Lena Dunham is always outspoken, but this time it's her mother, Laurie Simmons, who's doing most of the talking. In a recent preview for her new email newsletter Lenny, Dunham talked about the time she asked her mother if she had an abortion and her mother was totally honest in her response — yes, she had one, and she used it as an educational moment for her own daughter who in turn passed it on to us.
Simmons was 17 and had to deal with an issue that young women face frequently — a doctor confirmed she was pregnant and didn't know what to do. She always wanted to be an artist and didn't want to have a child to get in the way of that, especially since she felt she was still a child herself. The doctor told her: "Call this man and he will arrange for you to fly to Puerto Rico." The story is a stark reminder of how important it is to remember the lack of accessible health care back then. It also serves as a reminder of how important it continues to be to fight for women's health care today.
Simmons was ready to go to Puerto Rico by herself, but she got her period a few days before her flight and the rest was history. "Could this story even be real? Yes it is. Could we ever let this kind of thing happen again? No, never." say Simmons' in her powerful end statement. She leaves room for a bigger story to be told about reproductive rights, but if it wasn't for Dunham's fearless question to her mother, this could have been a missed opportunity.
Here are a couple of questions we would #AskOurMother. What would you #AskYourMother?
Who was your first love?
Watch her reminisce and try not to make fun of her if she gets into details.
Were you a virgin when you married?
Let's keep it real here — she's probably the one who gave you the sex talk, so no reason for either of you to play coy.
If you were my age, would you be my friend?
Just because she's your mom doesn't mean that she has to love everything about you, or may she does! This question will definitely spark up an interesting conversation about why she would or wouldn't.
When was the first time your heart was broken?
She probably has a couple of good pointers on how to mend a broken heart, so listen closely.
Are you happy?
A real and honest question we tend to skip over. Be genuine when you ask her this, her answer may surprise you.
What was your proudest moment?
Even though you might want her to say, "Having you!," it could be something you never even knew. So don't get offended, you'll learn so much about what she values in life from this powerful question.
What did you dream of becoming when you were a little girl?
Maybe she's doing exactly what she wanted to, maybe she's not. This will let you see how wild her imagination was — and who knows, maybe you both had the same dream.
What was the most important thing you learned from your mom?
Take it a step further and see what wisdom your grandma passed down.
Did you ever do drugs?
Mothers are under the constant pressure to be perfect, so asking her this honest question will let her put that guard down.
Was I a planned pregnancy?
Similar to Dunham's question, this one can be educational for you and others.
Who inspires you?
Would you even know what to say if she flipped the question on you?