Although Roe v. Wade guaranteed citizens the right to an abortion, the topic has remained a hot button issue for years.
After the death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and ahead of the confirmation of Amy Coney Barrett (who is suspected to overturn Roe should she gain a seat on the court), rock legend Stevie Nicks spoke to The Guardian about her own personal views on reproductive rights.
She told the outlet:
“Abortion rights, that was really my generation’s fight. 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.”
This sentiment echoes the oft-repeated point that if abortion becomes illegal, the procedure won’t go away, it will just become less safe. There’s lots of research to back up why access to safe abortions is crucial for a healthy society, but Stevie had a compelling reason of her own.
See, the Edge of Seventeen singer terminated a pregnancy in 1979 while dating Don Henley of the Eagles. That same year, Fleetwood Mac released their album Tusk.
Nicks knows the success she found would all have evaporated if she had not been able to make that choice:
“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.”
Nicks would remain with the band for another 10 years (before a brief hiatus) while simultaneously launching a lauded solo career. And all that might have been lost. She continued:
“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.”
The 72-year-old never had children of her own, a choice that allowed her to flourish in her career, ultimately becoming the first woman to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame twice (with the band and as a soloist). Speaking for herself and bandmate Christine McVie, she said:
“If Christine 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.”
We wonder how many women would have made that same choice but couldn’t. We wonder how many great, impactful careers don’t exist because women aren’t able to just walk away like men are.
“I am a totally free woman, and I am independent, and that’s exactly what I always wanted to be.”
We’re certainly grateful to have had all these years of Stevie and her Wild Heart. And while abortion was her generation’s fight, there are plenty of people willing to take up the cause to allow others the same freedom and independence the icon fought for.
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