Former “Glee” actress Naya Rivera revealed more details this week about the abortion she had while she was working on the show.
Rivera, who played Santana Lopez on “Glee,” made her abortion story public a few weeks ago prior to the release of her memoir “Sorry Not Sorry: Dreams, Mistakes and Growing Up.” Rivera had the abortion in 2010 after breaking up with her now-husband actor Ryan Dorsey to focus on her acting. She admitted that she had the abortion without telling Dorsey that he was a father.
In a new interview with ET, Rivera said she “absolutely” still thinks about her abortion. She described it as “the most difficult decision I’ve ever made.”
“I think it’s always on your mind, and it’s one of those little scars in life,” Rivera told ET. “When I was writing the book, it was really important for to include that, because this is … a part of my story and a part of who I am. And like I said, the statistic is crazy — there are so many women out there that are going through this and nobody gets to talk about it.”
She didn’t give any one reason for the abortion, merely saying there were “a bunch of different factors” involved.
“Like I said, it’s something that is one of life’s little scars that you get along the way, and the scars are never really healed,” she said. “They are always kind of still there — they are just not bleeding anymore.”
When she finally told her husband about their unborn child, Rivera said she was worried about how he would react.
“That was really nerve-racking,” Rivera said. “He ended up saying, you know, one of the best things that any man in that situation could have ever said. And I think that it’s just a true testament to him and us, and I’m grateful for where we are now.”
The two now are married and have an 11-month-old son.
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Despite the sorrow and pain Rivera continues to feel, she defended abortion in a column for USA Today. The 29-year-old actress explained how the abortion issue has been part of her family for decades: Her grandmother, mother and cousin all worked at abortion clinics at one time in their lives, doing everything from counseling women to sterilizing equipment.
“They were an honorable example of women helping women in their time of need,” Rivera said. “So to answer the question of why I chose to share my story, I did it for them — the women in my life, who, before I was even born, fought for women and their right to be cared for and heard. I knew that in sharing my story, I would be judged for the decision I made. But I wanted to let other women facing the same difficult decision know that they weren’t alone. I wish that in my time of need, there had been more women like Clara [her grandmother]…”
Rivera has led a troubled life. In her memoirs, she described her struggles with self confidence, her acting career, her body image, anorexia, relationships and more.
“I’ve done a lot of living,” she told People. “I’m a 79-year-old trapped in a 29-year-old’s body.”
The show she was working on sent mixed messages about teen pregnancy and abortion, too. Early episodes of “Glee” featured the character Quinn, a high school cheerleader, refusing a teacher’s suggestion to go to Planned Parenthood when she discovered she was pregnant. The teen character chose life for her unborn child and later made an adoption plan for her child.
However, “Glee” also promoted risky sexual behavior among teens – in a similar fashion to Planned Parenthood’s “sex education” programs, making fun of abstinence and encouraging young high school students to be sexually active.