Actress Busy Philipps Says There Will Never Be Equality Without Bodily Autonomy

Actress and activist Busy Philipps is offering more insight into the remarks she made on the Supreme Court steps about a woman’s right to choose.

In a March 4 video, Philipps is seen rallying a group. “I will never stop talking about my abortion, or my periods,” she says. “Or my experience in childbirth, my episiotomies, my yeast infections or my ovulation that lines up with the moon!”

 Busy Philipps
Busy Philipps | Simon Russell/Getty Images for Poise

Philipps discussed women’s rights with Showbiz Cheat Sheet along with a number of “taboo” subjects that keep many women’s issues swept under the rug. “There will never be equality without bodily autonomy. That’s a fact,” the actress insisted.

Philipps says choice means giving all women the power to decide

Philipps said the right to choose means that women should be in control over the decisions made about their bodies.

“What I believe in a right to choose is that everyone is allowed and should be able to live their lives the way that they want to live their lives,” she shared. “And that includes people who choose differently than I would have.”

Philipps adds that she has compassion for women who would make choices different than her own because she believes that is the basis for having the right to choose. “I have a great deal of tolerance and compassion for others, but I also don’t believe that religious beliefs should be turned into legislation in our country. I think it’s actually antithetical to what the country was founded on,” she said.

Choice puts women in the driver’s seat of their destiny

Philipps had an abortion when she was 15 years old. She has shared that the decision was right for her at the time.

“There is power to being vocal about your experiences as a person because whether we like it or not, people lack empathy, they lack the ability to understand someone else’s situation until they’re really faced with it – until it’s really shown to them,” Philipps told The Guardian. “There’s a great deal of value in sharing all of our stories and experiences in order to elicit change.”

Phillips said she wants Americans to understand that every path is blazed by a different experience and journey.

“I’m not a person that can tell you that anyone’s life would be better or worse,” she said. “But I can only tell you that I’m glad for the choices I’ve made and where I am today. And would my life be better or different? Who’s to say? I can’t say. But I definitely believe that everyone has the right to be able to make the choices that they want to make for their own lives.”

Like many women, Philipps is concerned about what she sees as the erosion of women’s rights in the last few years. “I think that the trends are very clear,” she remarked. “And I fear for a lot of women and girls in this country. For me, part of the reason why I’m here today working with Poise is because I think the more that we can have conversations about all aspects of issues that affect women’s health, the better off we will be culturally.”

More conversations can create change

“I think once you have the conversation openly, you can start to shift the perception of what is acceptable to talk about and what should be shameful to talk about,” Philipps added.

Philipps recently partnered with Poise to open more conversations about issues that often go undiscussed. “Women have sort of been complicit in allowing ourselves to feel shame about things that we have literally no control over,” she said. “You know, the things that happen biologically to our bodies and we should be able to talk as freely as men have been talking about erectile dysfunction for the last 25 years.”

For instance, she had a surprise after having her second daughter. “When I sneezed, then I had bladder leakage,” she shared. “One in three women experiences it. And as a young woman, I thought it was something only grandmas went through. You know I didn’t understand. But if I had the information, I think I would have felt better about it.”

Poise’s new campaign — It Takes Poise — aims to spark honest conversation and banish insecurity. Over the next five years, Poise will invest $1 million in like-minded initiatives that are combatting unfair norms for women.