Former ESPN anchor Jemele Hill reveals why she had an abortion at age 26
As she's risen through the ranks of sports journalism, Jemele Hill has never been one to "stick to sports." So it should come as no surprise to see her offering an opinion on the Supreme Court's recent overturning of the landmark abortion case, Roe v. Wade.
This issue, however, is much more personal for her.
In a first-person article for The Atlantic, the former ESPN anchor reveals publicly for the first time her decision to have an abortion at age 26, when she was working as a sportswriter for the Detroit Free Press.
"My career meant everything to me," HIll writes. "I was pursuing my dream of being a sports journalist. I understood clearly that having a child would have drastically limited the future I saw for myself."
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Hill says "she is "angry, appalled, and disgusted" over the Court's 6-3 decision to overturn the landmark case that granted women the right to have an abortion.
Although Hill says her circumstances at the time weren't dire -- she had the financial resources and plenty of family support -- she "didn’t want to bring a child into an unstable relationship."
In addition, her career was just starting to take off. She was covering Michigan State's football and basketball teams, which meant traveling nearly eight months out of the year. And she had higher aspirations, which included one day writing for Sports Illustrated. She knew raising a child would put all those plans on hold.
"I’m aware that some people will read this and think that I was selfish. Women are judged harshly for pursuing their goals as ambitiously as men do. Some people will probably call me irresponsible. But mistakes happen. Just because an unwanted pregnancy occurs—and it doesn’t matter if it’s within the context of a relationship, a one-night stand, or a 'situationship' —that doesn’t mean a woman should be punished by being forced to have a child she doesn’t want to raise."
Hill writes that she's revealing this personal decision now because "(i)t took me some time to realize that I shouldn’t have to apologize for wanting control of my body and life."
Now married in her 40s, Hill says she has no regrets.
"I understand the moral complexities of the abortion debate and respect the people who would make a decision different from mine," she says. "But above all, I would defend their right to choose."