On the Austin City Limits 2021 stage this weekend, Billie Eilish revealed that she had partly wanted to cancel her appearance at the Texas music festival in protest of the state’s restrictive new abortion law. But she came through for her Texas fans.
The law that Texas enacted in September prohibits abortions after around six weeks, when cardiac activity is detected, but at which time many women are not even aware they are pregnant. The law does not make exceptions for rape or incest and very few for health reasons. It also employs a controversial method of enforcement that allows private citizens to sue abortion providers who violate the law, as well as anyone who aids a woman in obtaining an abortion, for $10,000 or more.
“When they made that s— a law, I almost didn’t want to do the show because I wanted to punish this f—ing place for allowing that to happen here,” Eilish can be heard saying on the ACL Fest stage at Zilker Park Saturday night (Oct. 2) in a video clip filmed by fans.
“But then I remembered that it’s you guys that are the f—ing victims, and you deserve everything in the world. And we need to tell them to shut the f— up,” she told the crowd, reportedly putting up her middle finger.
“My body, my f—ing choice!” Eilish, who celebrated her first arena show in over a year just a couple weeks ago, shouted. She urged the ACL crowd to join her.
Eilish seemed very glad to have performed at Austin City Limits after all: “last night was f—ing crazy. one of my favorites,” she commented on Instagram, where she posted a series of photos from her set on Sunday.
Barbra Streisand, P!nk and St. Vincent are among the many artists who have criticized the new Texas law.
“Have we gone backwards in time?” Streisand asked. “Isn’t it interesting how putting on a mask is ‘violating their body’ but abortion rights is not?”
See Eilish speak out against Texas’ abortion law in the clip below.