Actress Sally Field has been an advocate for abortion for many years. Her new memoir “In Pieces” reveals clues about why.
At age 17, after what she described as a sexual awakening, Field said she had an illegal abortion in Mexico, the Daily Mail reports.
The Oscar-winning actress, now 71, also wrote about a troubled childhood where her stepfather, Jock Mahoney, sexually abused her.
“It would have been so much easier if I’d only felt one thing, if Jocko had been nothing but cruel and frightening. But he wasn’t,” Field wrote. “He could be magical, the Pied Piper with our family as his entranced followers.”
She said the abuse continued until she was about 14, when her mother divorced him.
Reports do not give may details about Field’s abortion, other than that she was 17 and had recently experienced a sexual awakening that she said was like “breaking out of my own brain.”
Field also writes about becoming pregnant at age 17, and travelling to Tijuana for an abortion. She recalls being given an injection that left her with blurred vision and a swollen tongue, adding that a mask was placed over her face while she was given a “white pill.”
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The Daily Mail suggested Field used acting as therapy for her troubled past. According to the report:
Sally soon landed her first big gig on TV as ‘Giget’ and then ‘The Flying Nun,’ and her rise to stardom catapulted her into a different sphere.
‘I was no longer a member of the club anymore,’ Ms. Field writes. ‘The Human Club. I was a celebrity,’ she writes.
She used acting as her therapy. She sought complex roles such as the TV mini-series Sybil (1976) in which she played a woman with multiple-personality disorder.
She also won an Oscar for her the eponymous role in ‘Norma Rae’ (1979) in which she played a labor activist at a cotton mill which allowed her to express pent-up aggression.
In recent years, she has used her fame to advocate for the abortion industry. Last summer, she was spotted at the Tony Awards wearing a gold Planned Parenthood pin. Later, she tweeted about the event: “Sick of hearing actors talk re politics? 2 bad I won’t stay silent while politicians attack our rights. Proud to #StandwithPP.”