Maya Henry Opens Up About Painful Abortion Experience and Its Influence on Her New Novel

Maya Henry, known for her engagement to former One Direction member Liam Payne, has broken her silence regarding a deeply personal and painful experience with abortion. In a heartfelt discussion with PEOPLE, Henry revealed how this experience significantly influenced her debut novel, Looking Forward.

The 23-year-old author shared that her own life inspired the book’s fictional narrative. In Looking Forward, the protagonist Mallory faces an abortion following an ultimatum from her partner, mirroring Henry’s own ordeal.

Reflecting on her decision, Henry expressed mixed emotions, admitting she wouldn’t have chosen to undergo the procedure if given a choice. She described feeling isolated and unsupported, with men downplaying the physical and emotional pain involved. “It was very lonely, having these men tell you, ‘Oh, it’s going to feel like a heavy period, it’s not going to be that painful, it’s going to be easy.’ But I’m like, you’ve never even gone through anything like [this], so how would you know to tell me?” she said.

By weaving her personal experience into her novel, Henry aims to ignite a conversation about the struggles women face. She noted the widespread discussion online about the severe pain associated with the abortion pill, finding it astonishing that anyone could confidently tell a woman how she should feel.

An insider close to Henry remarked on the profound impact this experience had on her, saying, “It broke my heart seeing her like that when she’s usually always so happy and positive… that was hands down the lowest point of her life, and it didn’t have to be that way.”

Henry and Payne, who got engaged in 2020, initially broke up in 2021 before rekindling their relationship briefly and ultimately parting ways again in 2022.

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