Maybe you already loved Mark Ruffalo for his Bruce Banner roles or for the Thriller dance mob scene in 13 Going on 30 or his anti-fracking activism. Well, now you can add pro-choice advocate to the list of his feminist credentials.
The actor recently penned a very personal and touching letter to be read at a reproductive rights rally in Mississippi in support of the state’s remaining abortion clinic, the Jackson Women’s Health Organization. The state used to have 14 such clinics.
The letter spoke of his own mother’s illegal abortion, calling what happened to her as “a relic of an America that was not free nor equal nor very kind.” Here’s an excerpt:
I am a man. I could say this has nothing to do with me. Except I have two daughters and I have a mother who was forced to illegally have an abortion in her state where abortion was illegal when she was a very young woman. It cost $600 cash. It was a traumatizing thing for her. It was shameful and sleazy and demeaning. When I heard the story I was aghast by the lowliness of a society that would make a woman do that. I could not understand its lack of humanity; today is no different.
In a political milieu where reproductive rights are being chipped away bit by bit, the past Ruffalo describes is in danger of being repeated. It’s becoming increasingly important for people to bravely speak out, and we take our hats off to public figures who use their celebrity as a platform. Ruffalo is joining a growing club of celebrities who have publicly supported reproductive rights in the past year, including Meryl Streep, Amy Poehler, Martha Plimpton and Kevin Bacon.