In response to Hollywood A-listers’ plans to raise money for abortion procedures in Texas with “A Night of a Thousand Vaginas!”, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst is calling on his tweeps to petition the growing involvement of outside groups in Texas politics.
Sick of Hollywood liberals making jokes about our state? SIGN the petition today to STOP Hollywood! https://t.co/1pBBm47stu— Team Dewhurst (@TeamDewhurst) January 15, 2014
“The petition is amusing; it’s not going to stop us,” said Martha Plimpton, co-founder and board chairman of A is For, the Los Angeles-based reproductive rights advocacy group organizing "A Night of A Thousand Vaginas." The fundraiser is scheduled for Jan. 19, with the goal of raising money for nonprofits that finance abortion procedures in Texas.
A is For has chosen to raise money for Texas women, Plimpton said, because new state regulations have pushed the state to a “crisis point.”
“We feel it’s important to remove any shame or stigma around this procedure,” said Plimpton, who emphasized that one in three U.S. women have an abortion during their lifetime. “It is an essential aspect of women’s health and women’s ability to make their own decisions.”
The fundraiser is being hosted by Parks and Recreation actress Retta and Laura Kightlinger, a comedian, writer and actress. It will also feature Zach Galifianakis and Sarah Silverman, among other celebrities.
“It sold out hours after they opened ticket sales,” said Drew Stanley, social media and innovation manager at Whole Woman’s Health. The downtown L.A. venue, Largo, has a capacity of 130 people, and ticket prices ranged from $60 to $100. Stanley said that attendees would be encouraged to donate more at the event.
Dewhurst's campaign on Wednesday afternoon tweeted a link for followers to sign a petition to "Stop Hollywood & Protect Texas Women!"
“When I saw that they were raising money for abortions in Texas out in California, the Hollywood crowd, I thought to myself, is there anything more evil?” Glenn Beck, conservative radio host of The Blaze, said in a video criticizing the fundraiser. “What could be more evil than raising money to kill children?”
Lizz Winstead, a co-creator of The Daily Show, initiated the partnership between Hollywood and abortion rights advocates in Texas by contacting people in Austin via Twitter, Stanley said. In November, the New York Abortion Access Fund and NARAL Pro-Choice America also live-streamed a telethon to raise money for organizations that help finance abortions for low-income women in Texas.
The telethon raised $50,000, said Stanley, and that was split evenly between the Lilith Fund for Reproductive Equity, Whole Woman’s Texas Action Fund, Texas Equal Access Fund and Fund Texas Women. The money raised at “A Night of a Thousand Vaginas!” will be donated to the same organizations. Stanley said Whole Woman’s Texas Action Fund helps women pay for abortion procedures in their clinics and any additional costs associated with that decision, such as child care, travel and lodging.