The frontman made the passionate speech at a festival on Friday
Yesterday (May 17) The 1975 played Hangout Fest in Gulf Shores, Alabama, and frontman Matty Healy – a poster boy for sincerity and exposer of misogyny in the music industry – directly confronted the state’s recent abortion ban in a passionate onstage speech.
Healy begins the speech by claiming his support for freedom of expression, captured in a fan’s Twitter video (which he later retweeted). He then goes on to say: “You know what’s also important? The freedom for women to do with their reproductive systems what they want.”
The statement is almost drowned out by the crowd’s cheers. But Healy makes an important distinction, pointing out that he and the audience are all likely to be on “the left hand side of things” due to being at a music festival. “I’m not preaching to you guys,” he continues: “But this is going out to the internet, and there’s a bunch of fucking wronguns on the internet.”
These “fucking wronguns” are, presumably, the ones arguing in favour of Alabama’s near-total abortion ban passed this week, which offers very few exceptions (not even for underage victims of incest or rape). Under the new ruling, doctors who attempt terminations also face a 10 year prison sentence, while those who actually perform the procedure could be given up to 99 years.
Healy also speaks a bit about the contents of the bill in the video, particularly focusing on its horrific equation of women’s rights to choose with the Holocaust, the Rwandan genocide, and other instances of mass murder.
“The reason I’m so angry is because I don’t believe it’s about the preservation of life, I believe it’s about the controlling of women,” the singer adds. “You are not men of God. You are simply misogynistic wankers.”
Obviously, it’s incredibly important to bring these conversations into such a public space and to be having them with groups across the political aisle, as Healy suggests.
In this case it’s particularly impactful, since – though the bill could become enforceable in six months – it’s likely to be held up in court after groups such as the ACLU and Planned Parenthood, among other politicians and activists, have argued it’s unconstitutional. Hopefully, more support will make the harmful ban easier to reverse.