According to Stop Patriarchy, Mark Ruffalo sent a speech to be read at an abortion rights rally this weekend in Mississippi in which he expressed his frustration with the state legislature’s ongoing attempts to close every last women’s health centers that offer abortion services.
The Clarion-Ledger reports that over 100 supporters gathered at the Jackson Women’s Health Organization, and listened to a personal account of Ruffalo’s about the issue of abortion rights, in which he mentioned his mother’s struggle to obtain an abortion when she was young:
I am a man. I could say this has nothing to do with me. Except I have two daughters and I have a mother who was forced to illegally have an abortion in her state where abortion was illegal when she was a very young woman. It cost $600 cash. It was a traumatizing thing for her. It was shameful and sleazy and demeaning. When I heard the story I was aghast by the lowliness of a society that would make a woman do that. I could not understand its lack of humanity; today is no different.
Ruffalo reportedly referenced the United States as it existed pre-Roe v. Wade as “relic of an America that was not free nor equal nor very kind”, saying that it “we have worked long and hard to leave behind” that time:
My own mother fought to make herself more than a possession; she lived her life as a mother who chose when she would have children, and a wife who could earn a living if she so chose. I want my daughters to enjoy that same choice. I don’t want to turn back the hands of time to when women shuttled across state lines in the thick of night to resolve an unwanted pregnancy, in a cheap hotel room just south of the state line. Where a transaction of $600 cash becomes the worth of a young woman’s life. So that is why I am lending my voice to you and your movement today. Because I actually trust the women I know. I trust them with their choices, I trust them with their bodies and I trust them with their children.
Ruffalo has been politically active before; he’s a vocal opponent of fracking. And while his characterization of the impact of Roe v. Wade as a “law of the land for decades” is slightly historically inaccurate – anti-choice supporters have been chipping away at Roe v. Wade since that Supreme Court ruling came down – his decision to discuss abortion via women who have actually gone through it is a welcome relief from all the men talking about how they know the truth about the experience.
How do you find reactions from fans or kids to Loki’s character?
TOM HIDDLESTON: Mark Ruffalo’s son. I kind of dedicate my performance to his son, his ten-year old, because he was on set a lot. Joss Whedon and Kevin Feige, the producer, they were enormously supportive on set. They were very complimentary when they liked something that I was doing. I would do a take, and they would say, “Awesome. You got it. Let’s — “ And Kevin Feige would be like, “God, that was great. Let’s move on.” And you get on with the day. The days that Mark’s son was there, he was like, “Awesome job, Tom. We got it. Let’s move on.” Kevin would say the same thing, and then Mark’s son would say, “Oh, my God! Tom! That was incredible! That was the most awesome thing I have ever seen!” And I’m like, “I am doing this for you.” And, you know, there were days when Mark would come in with him just to watch, because he wanted to watch. He’d be like, “I’m sorry. We’re here again. He just loves you.” And then you realize that that’s the power that these films can have.
It’s such a beautiful thing. It’s a really amazing privilege.