Hollywood actor Mark Ruffalo has written an open letter explaining his pro-choice stance as his mother underwent an illegal abortion in her youth.
The Avengers star is adamant lawmakers in America should not bow to pressure to restrict access to terminations, and he cites the story of his mum, Marie Rose Ruffalo, as an example.
In a letter posted online in support of the pro-choice Stop Patriarchy organisation, Ruffalo reveals his mother suffered a "traumatising" experience in her younger years when abortion was illegal.
The actor writes, "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 traumatising 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...
"My mother's illegal abortion marked a time in America that we have worked long and hard to leave behind... 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."
Ruffalo has two daughters and a son with his wife Sunrise Coigney.