Planned Parenthood of Greater New York (PPGNY) recently honored “Top Chef” host Padma Lakshmi and model Chrissy Teigen at their inaugural Spring into Action Gala.
Hosted by comedian Irene Tu at New York City’s The Glasshouse, the gala was held to celebrate PPGNY’s work and the advocacy of Lakshmi and Teigen.
Lakshmi, 52, received the Champion of Change award and spoke about living with undiagnosed endometriosis for 23 years.
She stressed the importance of bodily autonomy:
To be honest, I can’t believe we’re still here tonight, still fighting for the same issue that my mother’s generation fought for, and even people before her have been fighting for, since the dawn of time. Fighting for autonomy: The right to choose what happens to our own bodies. It seems so simple, right? It’s the freedom to shape our destinies medically and otherwise. It’s the ability to decide what’s best for ourselves. For no other reason than that is our decision to make.
Teigen, 37, was presented with the Catalyst of Change Award and emphasized the importance of normalizing conversations about reproductive health.
Teigen shared her own experiences with IVF, breastfeeding and pregnancy loss and highlighted the need to destigmatize abortion.
“Living in a world where you do not have control over your own body is not normal. But do you know what is normal? Abortion is normal,” she said.
She also recounted her emergency care in 2020 when she required medical intervention in the 20th week of her pregnancy.
Not one doctor or a nurse called [my pregnancy loss care] an abortion. The word “abortion” was never uttered. But I’ve learned to live in my truth to boldly reclaim my right and all of our rights to an abortion. We cannot be afraid to say the word.