Here's How Gail Simmons Is Taking A Stand In Texas

In recent weeks, Texas has been the crucible for the battle over reproductive rights in America. It also happens to be the state hosting the next season of "Top Chef," which already started production in Houston (via CultureMap Houston). "Top Chef" host Padma Lakshmi took to Twitter recently to defend the show's decision to film Season 19 in Texas, despite calls by some on the social media platform to boycott the state after it passed what Forbes said was the most restrictive abortion law in the country. "Houston is one of the most diverse cities in the U.S. Its govt & the majority of its ppl oppose @GovAbbott's heinous bills," Lakshmi tweeted, tagging Texas Governor Greg Abbott.

Given Lakshmi's history of feminist activism, people probably weren't surprised to see her on the streets of Houston on October 2, participating in a protest organized by Houston Women March On. But Lakshmi wasn't the only "Top Chef" celebrity making her voice heard on that Saturday morning. She was joined by Gail Simmons, one of the show's judges.

Gail Simmons marched in Houston to protest Texas' abortion law

In addition to marching in the streets of Houston to protest Texas' strict new abortion law October 2, Gail Simmons also stated her case on Instagram. "I couldn't come to Texas and not stand with the women who need our support," Simmons wrote. "The state's Six Week Ban is blatantly unconstitutional, injects the government into personal health care, denies women bodily autonomy, and declares that anyone with a uterus is subject to a different set of rules...."

The photo accompanying these words on Instagram shows Simmons with three strips of blue tape on her body with handwritten messages that read, "Laws off our bodies," "86 the abortion ban," and "#1973" — the year the Supreme Court decided Roe v. Wade. Simmons also asked her followers to donate with her to the 1973 Project, which helps Texans get abortion care.

In a press statement quoted by CultureMap Houston, Simmons said, "It's imperative at this critical moment in history that we make our voices heard. ... It is incumbent upon us to fight for and defend these basic human rights from anyone who tries to take them away, for ourselves and our children."

Simmons, Padma Lakshmi, and Tom Colicchio are all returning for Season 19 of "Top Chef," filming in Houston and airing on Bravo in spring 2022, according to Fox News.