The pro-life vs. pro-choice debate has been a constant in America for several decades, but after playing the role of a middle-aged woman deeply plagued by having been forced to give up a child for adoption when she was 14 in the new drama “Mother & Child,” Annette Bening maintains that it should always be a woman’s right to choose.

“Women have to have their own personal choice about reproduction; ultimately women have to make these decisions on their own,” Bening recently told Pop Tarts. “All of these decisions are very different and precarious and in some cases involve questions of health, but I do think that (abortion) is an important thing for women to be able to do.”

And in preparation for the role, Bening met with an array of women who became pregnant very young and out-of-wedlock, and was deeply moved by the intense guilt many of these ladies still carry about signing their young one away.

“Some people got married, had children and were able to get on with life… but a lot of girls were really traumatized, they were such a shame to the family. Often these were “good girls” who weren’t sloppy about their lives, they just made a terrible mistake,” Bening said. “They end up bearing the burden of embarrassment for their families and things weren’t really discussed… They were sent away, had to give birth and sign the papers and not have any say.”

The 51-year-old actress and wife of notorious Hollywood lothario Warren Beatty, is also a strong advocate of parents not simply relying on school teachers to provide sex education.

“My own personal view is that more information is better, the more education kids have the better off they are so they can make healthy choices. We had sex education when I was in school, but there was a lot less openness,” Bening added. “Yes it is a parent’s responsibility, lots of conversations is important – trying to be honest with your kids and keep them informed.”

But Hollywood does have its share of women who aren’t afraid to vocalize their beliefs on the opposite side of the spectrum.

"My entire life I was pro-choice — who was I to tell another woman what she could or couldn’t do with her body? But when I was 18, I became a Christian and I dove into the medical books, I dove into science,” former supermodel Kathy Ireland told us last year.  “What I read was astounding and I learned that at the moment of conception a new life comes into being. The complete genetic blueprint is there, the DNA is determined, the blood type is determined, the sex is determined, the unique set of fingerprints that nobody has had or ever will have is already there."