An increasing number of states are passing restrictive bills seeking to curb abortion as the country gears up for what will most likely be an eventual legal battle over Roe v. Wade in the higher courts. While the lawmakers’ fight over women’s right to choose heats up, activists and celebrities are actively speaking out about their own experiences and opinions. Among them is Busy Philipps, who got candid about having an abortion when she was 15 on last night’s episode of Busy Tonight.
The 39-year-old actress, writer, producer, and late night host shared her own experience with abortion in response to the hot political climate surrounding the issue. “I have a thing that I would like to say,” she began on the show. “I know that people feel very strongly about abortion, but let me just say this. Women and their doctors are in the best position to make informed decisions about what is best for them.
“Here is the reality,” she said to a cheering E! audience. “No bill that criminalizes abortion will stop anyone from making this incredibly personal choice, but these laws will put more women at risk. Every woman deserves compassion and care, not judgment and interference when it comes to their own bodies.”
Philipps went on to address the statistic about one in four women seeking abortions before age 45. “That statistic sometimes surprises people, and maybe you’re sitting there thinking, ‘I don’t know a woman who would have an abortion,’” she said, right before revealing her own story. “Well, you know me.”
Philipps told the audience that she had an abortion at 15 years old. “I’m telling you this because I’m genuinely really scared for women and girls all over the country,” she told watchers, her voice shaking.
After the show, the night host posted on Twitter, “I spoke about my abortion on my show tonight because I can not sit idly by while women’s rights are stripped away.”
Philipps’ emotional speech comes just as Georgia Gov. Bryan Kemp signed into law a controversial new abortion ban, making Georgia becoming the latest state to ban abortion after six weeks, according to ABC News. Dubbed the “heartbeat” ban, since the law bans abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected (usually at six weeks), this legislation criminalizes abortion before many women even know they are pregnant.
Currently, Louisiana lawmakers are debating the fate of their own version of the bill, which would also ban abortion after detection of a fetal heartbeat. The bill advanced in the state legislature just yesterday, according to The Hill, and is close to joining an anti-choice movement that is growing across the United States.
Many, including Philipps last night, say that if upheld, these bans will endanger women who will make the choice for themselves regardless of the law. “Women will have to cross state lines and likely multiple state lines in order to get the care that they need,” Angeline Ti, a family medicine physician in Georgia told Reuters in an interview. “We know that when abortion is illegal that doesn’t mean it goes away. And so what this means is that the women are going to have to do more extreme things.”
As the fight over women’s right to their own bodies intensifies, you too can join in with celebrities like Philipps by voicing your own opinion. Here’s how to join in the good fight.