Photo Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Shonda Rhimes is stepping up to the plate for women’s rights once again. The renowned television creator, known for shows such as “Scandal” and “Grey’s Anatomy”, has just been added to the Planned Parenthood national board. Rhimes has been involved with her local Los Angeles board for many years, often volunteering both her time and resources. In an interview with Elle Magazine, Rhimes revealed that she was personally invited by the Planned Parenthood Federation of America president Cecile Richards to join the board.

Richards also spoke with Elle, telling them that the reason she reached out to Shonda was that: “What she brings not only to this board, but frankly to the world, is her commitment to life up the stories of people who don’t always get heard.”

This is obviously visible in Shonda’s great body of televisual work, which is often referred to as “Shondaland.”  While her shows regularly deal with topics such as racism and sexism, one specific instance stands out as an example of Rhimes’ belief in the work Planned Parenthood does. In season four of “Scandal”, main character Olivia Pope shocked viewers by getting an abortion on screen.

Rhimes didn’t think this should be viewed as racy or controversial, saying that: “Like all the scenes I did on “Grey’s Anatomy”, in this scene we were portraying a medical procedure that is legal in the United States of America.”

At the time, she was of course praised by Cecile Richards and other Planned Parenthood supporters.

Although Shonda hasn’t used any of the many services and care Planned Parenthood offers, she doesn’t feel this means she shouldn’t fight to protect people’s rights. “The fact that I’ve never had to use a Planned Parenthood, the fact that I’ve never been in need of medical services I couldn’t afford or didn’t have access to, doesn’t mean I shouldn’t be concerned about the fact that other women don’t have that access,” she stated aptly.

In the future, Rhimes hopes to be of service to Planned Parenthood in whatever way she can- including conveying messages to her hordes of viewers. With the organization currently under attack by the Trump administration and GOP lawmakers, she is sure to have her work cut out for her.

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