Lisa Edelstein of ‘House’ Makes ‘Back Alley’ Abortion Ad for

Actress Lisa Edelstein plays Dr. Lisa Cuddy, the hospital administrator (and main squeeze) of Fox's "House.” But Edelstein jumped into politics this week in a ad accusing the Republican Party of moving the clock back and "trying to send women back to the back alley"for  abortions.

"With the economy, joblessness and eight million wars that we're fighting, it seems very odd for Republicans to take over Congress and begin attacking women's rights," Edelstein told Patrick Gavin at Politico. "I feel very passionate about this…This is is an enormous attack. The president and the first lady both need to step up and shine a light on what's happening right now.”


Edelstein has put her money where her mouth is. The Newsmeat database shows she donated $ 1,000 in 2008 to both MoveOn and the Barack Obama presidential campaign. (She also donated to a few losing candidates: $ 400 to John Kerry for President in 2004 and Rep. Patrick Murphy (D-PA) in 2010.) Later in the 2008 campaign, Edelstein gave another $ 6,300 to the party-affiliated Obama Victory Fund.

In January 2009, Politico reported that “PP advocates” Edelstein and ABC actress Kate Walsh starred at a Planned Parenthood brunch celebrating Barack Obama’s inauguration.

Edelstein also talked to The Washington Post for their Celebritology 2.0 gossip column, which also displayed the MoveOn video. In it, Edelstein proclaims passionately:

Only decades ago, women suffered through horrifying back-alley abortions. Or, they used dangerous methods when they had no other recourse. So when the Republican party launched an all-out assault on women's health, pushing bills to limit access to vital services, we had to ask: Why is the GOP trying to send women back … to the back alley?"

Every jot and tittle of legislation designed to remove taxpayer funding from abortion providers or place any obstacle in the abortion provider’s way becomes, in melodramatic Hollywood fashion, a vicious hanger attack on today’s liberated women.

"The things going on in Congress are so about the fine print," said Edelstein in a Wednesday phone interview. "There are little changes in laws [being proposed], without directly attacking Roe v. Wade, that will make it that much harder to have an abortion."

Edelstein hopes the campaign, which will run through next Wednesday on cable and the Oxygen network, will encourage women to write their members of Congress.

"There was a public outcry in South Dakota, for example," Edelstein said. "In South Dakota they were trying to make it a justifiable homicide to kill anyone that was attempting to kill your unborn child or the unborn child of anybody related to you. Which means if you killed a doctor who performs abortions it would be justifiable. The writers of the law said that wasn't what was intended. But ultimately — because of public outcry — they changed the wording of the law to include "self defense."

There's the feminist Hollywood drama again: Edelstein insists pro-life legislators wanted to make killing abortionists justifiable — and then she backed off. (As Ken Shepherd reported, it's more like the federal Unborn Victims of Violence Act.) There's a reason Edelstein wasn't claiming to be an expert: "My opinion's no more important than anyone else's," she told the Post. "It's just that I have the ability to have access to more ears when I speak because of my job."

Edelstein naturally opposes any attempt to drain taxpayer funding away from Planned Parenthood: "I believe it's [something like] one in five women that go there for their reproductive health. To take away funding from an organization that is doing so much good is truly frightening."

The MoveOn ad has a strange flub in it. Viewers are taken from Edelstein (or a female double) walking toward the closet door in a sleeveless, old-fashioned dress, and when Edelstein dramatically opens the door with moist and mourning eyes, she's dressed in a purple, sleeved shirt. Is that a continuity error, or just a clumsy attempt to "merge" two historical eras? blogs

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