Ashley Judd opens up about abortion: 'I would’ve had to co-parent with my rapist'
Judd spoke at the Women in the World summit in NYC, opposing the heartbeat bill which, if passed, would generally prohibit abortion after six weeks
With the heartbeat bill enacted to law, alongside other restrictions being placed on abortions by the state government, a lot of people are speaking out about their own experiences with terminating pregnancies, stating why it was necessary for them. Actor Ashley Judd is one among the many voices as she recently opened up about her own story, and in her case, the reason was quite legitimate. Had she not terminated her pregnancy, she would have had to co-parent with her rapist.
Judd participated in Thursday’s Women in the World summit in NYC, and in a conversation with moderator Katie Couric, she spoke about joining the list of many opposing the heartbeat bill in Georgia, last month. The bill, just like the one signed in Ohia on April 11, prohibits abortion of the fetus once its heartbeat can be detected — which usually happens around the sixth week of pregnancy.
"As everyone knows, and I’m very open about it, I’m a three-time rape survivor," the star shared quite candidly as she spoke at the panel. "One of the times I was raped, there was conception. And I’m very thankful I was able to access safe and legal abortion." Judd then explained the situation, stating that her rapist was a Kentucky resident like herself, and according to the state law, would have been eligible for paternity rights. "I would've had to co-parent with my rapist," Judd told the audience.
Granted, states like Kentucky do have laws revoking the parental rights for children conceived as a result of sexual assault, but that happens only if the rapist is convicted. "So having safe access to abortion was personally important to me and, as I said earlier, democracy starts with our skin," Judd continued. "We’re not supposed to regulate what we choose to do with our insides."
Judd also mentioned that she is "speechless" over the Texas bill that calls for the death penalty for women who get abortions, and during the course of the panel, she also spoke about Joe Biden and said that the photo of him and activist Sofie Karasek made her "very uncomfortable".
Judd's candid nature when speaking about her sexual assault isn't a new thing, as she wrote about her struggles including being sexually abused as a child, in the same informal manner in her 2011 memoir 'All That Is Bitter and Sweet'.
"An old man everyone knew beckoned me into a dark, empty corner of the business and offered me a quarter for the pinball machine at the pizza place if I’d sit on his lap," she wrote. "He opened his arms, I climbed up, and I was shocked when he suddenly cinched his arms around me, squeezing me and smothering my mouth with his, jabbing his tongue deep into my mouth."
Judd was also the first celebrity to go on record and accuse disgraced producer Harvey Weinstein of misconduct in 1997. She had sued him for sexual harassment too, but that was dismissed in January as a relationship between an actress and a film producer was not covered under the California statute she had sued under, or even under its 2019 amendment. The judge suggested she proceed with a defamation claim against Weinstein, which she did, but the lawsuit was put on hold earlier this month, at his request, until his criminal trial for rape in NYC gets resolved.