Prominent Actresses Star in Videos to Tell Women’s Personal Stories of Abortion

Draw the line Abortion Rights Logo
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The Center for Reproductive Rights has launched a new series of videos featuring Elizabeth Banks, Amy Brenneman, Mercedes Mason, Mary McCormack, Dascha Polanco, Retta and Bellamy Young in which they read stories from women who have decided to have an abortion.

The Draw the Line monologues were directed by Betty Thomas, and come in advance of the March 2 oral arguments in the Supreme Court on restrictions imposed by the state of Texas on abortion clinics.

The videos, which each run a couple of minutes, feature the actresses telling the women’s stories in the first person, giving a much more personal and emotional message than a typical public service announcement. The women submitted the stories to the Center for Reproductive Rights, which worked with them on the scripts.

In one video, Banks tells the story of “Rebecca,” who has decided to terminate her pregnancy after leaving her physically abusive boyfriend.

“One of the worst things about getting an abortion is actually having to say the word ‘abortion,'” Banks, telling the story of “Rebecca,” says in the video. But she struggles to tell a friend, who opposes abortion.

“I told her I could not have my abuser’s baby. I could not create a life with such a hateful man,” she says. In the end, her friend had no judgment.

“What I remember the most about my experience is how the women in my life stepped up to support the decision I was choosing to make, because the life they were most concerned about was mine,” she says.

The videos also were tied to the 43rd anniversary of the Supreme Court’s Roe vs. Wade decision, which is Friday.

“The stories highlighted by these incredible actresses tell the important and moving story of women who face many obstacles to access to their constitutionally protected right to an abortion,” Nancy Northup, president and CEO of the Center for Reproductive Rights, said in a statement.

“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,” she added.

The actresses are the most prominent so far to appear in the organization’s Draw the Line videos, and reflect an escalating debate over abortion rights. Republican presidential candidates have attacked Planned Parenthood, while in 2015 a half d0zen states passed new restrictions on abortion.

Some content creators have responded by tackling the issue in primetime.

Last fall “Scandal” featured an episode in which the lead character, Olivia Pope (Kerry Washington), has an abortion. It also featured a debate over government funding for Planned Parenthood.

The center, which is a global reproductive rights organization, hosted a luncheon with industry figures to talk about how Hollywood figures could help call attention to the women’s stories of access to abortion services.

Links to the videos can be found below:

Elizabeth Banks:

Amy Brenneman:

Mercedes Mason:

Mary McCormack:

Dascha Polanco:


Bellamy Young:

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  1. cirekeith says:

    Whether its 6 weeks or less, it is not moral to commit abortion as its taking away someones life. I remember when I had my first mobile ultrasound. I am so excited and anxious at the same time. Never take somebody’s life. That is against human law and God’s law. I am truly against abortion. I cant believe they can talk about what they have done without showing any regrets.

  2. Cathy says:

    This is unbelievable, I can’t believe these women are reading these stories without balling their eyes out over the fact that they are retelling stories of unjust murder of innocent lives. Esp. the stories that come from failed birth control. I pray for these women and their souls and pray their unborn children will forgive them once they meet on the other side.

  3. Christian says:

    Abortion, So people don’t have to take responsibility for their actions. A life is a life. So, if one of the women were killed by, say a drunk driver, I guess they should only charge then on 1 count of murder if the Mother and unborn child both die? Lame. Don’t want children yet, then keep your pants on. Simple solution. You know the risks and you should be prepared for the consequences. All people wanting an abortion should get a print out of their unborn child first. Then they can see what they are killing. They can hold it in their hands. Oh…cruel to the Mother? I guess killing the baby isn’t cruel?

  4. art says:

    I have. Never heard of these actresses but I do know that abortion is more scary than a
    horror movie and is a very brutal and unjust execution.

  5. BillUSA says:

    Unless an abortion is deemed to preserve the life of the mother or the child, it is nothing better than a contraceptive. As such, its also murder.

    I don’t want to tell women what to do with their bodies. I just don’t like to see a life snuffed out for selfish reasons.

    Besides, there are better contraceptive options than abortion. Some are even free. That’s what should be referred to as ‘planning’.

    • Lizzie says:

      “… It is nothing better than a contraceptive. As such, it is also murder”

      So… condoms and birth control pills are murder? Where does masturbation fall, just curious?

      • Cathy says:

        Human life inside the womb of a women is a side effect of failed birth control. People rolled that dice every time they have sex. Birth control fails often, I find it hard to believe how shocked women are when this happens and now they are “faced with a life and death decision” Its only a life and death decision because the pregnant women makes it so. There are other choices besides abortion. Maybe women and men will think twice about the possible side effects of sex, i.e., BABY HUMANS!

      • gkn says:

        Plus he obviously didn’t even listen to these stories, as usual. Several were about women using birth control that failed (not uncommon).

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