‘Men are scared’: Kathleen Turner blames spread of anti-abortion laws on ‘backlash politics’
Actress and longtime reproductive rights advocate Kathleen Turner ripped what she described as the proliferation of anti-abortion laws on Friday, telling MSNBC host Chris Hayes that they threatened womens’ rights to health care overall.
Turner argued that over the past three years, more than 300 bills have passed around the US limiting access to contraception and reproductive health care, saying she had a “terrible idea” as to how this had happened so quickly.
“The fact that women have gotten so successful,” she said. “We’re 57 percent of the degrees in higher education; 40 percent of working women are the primary breadwinner in their families. I think men are scared, basically.”
“You think this is essentially classic backlash politics,” Hayes responded. “There’s a relationship between intensified efforts to restrict womens’ reproductive choice at a time in which they’re achieving [more] economic parity.”
“It’s the only thing that makes sense to me,” she said.
Hayes mentioned that Turner, a board member for the progressive advocacy group People For The American Way, had come under fire recently for a recent op-ed in RH Reality Check calling so-called “personhood” bills part of a two-pronged attack on reproductive rights by conservative groups that often quarrel with one another.
“The unabashed extremism of ‘personhood’ helps make the larger anti-choice movement seem more ‘moderate,’ providing cover for more incremental abortion restrictions that make it much harder for women to access abortion,” she wrote. “And when those measures pass, ‘personhood’ advocates get closer to their goal: Without access to safe and legal abortion, a woman’s right to choose is essentially meaningless.”
The host noted that while Hollywood is described as a liberal bastion, that the institutional politics in the film industry can be as repressive as the mores in many other professions.
“They’re really misogynistic, on the whole, I think,” Turner said. “That’s one reason I’ve never been able to live out in Los Angeles.”
Watch the interview, as aired on Friday, below.