It doesn’t take much to get members of the A-list to show up in support of public health organizations like Planned Parenthood. On Wednesday night, Molly Ringwald, St. Vincent, Queer Eye’s Karamo Brown, and Amber Heard, among others, stepped out for the Planned Parenthood of New York Spring Into Action gala.
Hosted by Sarah Silverman, the event doubled as a silent auction for works by Marilyn Minter, Yoko Ono, Dan Colen, and Nate Lowman, celebrated people like Spike Lee and Tonya Lewis Lee, who received awards for their commitment to activism, and Deja Foxx, a 19-year-old activist and Columbia University student who went viral two years ago for standing up to an Arizona senator at a town hall meeting and defending her right to birth control. Heard spoke candidly about why she chooses to support the organization for its commitment to providing health care to all.
“Planned Parenthood is doing work on behalf of people who have no voice and no position of power. I can’t be more proud to represent the future and our place in this debate, which is saying, ‘We’re not going to continue to allow people who have never had their feet in the stirrups to decide what we do with our bodies,’ ” Heard told W at the gala, while wearing a pink “Don’t Fuck With Us, Don’t Fuck Without Us” Planned Parenthood pin on her dress.
The organization does not simply provide abortions but also offers preventative care, like birth control and cancer screenings, and if defunded would no longer be able to give basic health care to those who rely on public programs like Medicaid or Title X. Still, anti-abortion politicians, like Vice President Mike Pence and Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar have led the charge to defund Planned Parenthood health centers, which would disproportionately hurt women and low income families. But Heard would not let that deter her from offering her voice and support at the gala in New York. “Why wouldn’t I support Planned Parenthood?” she asked. “I’m a woman. Every woman should support Planned Parenthood. Anyone can have their own beliefs, political associations, or alliances, but this is about basic fairness,” she continued. “Why would we let somebody make a rule that concerns our physical health who has not experienced life as that kind of person? I would never assume I could make a law, or set of laws, or establish a standard of living for someone that I have never met, nor experienced life as. It’s absurd.”
And as for directly facing the long history of politicians fighting to defund the 102-year-old organization, Heard had one final message for those anti–Planned Parenthood politicians: “If you’ve not had your feet in the stirrups, mind your own fucking business.”