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These actresses have a really important message about abortion rights.

The actresses share the stories of the 1 in 3 women who have had abortions.

Friday marks the 43rd anniversary of the Supreme Court's landmark Roe v. Wade decision.

The ruling established that access to an abortion is a constitutionally-protected right. Even so, more than four decades later, politicians and activists continue to fight that established law, doing what they can to find loopholes in the decision.

Whether it's making abortion an unrealistic option for low-income women, as 1976's Hyde Amendment did by preventing Medicaid from covering the cost of abortion, or placing state-level restrictions in place, such as the hundreds that have been enacted in just the past few years, it's clear this fight is, sadly, far from over.


A pro-choice protester outside the Supreme Court in 2005. Photo by Karen Bleier/AFP/Getty Images.

On March 2, the Supreme Court is taking up another abortion rights case — and this could change everything.

The case, Whole Woman's Health v. Cole, stems from a 2013 Texas law that, if allowed to go into effect, would lead to the shuttering of more than 75% of the state's abortion-providing women's health clinics.

This case could be the setup for a challenge to the Roe v. Wade decision sometime in the coming years. (If you wonder why this presidential election is so important, keep in mind that the next president may nominate up to four Supreme Court justices during their time in office.)

To draw attention to Whole Woman's Health v. Cole, one organization enlisted the help of some celebrities.

The Center for Reproductive Rights teamed up with actresses Elizabeth Banks, Amy Brenneman, Mercedes Mason, Mary McCormack, Dascha Polanco, Retta, and Bellamy Young to help tell the stories of real women who've had abortions over the years.

The campaign, titled Draw the Line, has the actresses sharing the emotional stories of what other women have gone through in the process of getting an abortion.

For some, the stories centered around unplanned pregnancies or the health of the woman:


Bellamy Young, from "Scandal," shared Faith's story. GIFs via the Center for Reproductive Rights.


"Orange Is the New Black" star Dascha Polanco shared Kayleigh's story, about a woman who simply didn't have the emotional or financial resources to care for a child.

Other stories touched on some of the tough truths about planned pregnancies that went awry:

Retta of "Parks and Rec" told the story of Rosario, a woman who had undergone years of fertility treatments only to learn her pregnancy wasn't viable.


Amy Brenneman, from "The Leftovers," told Whitney's story, about a woman who learned at 19 weeks that her fetus either wouldn't survive birth or would die soon after. Her story has a happy ending, however: she gave birth exactly one year after her abortion.

And some stories show the effect of laws meant to deter women from having abortions and the stigma that goes along with it:

Mary McCormack told Susanne's story, about a woman forced to drive out of state in order to receive medical care.


Elizabeth Banks told Rebecca's story, which actually has a happy ending: her friend who had been vocally anti-choice showed her support in the end.

The reality is that 1 in 3 women in the U.S. will have an abortion at some point in their lifetime.

Nancy Northup, president and CEO of the Center for Reproductive Rights, explains the motivation behind the videos in a press release:

“The stories highlighted by these incredible actresses tell the important and moving story of women who face many obstacles to access their constitutionally-protected right to an abortion. We’re so grateful to Amy, Bellamy, Dascha, Elizabeth, Mary, Mercedes, and Retta for using their talent and voice to help amplify these incredible stories.

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.

As we prepare to argue for women’s access to safe, legal abortion services before the U.S. Supreme Court, we need to make it clear to politicians exactly what’s at stake when they attack our reproductive freedom and fundamental rights.

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.”





You can help by amplifying their stories and using the hashtag #drawtheline on social media.

The videos can be found on the Center for Reproductive Rights' website, and they're asking everybody to tag tweets and other social media posts to #drawtheline against attacks on safe, affordable, and accessible abortion.

This story first appeared on the author's Medium and is reprinted here with permission.

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