With abortion access and reproductive healthcare for women under siege in the United States, a large celebrity contingent has signed an open letter voicing support for the Geraldine Santoro Act. The bill would create legal abortion access in New York State for all American women, and signatories of the letter, which IndieWire shares below, include Amy Schumer, Aaron Sorkin, Julianne Moore, Michelle Williams, Gloria Steinem, Ethan Hawke, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Patti LuPone, Peter Dinklage, Peter Sarsgaard, and New York State Assemblymember Chuck Lavine.
According to sources close to the effort, supporters of the bill see this open letter as a starting point and one contribution to larger ongoing efforts surrounding the issue. The signatories wish to continue working to include more supporters at the grassroots level with the goal of safe, legal abortion access for all.
“Federal and state lawmakers across the country can not wait to arrest women and girls,” Amy Schumer said in a statement shared with IndieWire. “This is insulting and I’m proud that New York stands with women and girls by supporting our right to make our own decisions regarding our own bodies. Lawmakers standing in the way of our rights are the true criminals, they should be arrested and have their citizenship revoked.”
“We are at a crossroads where women’s constitutional right to equality and reproductive freedom is in the crosshairs of an extremist Supreme Court majority,” Aaron Sorkin said in a statement shared with IndieWire. “We cannot sit by idly as 49 years of progress for women is reversed. The Santoro Act is the critical first step to build a Nationwide Sanctuary Network with funding from the first-ever public-private, nonprofit partnership that will ensure women anywhere in America can safely access legal abortion services. I support this bill with my whole heart and hope many states will pass identical laws to make the network a functioning reality.”
Chuck Lavine added, “Never in all the history of the United States has a Supreme Court utterly eviscerated a right of the American people. In addition to being a fundamental constitutional right, abortion is as well a human right. We Americans have a proud and honored record of fighting to secure our rights. We must now resolve to battle once again to regain and protect a right that no American should ever have dared to destroy. The Santoro Act is the first step toward creating a Nationwide Sanctuary Network for women in need, and the first-ever private-public partnership to build a war chest to ensure reproductive autonomy.”
See the full text from the letter and all the signatories embedded below:
We are outraged that, after five decades, the Supreme Court seems poised to turn back the clock and take away Roe v. Wade’s promise of women’s rights to bodily autonomy. We all know that overturning Roe will have a disproportionate impact on women of color and low-income women. We must do everything we can to protect the health and rights of the millions of women, including low-income women, who will imminently lose the right to make decisions about their own bodies.
On May 11, the New York State Assembly introduced the “Geraldine Santoro act of 2022,” a bill that is a first step toward creating a “Nationwide Sanctuary Network” among those states committed to protecting women’s bodily autonomy and reproductive freedoms. The bill aims to provide full and complete protection for women—whether from New York or any other state—seeking abortions and related medical services. If passed, it will allow women anywhere in the United States to travel to New York for abortions and related services—and will provide financial assistance to low-income women for that travel and care. It will establish the first-ever public-private partnership, allowing the New York Department of Health to accept money from private donors to provide assistance to women nationwide. And it will protect women who seek to exercise their rights by prohibiting out-of-state interference with these fundamental rights, including through a new statute providing for a private right of action.
We could not be prouder of State Assemblymember Charles D. Lavine, who introduced the legislation, State Senators Liz Krueger and Brad Hoylman, and NY Attorney General Letitia James for leading these efforts. We also want to thank State Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, State Senator and Chair of the Senate Committee on Women’s Issues Cordell Cleare and Assembly Speaker Carl E. Heastie for their important leadership.
We urge the Assembly and Senate to quickly pass this bill, and we hope that other states will enact similar bills so that the sanctuary network can become a reality.
We hope that you will join us in supporting this bill and doing everything in our power to protect every woman’s fundamental right to make her own decisions about her body.