Chrissy Teigen’s Message for Her Daughter, Luna, at White House Abortion Rights Event: ‘Your Body Is Your Own’

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“I’ve never been so nervous in my entire life,” Chrissy Teigen says a few minutes after leaving a stage at the White House on June 20, where she hosted a question-and-answer session with Vice President Kamala Harris for reproductive rights activists, physicians, and influencers. “It was a really important room, and getting to be there around so many people that I find to be so inspiring that are doing this work, day in and day out? When I consider myself rather new to the world of reproductive justice and reproductive rights, I’m just proud that I can amplify their voices.”

The event marked nearly two years since the Supreme Court decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the ruling that overturned Roe v. Wade and erased the constitutional right to abortion. It’s less an anniversary than a “sad-iversary,” as Teigen called it, but the vice president delivered a message of surprising optimism. “Our work and our activism and using your voice so courageously makes a difference, and that always should give us a sense of hope and a sense of knowledge of our power,” Harris said. “We are not lying down on this, and we are not going to passively watch this happen…It’s not a time to throw up our hands, it’s a time to roll up our sleeves.”

Harris has become the Biden administration’s loudest and most unapologetic voice on reproductive rights, becoming the first VP to visit an abortion clinic with a recent visit to a Planned Parenthood in Minnesota. (She said at the event Thursday she didn’t realize ahead of time that it would be a historic first for her—“but what else is new.”) “The actual harm that has occurred to real people every day since that decision came down is immeasurable,” she said, but “what the court took, Congress can put back in place, and elections matter on this issue as much as anything.”

Speaking with ELLE after the event, Teigen says her participation was part of her ongoing education on the issue following her abortion in 2020, after she was diagnosed with a dangerous placental abruption during a very wanted pregnancy. What could have been an isolating event has instead forged a connection with other families, who regularly come up to the couple to share similar heartbreaking stories. She speaks often about how she didn’t even realize the surgery she needed was an abortion until after the Dobbs decision two years later, because none of her doctors had ever used the word.

The more I started speaking out about it, of course, the more opposition I saw. I started realizing that this was going to be a real fight. And I’m always down for a fight.”

“I could have spent the rest of my life thinking that I just naturally miscarried or something,” she told ELLE. “I felt like if I, with such wonderful doctors and such wonderful teams around me, didn’t know that I had one, how many other women are out there that don’t know enough about their own bodies or their own health care system to understand that this can happen to anybody, and that restricting rights and restricting access to abortions is strictly about punishing the woman? And the more I started speaking out about it, of course, the more opposition I saw. I started realizing that this was going to be a real fight. And I’m always down for a fight.”

Teigen recently toured the Feminist Women’s Health Center in Atlanta—where a strict six-week abortion ban is in place post-Dobbs. She choked up as she recalled the level of care evident from the staff, including director of clinical innovation, Dr. Zoë Lucier-Julian, despite the laws changing sometimes week by week. “I, by no means, know everything about reproductive rights, but I found myself wanting to learn more and more,” Teigen says. “And then I finally found the right people that were so open.” This election season, she’ll work to promote state ballot initiatives to protect abortion rights, as well as encourage voting locally and nationally. “For me, a fire was lit when these rights were taken away from us. I have so much hope for the future, though. I have so much hope for my daughter.”

From the stage, she turned to directly address 8-year-old Luna, who was sitting in the audience with dad John Legend and her three younger siblings. “Luna, my girl, I hope that you see all of the incredible people, mainly women, in this room, and I hope that when you grow up you want to fight for justice in the way that we do, unapologetically and without fear, and know that your body is your own, and nobody can take that away from you.”

Bringing four young kids to the White House was not without its stresses. (“Esti immediately ripped a book that was titled White House History. And the vice president was just telling us, ‘There’s one thing in this room that is the oldest thing in all of the White House.’ I was like, ‘Tell me it’s not the book,’ but it wasn’t. It was the armoire.”) Still, Teigen says it was important to her and Legend to have them there.

“Maybe it’s a selfish thing, but to have her get to see me up there speaking to our vice president made me so happy,” she says. “She said she was proud after, and that made me proud. And I know that she’s going to do really big things too, and I’m excited for that. I’m excited for her to be unapologetic and staunch in her convictions and be ready to fight this fight, because it’s not going to end anytime soon. We’re going to take two steps forward. There’s always going to be another back, but hopefully we can always make our way towards progress.”

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