortion stigma from family, friends and – being in the entertainment industry—the public,” DeVitto wrote. “I didn’t realize then how fortunate I was to have access to the reproductive health care I needed, but now I understand just how privileged this access was.”

The rash of abortion bans we’ve seen since Roe v. Wade fell, DeVitto says, has created a reality where pregnant people are “forced to go through childbirth, face legal consequences for seeking or aiding abortion care, or face near death from pregnancy complications.” These laws, she notes, have led to “purposeful confusion led by anti-abortion politicians”—confusion that can sometimes stop people from getting care even in states when it’s legal.

DeVitto also points to her second abortion, which was completed with abortion pills, as we await a Supreme Court decision on FDA approval of mifepristone, one of two medications used in a medication abortion. Abortion pills induce a miscarriage to end a pregnancy, and can also help safely complete a miscarriage that’s underway; depending on how the pills are taken, a miscarriage can be medically indistinguishable from a medication abortion.

In recent years especially, more and more celebrities from Uma Thurman and Kerry Washington to, more recently, Britney Spears, have shared personal abortion stories under a wide range of circumstances. There’s incredible value to all of these diverse stories as abortion remains subject to enduring stigma. And what’s especially striking about DeVitto’s storytelling is what her two different abortion experiences show us about the spectrum of abortion care: “No two abortions are the same, but all abortion options should be available and stigma-free for everyone, no matter why or how,” she writes.

There’s no right or wrong reason to have an abortion; reason doesn’t, or at least shouldn’t, matter, despite how abortion restrictions and stigma either pressure or outright demand our reasons. The beauty of DeVitto’s writing is its clarity that all abortion experiences are different—but rooted in the same need for bodily autonomy and for a medical system where the full range of pregnancy-related care is legal and accessible.

“I think about what my life would be like today if I didn’t have access to the reproductive health care I received years ago, and I am terrified for those who have to experience this as their reality,” DeVitto writes. Abortion, in her words, is pivotal to building a life, and creating a future. “Everyone deserves to make their own decisions about their bodies—just as I did.”

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