Women 'have to keep fighting' for their rights in the face of US abortion laws, says Patricia Arquette

Sarah Young

Patricia Arquette has called for women to “keep fighting” for their rights in the face of new controversial abortion laws.

Earlier this month, Alabama’s governor, Republican Kay Ivey, signed a bill banning almost all abortions, even in cases of rape and incest, one day after it was passed by the Alabama senate.

The only exception would be in the case of a serious risk to the mother’s health. Otherwise, abortion is a crime that is punishable by up to 99 years for any doctor who performs the procedure.

Georgia also passed legislation to make abortion illegal as soon as a heartbeat can be detected, which can be as early as six weeks into a pregnancy, the NHS states, before many women even know they are pregnant.

Other states to have passed the law include Kentucky, Mississippi, and Ohio.

Now, Arquette has joined the list of stars condemning the new abortion laws in an interview with The Big Issue.

Speaking to the publication, the True Romance actor said that opposition to women’s rights must be challenged and that the legislation regarding abortion in the US could see a regression in gender equality.

“We're watching women's rights, as far as abortion, get rolled back incredibly quickly in America. Even in cases of rape and incest, in some states, abortion is being made illegal,” Arquette said.

"I think we are seeing, in plain sight, a big struggle between women's rights and women's equality and the resistance to that. It's being played out right in front of us.

“For many years, it was very subterranean. It was still happening but everyone was acting like everything was fine.

"Now it's right in your face and you're having to look at it. And I don't think that's a bad thing. We have to keep fighting."

The 51-year-old also opened up about the “creepy” sexual attention she received from men as a teenager.

"At 16, I was struggling with being a girl in the world and feeling like I always had to defend myself from this sexual energy being put on me,” Arquette said.

“It was a very creepy feeling. I didn't want to feel that energy coming from men."

Earlier this month, Lady Gaga condemned Alabama’s strict new abortion law, describing it as a “travesty”.

“It is an outrage to ban abortion in Alabama period, and all the more heinous that it excludes those have been raped or are experiencing incest non-consensual or not, [sic]” Gaga wrote on Twitter.

"So there’s a higher penalty for doctors who perform these operations than for most rapists?

“This is a travesty and I pray for all these women and young girls who will suffer at the hands of this system."

The Born This Way singer’s tweet was liked more than 72,000 times and garnered more than 19,000 retweets in addition to thousands of comments from people echoing her views.