All over the country, some state governments have declared a new wave of the war on women, passing sweeping restrictions on abortion and other women's health care services -- 11-hour filibusters from rising star Sen. Wendy Davis, be damned! But conservative, anti-abortion voices aren't the only ones speaking up. Actor and activist Mark Ruffalo recently made his position on the subject known in a statement of support for a pro-choice campaign. His remarks were read at a rally outside of Mississippi's last abortion clinic, Jackson Women's Health Organization, this past weekend, making quite the impression. In great part because he talked about his own mother's traumatizing experience of having an abortion before it was safe and legal.
Here, seven best points Ruffalo made in the heartfelt, timely, incredibly important statement ...
- On his mom's experience: "I have a mother who was forced to illegally have an abortion in her state where abortion was illegal when she was a very young woman. It cost $600 cash. It was a traumatizing thing for her. It was shameful and sleazy and demeaning. When I heard the story I was aghast by the lowliness of a society that would make a woman do that."
- On the era in which his mother had an illegal abortion: "What happened to my mother was a relic of an America that was not free nor equal nor very kind. ... It was a time when women were seen as second rate citizens who were not smart enough, nor responsible enough, nor capable enough to make decisions about their lives."
- On progress: "I don’t want to turn back the hands of time to when women shuttled across state lines in the thick of night to resolve an unwanted pregnancy, in a cheap hotel room just south of the state line."
- On trusting women: "I actually trust the women I know. I trust them with their choices, I trust them with their bodies, and I trust them with their children. I trust that they are decent enough and wise enough and worthy enough to carry the right of Abortion and not be forced to criminally exercise that Right at the risk of death or jail time."
- On illegal abortion's similarities to racism: "There was no mistake in us making abortion legal and available on demand. That was what we call progress. Just like it was no mistake that we abolished institutional racism in this country around the same time."
- On the recent moves made by conservative politicians: "There is nothing to be ashamed of here except to allow a radical and recessive group of people to bully and intimidate our mothers and sisters and daughters for exercising their right of choice. Or use terrorism and fanaticism to block their legal rights or take the lives of their caregivers. Or design legislation that would chip away at those rights disguised as reinforcing a woman’s health."
- On what being pro-choice truly means: "I invite you to find your voice and let it be known that you stand for abortion rights and the dignity of a woman to be the master of her own life and body."
What are your thoughts on Mark Ruffalo's statement?
Image via Tony Felgueiras/Wikimedia