An Open Letter to Chelsea Handler About Her Abortions, From Another Mom

Dear Chelsea,

I know you’re known for making people laugh, but girl, you made me cry today. Three times actually. It wasn’t your talk show, or one of your comedy bits, or a funny appearance on Conan, Chelsea. It was your “Freedom essay” on (first time I’ve ever been on Playboy’s website, so you got me there, good job), entitled “My Choice”.

chelsea handler 2
Chelsea Handler in a recent appearance on The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon, via YouTube.

To be honest, I was in tears before I read one single word of your essay; it was the accompanying photo that got me first. I can’t post it here, because I don’t want to get sued, but—you know the one I’m talking about—the photo of a woman’s delicately-manicured hand, slim middle finger extended defiantly in the air at anyone who would deny her the right to an abortion. But it’s what was on the middle finger that really broke me up: a pink ribbon with a sign attached that announces “It’s an abortion!” It’s this sickening celebration of the killing of a child made out to be a mockery of a birth announcement that first brought me to tears. Tears and cold chills, actually, at the calculated heartlessness of it all.

My tears came next when you described how after you first got pregnant at age 16, your parents “acted like parents for one of the very first times in my life and took me to Planned Parenthood. I felt parented, ironically, while I was getting an abortion.” I cried for you, a 16-year-old girl whose parents apparently never did right by her, and I cried that you saw their taking you to get an abortion as a loving act, when in fact, Chelsea, it seems like they were just ridding themselves of something else that was a problem for them. They weren’t parenting you, they weren’t doing what was best for you, they were doing what was easiest for THEM. And the fact that you don’t see that makes me sad, too.

Chelsea, that life could have SAVED you. If you’d had that child instead of aborted her (I’m saying “her” because it was a pink ribbon on the abortion announcement, after all) and given her up for adoption, it could have set you on a good path. Doing something so supremely unselfish certainly would have changed you for the better. As one who has felt new life growing inside her, I believe that experience would have matured you, allowed you to feel love and empathy as well.

And the fact is, if you had carried that baby to term, you would not have been able to get pregnant again by the same guy just a couple of months later. You said it yourself. “And I didn’t have just one abortion; I had two in the same year, impregnated by the same guy….I happened to f*ck up twice at the age of 16.”

If you’d given birth to the first baby, you’d be a mother, a birth mom at least to a beautiful child who could have brought someone else so much joy. But you didn’t, and now you’re the mother of two dead children. I’m not trying to be cruel, but it’s the reality of the situation here.

To you, both of your babies were an “unplanned child born out of an unhealthy relationship.”

To me, they are precious lives, made in the image of God, who were denied the most basic of civil rights, the right to life.

You go on to talk about how the Roe v. Wade decision to legalize abortion will never be overturned; I am afraid that I agree with you there. I am terrified that it is true, that the staggering number— 57 million—children aborted in our country since 1973 will just keep growing and growing. More blood on our hands. More doctors, innovators, teachers, and presidents that will never be born. More world-changers who will never have the chance to leave their divinely created impression on this world.

You say in your essay, “By the way: Even if there is a God, I highly doubt he wants everybody to go through with their pregnancies.”

Those words are what brought me to tears the final time. Your essay isn’t long, but it’s powerful, and with these 18 words, “Even if there is a God, I highly doubt he wants everybody to go through with their pregnancies,”—it also becomes supremely ignorant. With these words you’ve admitted that you don’t believe in God and that you know nothing about Him. Let me tell you something about Him, dear woman: He knows and loves YOU. He knew and loved your unborn babies. The Bible tells us that He saw them being “made in secret” when you were, as you say, “…having unprotected sex with my boyfriend, who was not someone I should’ve been having sex with in the first place, never mind unprotected sex.”

Those children weren’t a consequence of your stupidity, they were the beauty that came out of the ashes of bad decisions.

Those lives weren’t a choice, they were two rejected shots at redemption.

Chelsea, though I agree that Roe v. Wade will probably stand, I can’t agree with you on your final point: “Anybody who carefully decides not to become a parent—let alone a bad parent, which is what I would have become—should be applauded for making a smart and sustainable decision.”

The fact is, you don’t know that you would have been a bad parent. Unplanned children have turned many messed up teens into caring, loving mothers. My best friend became pregnant at 18 by an older, married man who also happened to be a drug dealer. He was also someone she had “no business having sex with.” But she had that child and she will tell anyone who asks her that from the moment she found out she was pregnant, that child SAVED her. She turned her life around, and it’s been a beautiful, full, successful, happy one.

You also could have been a good parent by giving your child up for adoption. Your baby could have made the hopes and dreams of a loving, infertile couple come true. Your decision to kill your child wasn’t “smart and sustainable.” It was desperate and tragic. I am not judging you for this, you won’t ever hear me call you a “murderer”—I’m just sad for you. Sad for what you missed out on by not bringing that first child into the world. Sad that you were in a not good home situation, with parents who weren’t giving you what you needed. Sad that you were with a boyfriend that wasn’t good for you. Sad that those things led you to snuff out a life that could have brought about redemption.

As I cried over the coldness of your essay, Chelsea, I prayed for you. And I will continue to pray for you. I will pray that you meet the loving God who made you and your babies in His image. A God who can forgive all things. Who can even now use your abortions for good, instead of how you are using them, to celebrate and encourage more babies to be killed in the name of freedom. I pray Chelsea, that you will come to know the love and forgiveness of Jesus Christ, which is the only way to know TRUE freedom. Roe v. Wade, in which you place so much faith, gives you nothing. Christ will give you more than you’ve ever dreamed of.

And I pray that you will know this about the God who made you, and about how special you are to Him.

For you formed my inward parts;
    you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.
 I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works;
    my soul knows it very well.
 My frame was not hidden from you,
when I was being made in secret,
    intricately woven in the depths of the earth.

Psalm 139: 13-15

God bless you, Chelsea. I pray you come to know Him so that one day you can meet your children in heaven. I’ve no doubt He is holding them in His arms right now.

Your fellow mom,


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Jenny Rapson
Jenny Rapson is a follower of Christ, a wife and mom of three from Ohio and a freelance writer and editor. You can find her at her blog, Mommin' It Up, or follow her on Twitter.