Elizabeth Banks is one of several actresses who have taken part in a powerful video series about real-life abortions. The stars, including Dascha Polanco (Orange is the New Black), Mary McCormack (In Plain Sight) and Bellamy Young (Scandal), recount the experiences and limitations teenagers and mothers have faced while trying to terminate a pregnancy.
Each vignette is part of the recently launched Draw the Line campaign crafted by the U.S.-based Center for Reproductive Rights (CRR). The organization strives to promote and protect a female’s right to safe and legal reproductive procedures and care.
Banks tells the story of Rebecca, a young woman who sought to terminate her pregnancy after escaping an abusive relationship. “[My friend] saw the bruises and knew my boyfriend hit me, not just once, and not accidentally,” the 41-year-old actress reads. “I found out my birth control had failed. I knew I had to end the pregnancy.”
Another short shows Amy Brenneman (The Leftovers) telling the tale of Whitney, a pregnant mom who chose to have an abortion after she found out, 19 weeks into her pregnancy, that her fetus suffered from severe, life-ending chromosomal abnormalities. In another, Retta Wilson (Girlfriends’ Guide To Divorce) explains why Rosario was forced to have an abortion: her pregnancy was ectopic, which means her life was in danger.
The collection was released this week to coincide with the 43rd anniversary of Roe v. Wade, a landmark case in America that established the legality of abortions. Though pivotal, access to reproductive services remains incredibly scattered across the country. The U.S. Supreme Court will even decide whether Texas can shut down most of its abortion care providers on March 2. The case has been dubbed Whole Woman’s Health v. Cole.
In a statement about the series, CRR president and CEO Nancy Northup said, “The reality is that one in three women in the U.S. will have an abortion at some point in her lifetime. And for the last 43 years, our constitutional rights have protected each of those women’s decisions… This is about real women’s lives, health, and families. It’s time to stand up and be heard. It’s time to say that enough is enough, and that we are drawing the line.”
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