When we talk about reproductive rights — and more specifically abortion stories — one thing that is hammered home again and again is that the people who have abortions are people you know and love. They’re mothers (59 percent of the time), they’re your friends, your co-workers and they’re even your heroes. In an interview with the Guardian Stevie Nicks was one of the latest celebrities to open up about how her own abortion played into her life’s story — sharing how, without access to this healthcare, she wouldn’t have gone on to have her career with Fleetwood Mac or solo (and to be the first woman inducted into the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame twice).
Sharing that at the time in 1979 — when her band was at the height of its fame — she’d terminated a pregnancy while she was dating Don Henley (of the Eagles), Nicks said that having the chance to make a family planning decision safely and on her own terms meant literally everything.
“If I had not had that abortion, I’m pretty sure there would have been no Fleetwood Mac. There’s just no way that I could have had a child then, working as hard as we worked constantly. And there were a lot of drugs, I was doing a lot of drugs … I would have had to walk away.” she said. “And I knew that the music we were going to bring to the world was going to heal so many people’s hearts and make people so happy. And I thought: you know what? That’s really important. There’s not another band in the world that has two lead women singers, two lead women writers. That was my world’s mission.”
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The rock legend has been extremely vocal about her concerns over the nomination and potential confirmation of Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court and considered the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg a “hero” of hers. Particularly, she notes that banning of legal, safe and accessible abortions (a valid healthcare procedure, whether there’s a health risk or it’s just the wrong time to expand your family) won’t reduce the need for abortions — it’ll just push people seeking abortions back into dangerous territory of underground procedures.
Pre-Roe in the United States, health professionals saw a number of annual deaths or complications (from desperate people seeking help from people who were harder to vet by nature of it being illegal) that would’ve been entirely preventable if the procedure had been legal and accessible for the patients — these numbers went down significantly after 1973.
“Abortion rights, that was really my generation’s fight,” Nicks said. “If President Trump wins this election and puts the judge he wants in, she will absolutely outlaw it and push women back into back-alley abortions.”
(FYI: While the Supreme Court is an important part of the conversation in protecting reproductive rights on a federal level, the state level is one place where individuals can still put pressure to expand protections in their area and push back against the more than 1,000 of pieces of anti-choice legislation introduced since 1973 that disproportionately affect low-income women and women of color.)
Nicks, who never had biological children, often talks about her love of her many god children and the young musicians she mentors. And she’s very open about how the family and the life she’s built was one that she chose and one she’s happy with. She shared a story of the day her father realized that a marriage plus 2.5 kids wasn’t going to be her path: “And just out of nowhere, my dad goes: ‘Stevie, you’ll never get married,'” she said. “If Christine [McVie] was in this room with me right now, she’d tell you that we both made the decision not to have kids and instead follow our musical muse around the world. It’s not my job, it’s who I am.”
And it’s clear that she realizes that choice — the one that allowed her to have her career and her life on her own terms — is one that other people deserve to safely make for themselves.
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