Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey on Wednesday signed into law a controversial abortion bill that would punish doctors who perform abortions with life in prison.
“Today, I signed into law the Alabama Human Life Protection Act, a bill that was approved by overwhelming majorities in both chambers of the Legislature,” said Ivey, a Republican, in a statement. “To the bill’s many supporters, this legislation stands as a powerful testament to Alabamians’ deeply held belief that every life is precious and that every life is a sacred gift from God.”
The Alabama Senate passed the bill 25-6 late Tuesday night. The law only allows exceptions “to avoid a serious health risk to the unborn child’s mother,” for ectopic pregnancy and if the “unborn child has a lethal anomaly.” Democrats re-introduced an amendment to exempt rape and incest victims, but the motion failed on an 11-21 vote.
Ivey noted in her statement that the new law may be unenforceable due to the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion in all 50 states. But, the new law was passed with the aim of challenging that decision, Ivey said.
“No matter one’s personal view on abortion, we can all recognize that, at least for the short term, this bill may similarly be unenforceable,” Ivey wrote.
“As citizens of this great country, we must always respect the authority of the U.S. Supreme Court even when we disagree with their decisions. Many Americans, myself included, disagreed when Roe v. Wade was handed down in 1973. The sponsors of this bill believe that it is time, once again, for the U.S. Supreme Court to revisit this important matter, and they believe this act may bring about the best opportunity for this to occur.”
The law is the latest attack on reproductive rights, and it has ignited both outrage and fear.
In light of this recent legislation, we’re taking a look at some of the brave celebrities who have used their public platform to advocate for reproductive rights by sharing their own personal experiences with abortion.
“I don’t like to get political,” she wrote, opening up about her 2017 “emergency” abortion. “I went into preterm labor and told that I had to be awake for the whole procedure. It was one of the most horrific experiences I have ever gone through. I still have nightmares about it. I was alone and helpless. When I think about the fact that women might have to face abortions in even worse conditions than I did because of new laws, my stomach turns.”
“I spiraled into one of the worst depressions of my life and had to work extremely hard to find my way out,” she continued. “I took time off of my career. I isolated myself for months and had to keep a strong face for my two amazing kids.”
“Abortion is a nightmare at its best. No woman wants to go through that. But we have to fight to make sure our rights are preserved to obtain a safe one if we need to,” she said. “I never wanted to speak about this experience. But I cannot remain silent when so much is at stake. #prochoice #prochoicegeneration.”
In 2014, the rapper confirmed to Rolling Stone that one of her songs on The Pinkprint alludes to her own abortion. She told the magazine that she had undergone the procedure as a teenager and said it “haunted me all my life.” Nevertheless, she added that she felt it was the right decision and affirmed others’ right to make the same choice.
The Glee actress shared her abortion experience in her memoir, Sorry Not Sorry: Dreams, Mistakes, and Growing Up, revealing that she terminated a pregnancy while working on Glee in 2010. In a follow-up essay for USA Today, she explained that she wanted to share her experience “to let other women facing the same difficult decision know that they weren’t alone.”
With so many lawmakers challenging reproductive rights, we’re glad that so many women are telling their stories. A women’s right to choose what’s best for herself, her family, and her body is imperative, and if you feel strongly about this, call your representatives (and if you’re able, consider donating to Planned Parenthood today).
The View‘s Goldberg wrote about her teenage abortion experience in an essay for Angela Bonavoglia’s The Choices We Made.
“I found out I was pregnant when I was fourteen,” she wrote. “I didn’t get a period. I talked to nobody. I panicked. I sat in hot baths. I drank these strange concoctions girls told me about — something like Johnny Walker Red with a little bit of Clorox, alcohol, baking soda (which probably saved my stomach) and some sort of cream. You mixed it all up. I got violently ill. At that moment I was more afraid of having to explain to anybody what was wrong than of going to the park with a hanger, which is what I did.”
The comedian has included the topic of abortion in her standup routines in the past, but now she’s revealing why.
“I talk a lot about abortion and people get really freaked out. I’m not even making a political statement. I’m just talking about what happened! I have had them and I want to talk about them,” she told XOJane, as reported by Fortune. “I don’t care what your views are toward abortion, I just think women should be talking about it.”
She also added, “If males had to have abortions, it would be something that was routinely discussed and the emotional life of it would be really examined.”
In a heated debate over abortion on The View, Shepherd got real with her cohosts to explain why women need to have the option if their circumstances are not right to raise a child. “I’m speaking as a girl who has had a lot of abortions, and if they had showed me a fetus, I probably wouldn’t have but I would have put my child in a lot of situations that wouldn’t have been good because I didn’t have the mental capacity to deal with having a child,” she said
The actress went on Nightline to discuss You Have No Idea, her 2013 joint memoir with her mother Helen. During the interview, Williams revealed two secrets she kept from her mother, up until they started writing the book together.
The first was that she was molested by an older girl; the next was that she had gotten pregnant in high school.
“Being pregnant is the most frightening thing that happens in your life,” Williams said. “I knew in high school that’s something that I was not prepared to do, or fight, or struggle with