By Lauren Rearick
More than 100 of music’s biggest names, including Lady Gaga, Ariana Grande, Nicki Minaj, Billie Eilish, Lizzo, John Legend, Mitski, and Miley Cyrus have pledged their public support to Planned Parenthood, and to the broader fight against legislation targeted at limiting reproductive and healthcare rights in America.
On Monday, August 26, the organization unveiled a full-page ad in Billboard for its #BansOffMyBody campaign, the nonprofit announced in a news release. The ad, which featured signatures from nearly 140 musicians, contained a letter of support for Planned Parenthood and a call for politicians to end abortion bans, Variety reported.
The letter opened with an acknowledgment of the freedom that’s often present in the creative process of making music, and how that same freedom should extend to the choices we make every day, including our right to an abortion. “Access to sexual and reproductive health care is about that same freedom,” the letter read. “Because no one is free unless they control their body. Right now, our bodies are under attack in this country. Sweeping bans on access to safe, legal abortions are stripping away our freedoms.” It was also signed by The 1975, Demi Lovato, Fetty Wap, Miguel, and Hayley Kiyoko.
Billie further expanded on her reason for supporting the organization in an online statement. “We cannot live freely and move fully in the world when our basic right to access the reproductive health care we need is under attack,” she said on Instagram. “Every person deserves the right to control their body, their life, and their future."
In tandem with the full-page ad, Planned Parenthood unveiled an online petition that anyone can sign: The organization aims to collect 500,000 signatures by January 2020, the 47-year anniversary of Roe v. Wade. Exact details regarding future plans for the petition were not yet announced, but Planned Parenthood said in its press release that it aimed to work with artists and music festivals to educate fans on abortion bans and how fans can get involved in speaking out against bans.
The petition debuted just weeks after Planned Parenthood said a new piece of legislation from President Donald Trump would force them out of Title X, a federal program that granted affordable reproductive healthcare access to more than 4 million people living in the U.S.
Planned Parenthood blamed its departure on a recently announced “gag rule” from Trump that prevented any organizations that rely on federal funding for operation to no longer refer patients to abortion-related services, should they need or ask for it. Planned Parenthood did not confirm how its exit from Title X might impact the organization financially, but it pledged to continue offering services to those who need it.
Throughout 2019, lawmakers have continually threated the accessibility and right to an abortion in the U.S. More than 300 bills restricting abortion access have been introduced this year, and 26 states have proposed abortion bans, Planned Parenthood reports. NPR notes that none of the proposed bans have been passed, and in many cases, organizations like Planned Parenthood and the American Civil Liberties Union have pledged to fight against the passage.