"Draw The Line" Campaign Asks Celebrities To Stand Up For Reproductive Rights

Written by Emi Boscamp

Launched in 2012 by the Center for Reproductive Rights, Draw the Line is a national campaign to build support across the United States the protection of every woman's constitutional rights and access to safe, legal, high-quality reproductive health care.

So far, with the help of hundreds of thousands of signatures across the country on the Bill of Reproductive Rights, the campaign has gotten Congress to introduce the historic Women’s Health Protection Act in 2013.

Today, Draw the Line works to strengthen protections for reproductive rights and health care by sharing the personal reproductive health experiences of Americans from all walks of life — from Paula, a mother from Texas, who got pregnant at 16 and decided to keep it after having a helpful experience at Planned Parenthood, to singer Dee Dee Bridgewater, who had a traumatizing illegal abortion because she felt like she had no other options.

Top Chef host Padma Lakshmi kicked off the initiative in September 2014 for the Center with a two-minute video describing her struggle with endometriosis and the importance of high-quality reproductive health care for all Americans.

"I had access to the best physicians and the best medical treatment," said Lakshmi. "I think about my peers in other parts of the country who may not have access to all the resources that I have access to."

Actor Mark Ruffalo also shared the heartbreaking story of his mother's illegal abortion. He decided to take action because he "can't stand aside with two beautiful young girls of [his] own and accept that we're going to return to those days."

In the most recent PSA for the campaign, Girls actress Jemima Kirke tells the story of her abortion as a college student in 2007.

Kirke paid for the procedure out of pocket, with the help of her boyfriend at the time, so she without anesthesia to save money.

She hopes that, by opening up a discussion around reproductive issues, other women won't have to go through an ordeal like hers. She also wants a future where her daughters, 4 and 8, don't have to "fight for their rights over their bodies."

"I'm already anticipating their issues with self-esteem, their body, the whole luggage that comes with being a woman," she said. "And so I would love if when they're older, the political issues surrounding their bodies were not there anymore."

According to the Center's website, additional PSAs will be released in the months to come.

You can read more of these stories here, share your personal experience around reproductive health care here, and donate to the legal and legislative campaigns to defend the fundamental rights of women here.

Screengrab via Center for Reproductive Rights/YouTube

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