Ashley Judd is openly pro-choice and one of many celebrities who have been fighting against abortion bans in the country.
Actress Ashley Judd has long been one of Hollywood's most outspoken actresses. She has pledged her support for the Democratic party on numerous occasions, and has passionately advocated for women and their reproductive rights. She is openly pro-choice and has been fighting to make abortion facilities accessible and affordable for every woman whenever they need them. What makes this close to her heart is her own experiences about which the High Crimes star opened up during 2019's Women in the World summit in New York.
"As everyone knows, and I’m very open about it, I’m a three-time rape survivor. And one of the times I was raped, there was conception. And I’m very thankful I was able to access safe and legal abortion. Because the rapist, who is a Kentuckian, as am I, and I reside in Tennessee, has paternity rights in Kentucky and Tennessee. I would’ve had to co-parent with my rapist," she told moderator Katie Couric during the April 11 panel discussion according to PEOPLE. The 53-year-old first shared details of her sexual assault in a 2015 essay about violence against women.
"The summer of 1984 was tough for me. I experienced two rapes by an adult and systematic molestation from another adult, who also had another man in the room watching," she explained in the essay which was published by Mic. The actress came forward with allegations against sexual predator Harvey Weinstein in October 2017. She claimed that the production house mogul had sexually harassed her during the filming of Kiss the Girls. Nearly half a year later, she filmed a defamation and sexual harassment lawsuit against Weinstein. Although a judge rejected her sexual harassment case, it did not dissuade the actress from continuing to fight for the defamation case, affirming that the producer did sabotage her career.
During this panel discussion, she made comments on certain southern states that had decided to withhold reproductive rights from patients, specifically stopping them from getting safe and affordable abortions. At the time, many activists and celebrities spoke out against the strict abortion ban but unfortunately, the "heartbeat bill" passed in Texas on May 19, 2021, and the law came into effect on September 1 this year. It is considered as one of the most restrictive abortion laws in the country where women are banned from terminating their pregnancy if the fetus has a heartbeat, reports CNN. Now, a heartbeat can be detected as early as six weeks but this period is way too early for some women to even realize that they are pregnant.
Make no mistake, the draconian Texas abortion ban is a threat to women everywhere.⁰ ⁰This law is about crushing women's reproductive freedom and controlling their bodies and we will fight against it by passing the Women’s Health Protection Act. pic.twitter.com/Na4A9XOv4Y— Rep. Veronica Escobar (@RepEscobar) September 30, 2021
This law, signed by Texas Governor Greg Abbott, ensures that woman would keep their baby irrespective of whether they want to or not. What's worse is that the law does not even make any sort of exception for cases involving rape or incest. The law also allows private citizens to sue abortion providers and anyone who helps a woman get an abortion, including those who give them a ride to the clinic or pays for the procedure. A $10,000 is offered to those who successfully sue an abortion provider under this law, according to NPR. While the Justice Department is exploring ways to challenge the Texas abortion law, we do need celebrities like Judd to continue fighting for woman's reproductive rights.
She previously signed her name to a letter that protested the Living Infants Fairness and Equality (LIFE) Act, a pro-life bill that sought to ban abortions beyond six weeks gestation in Georgia. For the star, having safe access to abortion is extremely important and she is strongly against the notion of allowing others to decided what a woman should or should not do with their bodies. In the due course of the Women in the World summit, Judd said something brilliant that will forever remain in our minds. "Democracy starts with our skin," she noted. "We’re not supposed to regulate what we choose to do with our insides."
Cover image source: Getty | Photo by Mike Coppola