Ashley Judd recently spoke candidly about her own abortion and the importance of protecting the right to safe and legal abortion at New York’s Women in the World Summit.
On an April 11 panel moderated by Katie Couric, Judd discussed her own experience with sexual assault and a broken system that could have left her inextricably linked to her attacker:
“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. 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.”
In March, Judd signed a letter in protest of the Living Infants Fairness and Equality (LIFE) Act, a bill recently passed by the Georgia House of Representatives that bans abortion after six weeks, well before many even realize they’re pregnant. While Georgia’s bill would make bad on Governor Brian Kemp’s promise to make Georgia the most difficult place in America to obtain a legal abortion, it’s just one of many Republican-led attempts to restrict abortion access. A similar bill in Mississippi bans abortion after 15 weeks. Meanwhile, a Texas lawmaker has put forth a bill that would classify abortion as homicide, making it punishable by death. The bill has virtually no chance of passing, but as Esther Wang points out, it is pretty indicative of the mindset of many anti-abortion groups.
At the summit, Couric likened the Georgia bill to The Handmaid’s Tale, while Judd added:
“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.”