‘Top Chef’ host Padma Lakshmi says mother aborted baby after accident out of ‘love for me’

Planned Parenthood of Greater New York recently held its first ever spring gala, which was attended by the likes of model Chrissy Teigen and Top Chef host and model Padma Lakshmi. While there, Lakshmi spoke exclusively to PEOPLE about her own experience with abortion — or, more specifically, her mother’s.

According to Lakshmi, her mother Vijaya was severely injured in a car crash and sought an abortion afterwards. “We were all very injured, we had a mountain of medical bills. My mother had broken bones, had a cardiac contusion,” the model and actress said. “Her heart would not have sustained that pregnancy.” According to Wikipedia, Lakshmi was 14 at the time.

A cardiac contusion is essentially a bruise on the heart muscle. While the severity of her mother’s injuries is not clear, the incident happened decades ago, and medical treatments in pregnancy have, of course, made incredible advancements since then. Yet, most importantly, an intervention to save the life of a pregnant woman — such as during an ectopic pregnancy or pre-eclampsia — is not the same thing as an induced abortion.

While the preborn child may not be able to survive in such a situation, their death is not the direct intention. An induced abortion, in which a preborn child’s life is directly and intentionally taken, is not medically necessary. And procedures needed to save the mother’s life are legal in every single state.


Lakshmi said, “I remember how hard it was to even drive there and get out of the car, and then to be met with the jeering mob that we were met with was really excruciating. I felt very sorry for my mother, but I thought she was making the right decision, I could see how hard it was for her to get around… just physically, because of her injuries.”

Additionally, Lakshmi said the experience was made even more traumatic by the presence of pro-life protesters. “They made sure to take a moment that we would already never forget and heighten every negative emotion by 1000,” she said.

Then she claimed that her mother underwent the abortion out of “love for me.” And the experience is why she said she has been a vocal supporter of Planned Parenthood.

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“It just reminded me that there were few options for women in this country. I was happy that my mom had Planned Parenthood and I just wanted to pay it forward,” she said, adding, “I can’t believe that my 13-year-old daughter has less rights in some states in this country than I did when I was her age… [t]his country is based on freedom and we don’t have freedom for 54% of the population.”

During her remarks, Lakshmi — a survivor of sexual assault — also argued that “nobody has the right to dominion over another human body.” Yet every single induced abortion intentionally destroys a vulnerable human body, simply because a more powerful human body decides that killing is the best course of action. The reality is that the direct and intentional taking of a human life, even one not yet delivered, is not medically necessary.

Did you know that as little as $10 a month is enough to reach more than 3,000 people with the truth about abortion that no one else is telling them? Click here to start saving lives 365 days a year.

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