Abortion is a human right. Abortion is basic health care. Celebrities who have had abortions and spoken out about them are in good company among the one in four women who will get abortions in their lifetime.
Abortion should be no more stigmatized than any other medical decision. But following the Supreme Court’s decision to roll back Roe v. Wade after nearly 50 years of legal abortions, the ongoing crisis of abortion access is becoming even more of an emergency. “Celebrities today regularly reveal the details of their drug addictions, sexual obsessions, marital infidelities—but no celebrity in recent memory has admitted to ending a pregnancy,” Susan Dominus wrote in Glamour in 2005.
It means so much to so many people that this is no longer true. Celebrities have become increasingly bold in sharing their abortion stories. Celebrities speaking out about abortions helps to remind us that abortions are extremely common, that all kinds of people get them, and that abortions allow people to pursue the life they want on their own timeline.
It’s also important to remember that no matter what the Supreme Court says, rich and connected people will always be able to get abortions. People who live in the South and the Midwest, poor people, people of color, immigrants, and refugees will be forced to carry pregnancies against their will. People don’t realize, Diana Greene Foster, the lead researcher of the landmark Turnaway Study told Glamour, “how much not having money slows you down from being able to get an abortion, find a clinic, pay for it, get to the clinic, stay overnight sometimes, buy childcare, get out of work.”
Celebrity attention helps—it helps personalize these stories and publicize them. No one should feel obligated to share their deeply personal medical history with the public. But when they bravely do, it means a lot.