NEW YORK CITY, May 1, 2014 ( – Emmy Award-winning actress Swoosie Kurtz admitted during an interview this week that she had an abortion in the 1960s – and that she found the experience “anguishing” and “impossibly difficult.”

Kurtz, 69, currently appears on the CBS sitcom Mike and Molly. She is better known for her starring role in NBC’s drama Sisters during the 1990s. In 1996, she co-starred in the film Citizen Ruth, a satire mocking both sides of the debate over legalized abortion.

In an online interview with HuffPost Live, Kurtz said that the film affected her personally because of her own experience with abortion.

“It was very important to me, because I had an abortion when I was — Gosh, did I just say that?” she said, turning to the camera.

“It was very, very difficult for me,” said Kurtz. “It was one of the most difficult things I’ve ever been through in my life. On all levels. Impossibly difficult.”

She said the abortion was “the one thing I never told my mother.”

“I don’t know why,” she added. “I just couldn’t at that point.”

Kurtz said she still thinks abortion should be legal, but she said she found it to be an emotionally devastating experience.

Kurtz is far from alone in her experience. Studies have shown that post-abortive women are at far greater risk of developing mental illnesses like depression, substance abuse, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

One such study found that women who undergo abortions are 81 percent more likely to suffer from mental illness than those who have not had an abortion, and estimated that up to 10 percent of all mental illnesses in women can be directly linked to post-abortion trauma.

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Women who suffer from post-abortion grief can find help from organizations like Rachel’s Vineyard and Silent No More, both of which were founded to give women an outlet and support system to recover from the anguish they often feel after an abortion.


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