Busy Phillips testified before a subcommittee of the U.S. House Judiciary Committee in a hearing on abortion rights on Tuesday (June 4) in Washington, DC.
Following the passage of a highly restrictive abortion bill in Alabama, the 39-year-old actress invoked the hashtag #YouKnowMe to call on women who have had abortions to speak out.
“I had my abortion when I was 15 years old, in my home state of Arizona in 1994. It was not a decision I made lightly. But I have never for a moment doubted that it was the right decision for me,” Busy testified before Congress (via CBS). “But so much has changed — in Arizona and other states — since then.”
“If I were that 15 year old girl in Arizona today, legally I would have to get parental consent,” Busy continued. “I would be forced to undergo a medically unnecessary ultrasound, to go to a state-mandated in-person counseling, designed solely to shame me into changing my mind, then take a state-mandated 24-hour time out to make sure I really knew what I wanted. And finally, I would be forced to give the state a reason WHY. Well, here is mine: my body belongs to me, not the state. Women and their doctors are in the best position to make informed decisions about what is best for them. No one else.”
Busy then went on to share how — and why — she was uncomfortable with being called “brave” for her candor: “In the week after I shared my story on my show, women were coming up to me on the street, in the supermarket and at the gym with tears in their eyes, thanking me for my bravery,” Busy said. “But the word bravery didn’t sit right with me. Why is it brave to speak to an experience millions of people in the world throughout history have gone through? And then I realized. It is considered brave because as women we have been taught to feel shame about our bodies from birth. In my life I have had many medical procedures. But no one has ever called me ‘brave’ for talking about them. Abortion is health care, and should not be treated as different from any other health care.”
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