Kerry Washington is sharing her truth.
In her new memoir, Thicker Than Water, the Scandal star opens up for the first time about many experiences in her life, including decision to get an abortion when she was in her 20s. And in addition to detailing her abortion in the book, released Sept. 26, reflected on why she's waited twenty years to talk publicly about it.
"In my late 20s, I made the difficult and very private decision to have an abortion," Kerry wrote for Time magazine, alongside an excerpt from her memoir. "About a decade later, I played a character that was the first woman to be shown undergoing an abortion procedure on network television. As women, it is our right to choose what happens to our bodies, our lives, and our futures. It is also up to us to decide when, how, and with whom we share our stories."
The 46-year-old continued, "In real life I never talked about my own abortion publicly. My shame and embarrassment inspired a private silence that hid my personal truth and made me complicit in a culture of secrecy that shames women, our bodies, our choices, and our power."
So when it came to detailing such a deeply personal moment of her life, the Little Fires Everywhere alum revealed it was the power of sharing with those who have had similar experiences that ultimately encouraged her to share her own story.
"Until I had a devastating miscarriage and shared about it with friends, I had no idea how many women have weathered that same loss and long to talk about it, but don't," she wrote in the excerpt from her book. "I have the same experience every time I share about my abortion. These experiences are part of my history and who I am now. And what I've learned is that there is healing to be found in community."
Her abortion is just one of the many personal details Kerry discusses in her memoir. In fact, she also reveals that it wasn't until she signed on to do to the PBS ancestry series Finding Your Roots that she learned that she was conceived using a sperm donor and her dad Earl Washington, is not her biological father.
For the show, Kerry's parents were asked to do a DNA test, with her revealing that it was show host Henry Louis Gates Jr. who encouraged them to tell Kerry the truth after they were hesitant to participate.
"It was amazing, because I was at once shocked, like completely shocked," Kerry recalled to ABC's Robin Roberts in a Sept. 24 interview of learning the truth. "At the same time, it felt like some sort of weird confirmation. It was like they took glasses off me and cleaned them, and handed them back to me."