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Oprah speaks candidly on her teenage pregnancy, suicide attempt

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Oprah Winfrey

Oh, you don't like Oprah? Shut up. Oprah's the best. I don't care if she subscribes to some weird The Secret-esque spirituality while simultaneously endorsing and glamorizing conspicuous consumption, Oprah got America to read books. Who else can do that? She was also the first guest on the new Piers Morgan show, and she got real during her appearance. She's spoken at length before about her difficult childhood, growing up on welfare, and being the survivor of sexual abuse. She's also previously spoken about her teenage pregnancy, but her most recent words were especially revealing.

She spoke about how she attempted suicide after learning she was pregnant at the age of fourteen. She gave birth to a stillborn child "for whom I had no connection to whatsoever" and said it was a "relief. " She adds, "It was my second chance." I find it personally refreshing to hear a woman speaking about how not having a child affected her life in a positive way. When a woman's pregnancy is wanted and planned (or either, or neither) it can surely be very emotional for that pregnancy to end in miscarriage, termination, or stillbirth. But sometimes women who didn't intend to become pregnant find termination or stillbirth a relief. It's a brave thing to speak candidly about that kind of reaction:

"I went back to school and nobody knew because had anybody known at that time, I wouldn't have been able to be head of the student council. I wouldn't have been able to be speaking champion in forensics. I wouldn't have been able to be Miss Fire Prevention. I wouldn't have been chosen as one of the two teenagers in the state of Tennessee to go to the White House conference on youth. None of those things would have happened. The entire trajectory of my life would have been different."

She wasn't ready to become a mother at fourteen, but she went on to become the most powerful woman in media. For more stories from women who aren't sorry that their pregnancies did not result in children, check out I'm Not Sorry.