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Maria Shriver: Women have a right to make decisions over their bodies

The 63-year-old journalist and author has spoken out against recent legislation filed by several states in the US which puts restrictions on the conditions needed for women to have an abortion, effectively banning it in some states, including Alabama.

US journalist Maria Shriver attends The Hollywood Reporter's Empowerment In Entertainment Event 2019 at Milk Studios on 30 April 2019 in Los Angeles. Picture: AFP

LONDON - US celebrity Maria Shriver believes women have a "right to decide what to do" with their bodies, as she spoke out against new anti-abortion laws passed in several states.

The 63-year-old journalist and author has spoken out against recent legislation filed by several states in the US which puts restrictions on the conditions needed for women to have an abortion, effectively banning it in some states, including Alabama.

Shriver said that whilst she is not necessarily "pro-abortion", she does believe women should be able to choose what they want to do with their bodies, and thinks "women raising their voices" and standing up for what they believe in may help to get the legislation overturned.

She said: "I've always been pro-choice. And I think it's a woman's right to decide what to do with her body and to have access to that. I always make the distinction pro-choice is not pro-abortion. It's pro a woman's right to choose. To choose what to do with her body, her life, what job to take. I'm not pro-abortion.

"Not everybody who is pro-choice is pro-abortion. It's pro a woman's right to choose. We had a very long time in our history where we didn't have the right to vote, to own property, to get finances, to have your name on the deed of your house, to get divorced. There are a lot of things women have not had a choice about that have been changed in my lifetime by women raising their voices."

The beauty - who was formerly married to Arnold Schwarzenegger, and has Katherine, 29, Christina, 28, Patrick, 25, and Christopher, 21, with him - also spoke about other elements of women's healthcare, and claimed "women are often dismissed for their symptoms" when they visit a doctor.

Speaking to People magazine, she added: "Women are often dismissed for their symptoms. I had a thing with my eyes, and the doctor said you're fine, and I said, no I don't feel fine. Of course, I'm getting a second opinion but that's not an option for many people, because it takes time, it costs money. Women need to be listened to.

"[Women] get depression more than anybody, get anxiety, 80% of the autoimmune issues start when a woman gets her period. There's this vacuum of what do we know and what can we do about it?"

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