By Elise Viebeck - 10/09/12 04:34 PM EDT
A slew of film and television stars are pushing back against GOP efforts to ban abortion and stop President Obama's birth-control mandate.
Meryl Streep, Kevin Bacon, Kyra Sedgwick, Amy Poehler and others mounted an online push for a "Bill of Reproductive Rights" on Tuesday in collaboration with an international abortion-rights group.
"Every day, the opponents of our fundamental reproductive rights are passing laws designed to take those rights away," Streep says in a video for the campaign.
"They're shutting down doctors and clinics across the nation. They're making it nearly impossible for millions of women to get the essential healthcare they need," Streep says.
Debates over women's health gained intensity over the last two years after Republicans swept legislative elections across the country.
The GOP has made it a priority to end public healthcare funding for Planned Parenthood because the group also provides abortions.
Republicans have also sought to restrict abortion and stop the Obama administration from ordering most employers to cover free birth control in their health plans, arguing the policy hampers religious freedom.
Along the way, members of the GOP have experienced backlash for gaffes on abortion and other women's health issues.
In one case, Rep. Todd Akin (R-Mo.) said to great criticism that victims of "legitimate" rape have a biological defense against pregnancy. He has since apologized.
In another case, a Republican lawmaker in Georgia countered opponents of a proposed 20-week abortion ban by citing his "heartbreaking" experience delivering stillborn calves and pigs on his farm.
The speech prompted many to say that Rep. Terry England (Auburn) had compared women to farm animals — something Bacon and wife Sedgwick spoke of in a video released Tuesday.
"Kyra, have you seen this? This lawmaker in Georgia is calling women farm animals," Bacon says. "[And] there's this other guy who says this whole contraception thing wouldn't be a problem if women would just stop having sex."
The video also includes appearances from Lisa Kudrow, Tea Leoni, Sarah Silverman, Martha Plimpton, Audra McDonald and other stars.
The petition they tout, from the Center for Reproductive Rights, states that Americans have the right to "make our own decisions about our reproductive health and future, free from intrusion or coercion."
It also outlines a right to "a full range of safe, affordable and readily accessible reproductive healthcare," including birth control, abortion and pregnancy care.
Requests for comment from anti-abortion groups were not immediately returned.