'Top Chef' judge Gail Simmons calls Texas's abortion ban 'blatantly unconstitutional': 'Laws off our bodies'

·3 min read

Top Chef star Gail Simmons is speaking her mind in a new Instagram post opposing Texas’s anti-abortion law, SB8, which she says “denies women bodily autonomy.”

“I couldn’t come to Texas and not stand with the women who need our support,” wrote Simmons, who is currently in Houston shooting the latest season of Top Chef. “The state’s Six Week Ban is blatantly unconstitutional, injects the government into personal health care, denies women bodily autonomy, and declares that anyone with a uterus is subject to a different set of rules, rules that attempt to control us, putting our lives and livelihoods at risk.”

“I stand with the restaurant industry in active protest to SB8, and in support of Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court decision that access to safe and legal abortion is a constitutional right,” she continued. “Join me in donating to the 1973 Project which will fund organizations helping Texans get the abortion care they need.”

The Texas law, sometimes referred to as the “heartbeat bill,” was enacted in September and prohibits abortions once doctors can detect cardiac activity, which is usually around six weeks — before some women know they’re pregnant.

The law also allows for private citizens to sue Texas abortion providers, the women getting the abortions, even Uber drivers and other individuals who help these women travel to an abortion clinic. Furthermore, those bringing the lawsuit are not required to have a connection to the women getting an abortion, as the Associated Press notes, and can be entitled to upwards of $10,000 in damages if their suit is victorious.

Simmons joins her costar Padma Lakshmi in her stance against the law. 

NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 19:  Gail Simmons, Padma Lakshmi attend the 8th Annual Blossom Ball at Pier Sixty at Chelsea Piers on April 19, 2016 in New York City.  (Photo by Nicholas Hunt/Getty Images)
Gail Simmons and Padma Lakshmi will reportedly join a Women's March in Houston this weekend protesting the anti-abortion law. (Photo: Nicholas Hunt/Getty Images)

"Texans are up against so much right now,” Laskshmi tweeted earlier this month. “A hateful anti-abortion bill, erasure of voting rights, and a humanitarian and constitutional crisis at the border. Houston is one of the most diverse cities in the U.S. Its government and the majority of its people oppose @GovAbbott's heinous bills.”

She continued, “Our show highlights the small businesses that hire the very same women, BIPOC people and low-income folks that these laws harm most."

Laskshmi added that she’s “continuing the fight” by working with local Houston organizations like Planned Parenthood Action, Abortion Funds and the American Civil Liberties Union.

This weekend, Simmons and Laskshmi will reportedly join a Women’s March protesting the Texas law, which will start at Discovery Green in Houston on Saturday at 7 a.m. and begin marching to Houston City Hall at 9 a.m.

"I was proud to attend the first Women's March in D.C. in 2017," Lakshmi told the Houston Chronicle. "Four years later, we still have so much to achieve. Our reproductive rights are under attack, and I stand with Planned Parenthood and the ACLU and those who demand to be heard."

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