The Eastenders and Carry On actress has spoken out about the implications of having five abortions throughout her life.
In a candid interview before her 80th birthday, the star discussed the things she regrets most in her life, including terminating five pregnancies.
Dame Barbara’s first abortion was at twenty when she and her musician boyfriend Cliff Lawrence fell pregnant. The fifth and final termination came almost twenty two years later, with her then-husband, gangster Ronnie Knight.
Speaking to The Sun ahead of the release of Babs, a programme that tells the story of her life, Babs spoke about her abortions: “I knew it was wrong, against what you should do.”
“My mother never told me anything about the facts of life. It was ridiculous. I’d make a mistake then go straight on and do it again. I was so naive.”
“I’m the generation where you kept your feelings to yourself, so I always made out everything was fine. But I went through a lot of mental stress. I thought a lot about God and what he would think of me.”
Despite her struggles, Barbara still doesn’t regret not having children.
“I consider myself to be a warm and lovely person but I never had any maternal feelings. Neither did my mother, so that message was constantly fed to me as a child,” she explained. “My mother was a new type of woman. Down the road they had five or six kids but she always said, ‘One is enough’. I often felt that she regretted having me.”
“Barbara was very honest about the abortions and, of course, she’s been attacked for it. To this day, people make comments on social media.
“They feel she is cold about it but that’s just not true. Times were very different then and she has paid a big emotional price for it.”
Babs airs Sunday, on BBC1 at 8pm.