Celebrity supporters of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, the nation's leading reproductive health care advocate and provider, are sounding a call to arms in defense of reproductive rights in response to the retirement of Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor.
The loss of O'Connor's moderate voice, which has often been pivotal in protecting women's health and rights, has inspired the following selected quotes:
Kathleen Turner — Actor
"We've all been bracing for a Supreme Court resignation, and now that it's come, I can feel the chill wind blow. Sandra Day O'Connor upheld constitutional protections for women. Now that she's leaving, we can expect Bush to nominate a replacement who is hostile to women's freedoms. I urge everyone to stay involved and let it be known that we have a pro-choice majority in this country."
Gloria Steinem — Activist
"If O'Connor is replaced by a right-wing instead of centrist justice, we will feel it in our most intimate lives. Without her vote, people with HMOs would be unable to get a second opinion, government would not be neutral toward religion, discriminatory state tax laws would have no federal redress, compulsory pregnancy would force a woman to carry a non-viable fetus to term — and much more. Lobby against extremism as if your life depended on it. Because it does."
Giancarlo Esposito — Actor
"Now more than ever, people who support reproductive rights — and that's most of us in this country — have to hold strong and make our voices heard. So much is at stake — the very lives of women."
Heather Tom — Actor
"Sandra Day O'Connor was often a 'swing' voter, the moderate voice on the bench who consistently refused to impose her morality on the law. Her retirement could have a devastating effect on the preservation of Roe v. Wade and the health and lives of women."
Judy Reyes — Actor
"This is a pivotal moment in our country's history. The president can choose to be balanced in his selection of a nominee to replace Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, or he can nominate an ideologue who does not believe in protecting women's freedoms. Now, more than ever, we who are pro-choice need to speak up."
Kathryn Joosten — Actor
"Roe v. Wade will never be safe as long as the theocratic right insists on imposing its beliefs on the entire society. I do not think the populace will accept any curtailing of the rights of women to make choices about their own bodies."
Jessye Norman — Actor
"With Justice Sandra Day O'Connor leaving the bench, the reproductive rights of women move again to the mainstream of discussion and concern, as her moderate, sensitive and original voice will now be absent from this important debate. The battle over a woman's right to choose has been long fought, but it is not over. Fight, we must. Winning, we owe to every woman not only in our country, but on this planet."
BETTY — Musical Artists
"Justice Sandra Day O'Connor was a critical voice on the court, a much-needed moderate at a time when women's rights are at risk. We must work to ensure that she is not replaced with a justice who will further divide this country by siding with those who want to crush women's freedoms."
Al Franken — Commentator
"'If abortion is outlawed, then only outlaws will have abortions.'"
Sarah McLachlan — Musical Artist
"I feel sickened to think that in this day and age the possibility exists that Roe v. Wade might be overturned. With Justice O'Connor stepping down, this fear is real. Our freedom is being threatened. I'm telling everyone I know and so should you."
Patricia Richardson — Actor
"The resignation of Sandra O'Connor is a shock and is going to make activism crucial for every woman who cares about her own personal freedom and private choices. Other people do not belong in the office with you and your doctor."
Wanda Sykes — Actor
"We've made so many gains when it comes to women's health and rights. We can't let right-wing extremists force us back to the days when women did not have control over their reproductive lives."
Ali MacGraw — Actor
"With Sandra Day O'Connor's resignation, reproductive freedom is at grave risk. Now more than ever, women and men must stand together to demonstrate that this country is pro-choice and pro-woman. I hope our senators fulfill their constitutional duties and conduct a thorough and independent review of Supreme Court nominee John Roberts. Several generations depend on this one lifetime appointment."
These celebrities are among the members of Planned Parenthood Federation of America's Board of Advocates, a diverse group of prominent individuals united by their personal integrity and commitment to reproductive rights and health.
May 12, 2014