Ashley Judd is fighting the good fight against a horrific bill that is currently circulating in Georgia that would ban abortion (as a legal option) as soon as a fetal heartbeat could be heard.
Judd spoke up today at the Women in the World Summit in New York. Per People:
“As everyone knows, and I’m very open about it, I’m a three-time rape survivor. And one of the times I was raped, there was conception,” she told moderator Katie Couric. “And I’m very thankful I was able to access safe and legal abortion. Because the rapist, who is a Kentuckian, as am I, and I reside in Tennessee, has paternity rights in Kentucky and Tennessee. I would’ve had to co-parent with my rapist.”
“I would have had to co-parent with my rapist.” Let that sink in for a moment. People, ever helpful, was quick to point out that:
It remains unclear if the alleged rape resulted in a conviction, which would have prevented the attacker from having custody or visitation rights in both Kentucky and Tennessee, according to the National Conference of State Legislature.
Here, I can be helpful too. Here’s some rape conviction statistics, per RAIIN.org:
Out of every 1000 rapes, 995 perpetrators will walk free
Perpetrators of sexual violence are less likely to go to jail or prison than other criminals.
Only 230 out of every 1,000 sexual assaults are reported to police. That means about 3 out of 4 go unreported.
“So having safe access to abortion was personally important to me and, as I said earlier, democracy starts with our skin. We’re not supposed to regulate what we choose to do with our insides.”
Let’s be clear here because we’ve all seen Dirty Dancing. All bills like this do is push women’s health options further in the shadows. People won’t stop getting abortions because these bills go into effect. They’ll simply stop getting medically safe abortions.
Here’s another quote, this one is from a study published by the National Institute of Health in 1985, but feels pertinent in 2019:
The abolition of legal abortion in the US would seriously threaten the health, and even the lives, of women and children.
Here’s another one, from later in the abstract:
In 1955, a panel of experts could only provide a “best estimate” of between 200,000 and 1,200,000 illegally induced abortions occurring annually in the US. The actual number was most likely closer to the higher figure. The complication rates for illegal abortions, most of which were performed by unskilled practitioners in unsafe settings, were much higher than the rates for legal abortion now.
Make no mistake—these laws do absolutely nothing to curb abortion in America. All they do is make it less safe for women, which is probably by design. We must never underestimate how much some people simply hate women.
Judd is extremely brave for speaking out about a medical procedure that is none of anyone’s f-ing business, but a lot of people have strong feelings about. If she’s able to help destigmatize the procedure, or encourages more people (yes, people, not just women) to stand up and fight for the right for women to do what they want with their own bodies, I’m all for it.
Header Image Source: Getty