The actress, who was introduced to many as AT&T saleswoman "Lily Adams" in the media company's advertisements, joined Bilson and her co-host Olivia Allen to talk through both her career and her personal life. When discussing her activism and thoughts about the overturning of Roe v. Wade, Vayntrub spoke openly about getting an abortion at the age of 22.
"It was never even a thought that I was going to keep that child. There was no part of me that was like weighting the options," she said. "I was with my first boyfriend out of college, who's a great dude and I love and is still my good friend but was not going to be my forever person. I was working at a job that was not paying me enough to even live the life that I had at that moment, let alone take on the giant financial strain that a child is and I just never felt like it was my child."
She went on to further explain how she felt that there had been "a seed planted in me" and rather than feeling connected to the embryo, she thought of it as "a polyp that needed to be removed." Luckily, she had the support of her mother and her mother's health insurance to see a doctor who put her under anesthesia to perform the abortion.
"I was f***ing fine and I didn't think about it again. It was seriously like having a cyst removed and I was crampy for two weeks afterwards and I never thought about it," she said. "I don't think about it until I think about the women who are in that situation and don't have the option."
Vayntrub has written about her abortion experience in detail before when she penned a first-person piece for The Daily Beast in Feb. 2022, urging people to protect reproductive rights.
"This is not a drill, people. All of us with a uterus may soon be stripped of the constitutional right to an abortion. Forced pregnancy and birth sounds medieval—as medieval as secret, unsafe abortions. And yet, here we are," she wrote at the time. "My life as I know it, and motherhood as I know it, was shaped by my right to make choices about my own body. In that way, my birth story is inseparable from my abortion story."
She made this connection for a second time on the podcast sharing that her experience carrying and giving birth to her son in May 2020 wasn't "traumatizing" only because she had the ability to make choices that best suit her and her child.
"It was only possible for me to do and appreciate because I wanted my son. And all of it. The learning how to nurse, healing my body afterward, all of that I had so much patience for myself and for my baby because I really wanted him," she said. "And if I didn’t, if I was forced to have the nausea and the vomiting and the pain and the everything, everything that comes with the incredibly difficult physical task of carrying a child, but I didn't want it, I would not only feel, I'm sure, resentful of my country, but also of my child. And what a way to bring somebody into the world."
While the support of family and friends meant a lot to her at 22, she maintains that allowing decisions to be made between a pregnant person and their doctor is most important.
"I think ultimately, we have to trust doctors. It doesn't matter what any of us think about that because we're not medical professionals," she said. "We have to trust doctors to make the right decisions for their patients and I don't think that the thing in there is a baby, I think it's a fetus and it is always just up to the mom."
If you or someone you know needs help obtaining an abortion or additional information and resources, visit abortionfunds.org or abortionfinder.org. You can also call or text the All Options hotline at 1-888-493-0092, which offers “unconditional, judgment-free support for people in all of their decisions, feelings and experiences with pregnancy, parenting, abortion and adoption.”
Wellness, parenting, body image and more: Get to know the who behind the hoo with Yahoo Life's newsletter. Sign up here.