Mark Ruffalo Reveals Mom's Illegal Abortion in a Heroic Open Letter

Inspiring 23

mark ruffaloAll 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 ...

  1. 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."
  2. 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."
  3. 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."
  4. 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."
  5. 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."
  6. 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."
  7. 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

abortion, women's issues, politics

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nonmember avatar TaraH

Yes because I take all my constitutional rights from the mouths of ultra conservative Hollywood....NOT! Let me preface this with I am not for overturning Roe V Wade. I actually believe abortion is the only option in CERTAIN cases. However what I have a problem with is this inflammatory and prejudicial article which is using the battle cry of "suppression of women" to cloud the true concerns of those like me who believe there are legal and ethical limitations to terminating a pregnancy. ,Abortion should NOT be allowed on demand, a 14 year old child should not be able to make this decision without parental involvement, particularly when they are not even allowed to see an R rated movie at that age. It should not be performed outside of hospitals or LICENSED facilities and it should not be paid by my tax dollars. My faith based employer should not have to pay into a system that contradicts everything they stand for....SEAPARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE works both ways people., not just for those offended by "under God" in the pledge or a nativity on a public property. If the arguments were less glaringly disingenuous from the militant choice I could take what you say seriously. However be honest with what you truly want. You want "CHOICE" as long as it means there are no restrictions.

Stell... StellarsMommy

I feel like most people think anybody who is pro-choice is also willing to have an abortion. This is not the case with all of us. For my own personal reasons I could never have an abortion, but that does not give me or anybody else the right to take that right of choice away from another woman.

Irela... Ireland69

Shame on the person that force her! my  mother was raped and she already had 3 kids and was a widow at an early age my mother would've been 87 she just died 3 weeks aog, but my mother didn't abort my brother. when something like this happens you just need to accept what happened to you it's not the babies fault.

CLM3345 CLM3345

I love Mark as an actor. I think this was a respectful and heartfelt speech on what is a very tough subject.

nonmember avatar Holly

TaraH- As a pro choice supporter I have to agree with parts of what you stated. I do not think many of the abortion laws as they are take into consideration that there is abuse happening. There are many who are unnecessarily scaring women and their freedoms under this agenda. I don't agree with the fact that Obamacare would require Catholic organizations to provide birth control. I think it's ridiculous that the church is against it but as you said, we are governed by law not faith. I also agree that allowing 14 year olds to have abortions without adult sign off is dangerous because this will surely help young girls who are raped or sexually abused to cover up the reality. They will not get the treatment they would require as far as therapy. I do not agree that abortions should only be performed in hospitals though because many are run by faith based organizations. Therefore I respect their right to turn away this type of procedure but where else would women in need go? It's sad all around.

nonmember avatar Riley Carr

Have to say I am somewhat with TaraH on this. I did have an abortion when I was 18 and not at all emotionally mature enough to make that decision. A 14 year old should not have access to this as the proposals now stand. I am entirely pro choice but agree with the fact that raising objections to certain parts of the laws is our duty as women. Our rights may be under attack to a degree but there must be some give and takeon the abortion supporters as well. This article was extremely biased as is typically expected from ms. Brown

Taisie Taisie

Seriously? "...All over the country, some state governments have declared a new wave of the war on women, passing sweeping restrictions on abortion..."


Abortion hasn't been made illegal, they just changed the laws on how far along in your pregnancy you can have one. I'm so tired of hearing/seeing it blown out of proportion!

nonmember avatar Katherine

This helps the pro choice movement exactly how? It's rhetoric the same thing we accuse anti choice people of using as a debating tactic. Please keep to the facts instead of trying to use non sequitirs to enhance a fairly week editorial. Abortion is a right by law but this Rah Rah type of writing does absolutely nothing to advance the cause. Boo to the stir for perpetuating stereotypes of the put upon female.

wamom223 wamom223

I agree with Tara on this.  This highlights that people like him care more about the choice then protecting woman's safety.   They are now trying to say that abortions are safer than  getting your wisdom teeth out which isn't true since the dentist has been adhering to these regulations for years that the abortionist are trying to fight.  And I'm offended he used the word forced about his mother and then stated she had to pay $600, sounds like she made the choice to me.

Dana E Armstrong

Get your facts straight TaraH, Obamacare is not forcing Catholics to provide birth control, the law mandates that the insurance companies for religious orginizations must pay for the birth control.  Hobby Lobby and others are NOT a religious entity, and to put on the persecution act to force their employees to follow their religious tenets is outrageous.  To everyone else that thinks their 'pro-life' stance will stop an abortion you are dead wrong, as dead as the desperate women and girls will be that will be forced to seek illegal abortions because of the roadblocks being thrown in there way.  Texas is already seeing the damage cause by the first go-round of abortion laws they passed.  Young girls going to Mexico for abortion causing drugs and ending up in the ERs bleeding to death. Do you really think this next round is going to make that any better?  And until the GOP starts advocating for health care, daycare and medical support for all these babies they claim to be saving, they and their supporters are only pro-birth, after that kid, you are on your own.

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