Molly Ringwald, an actor, author and singer perhaps best known for her roles in 1980s films like “The Breakfast Club” and “Sixteen Candles,” stepped into Virginia politics on Saturday, speaking at a Richmond fundraiser for state Sen. Ghazala Hashmi, D-Chesterfield.
Ringwald’s appearance at Studio Two Three, a community arts space in Scott’s Addition, came a day after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, returning abortion laws and regulations to the states.
Speaking to more than 150 Hashmi supporters, Ringwald said she is not as concerned about prospects for abortion rights in New York, where she lives, but said “things are pretty tenuous here in Virginia.”
Calling the ruling “a huge blow,” Ringwald noted that she and her husband, author Panio Gianopoulos, who joined her at the event, have two daughters and a son.
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“I never thought that that would happen — that my kids would have less protection than I have,” she said.
Ringwald did not mention Gov. Glenn Youngkin, who said Friday that he will seek legislation to bar most abortions after 15 weeks.
Joseph Papa, a book publicist, author and board member at Studio Two Three, coordinated Ringwald’s appearance at the fundraiser. Ringwald said they became friends a dozen years ago when Papa was the publicist for one of her books.
An aide said the event would raise more than $20,000 for Hashmi’s campaign.
Hashmi, a member of the Senate since 2020, currently represents Senate District 10. Redistricting scrambled the electoral map, and Hashmi will seek re-election in 2023 in a newly drawn, open 15th District seat that is based in eastern Chesterfield County and includes a swath of South Richmond.
“I know yesterday was a gut punch to all of us,” she said of the Supreme Court’s ruling, urging opponents of the decision to fight back.
“A lot of us feel like we’re living through every dystopian novel that’s ever been written,” said Hashmi, a former professor and community college administrator.
“Back in the day I used to teach ‘1984.’ I used to teach ‘Fahrenheit 451.’ I used to teach ‘The Handmaid’s Tale,’” she said.
“I never thought we’d be living through all of those.”