January 18, 2011 ( – Talk show maven Oprah Winfrey revealed that her anxiety over her teenage pregnancy was so great that, when her newborn infant died, she considered it her “second chance” at life.

In a soul-baring interview with CNN’s Pierce Morgan Monday night, Winfrey discussed how, while she was secretly pregnant at 14 years old, her father told her that he “would rather see a daughter of mine floating down the Cumberland River than to bring shame on this family and the indecency of an illegitimate child.”

She said that she never told her father about the pregnancy.

“Does any part of you ever wonder what would have happened if you’d had that child?” Morgan asked Winfrey, who immediately answered, “No.” “I knew that me getting pregnant was the result of bad choices and not having boundaries and the abuse, sexual abuse from the time I was 9,” she added.

Winfrey said that she felt “no connection … whatsoever” to the baby of her youth, and only felt “relief” when the baby was lost, because “I thought before the baby was born, I’m going to have to kill myself.”


Winfrey said that, although she never made a serious attempt to kill herself, she did try “stupid things like drinking detergent and all that kind of crazy stuff that you do when you’re trying to get attention, when you’re really just trying to cry for help.”

“When the baby died – the baby was never brought home from the hospital and the baby died – I knew that it was my second chance,” said Winfrey.

Virginia Cline of Heartbeat International, an organization of crisis pregnancy centers, said that Oprah’s words “reflect the brokenness many women feel when faced with an untimely pregnancy.”

“That she would think death is better than life is very sad,” Cline told, adding that Winfrey’s story “very much relates” to women who come to crisis pregnancy centers seeking help.

“Pregnancy help centers re-humanize women by meeting their immediate needs with a servant heart, by witnessing to the sanctity of human life, by helping them to recapture their self esteem, and by helping moms to recognize the inestimable value of their baby,” she said.