Planned Parenthood "Applauds Shonda Rhimes" For Last Night's Episode Of Scandal

Photo: ABC/Byron Cohen
Planned Parenthood responded to last night's all-too-real episode of Scandal, "applaud[ing] Shonda Rhimes for proving that when women are telling our stories, the world will pause and watch."

In an arguably controversial episode packed with ripped-from-the-headlines references (spoilers ahead!), Mellie (Bellamy Young), pulls a Wendy Davis, beginning what promises to be a 16-hour filibuster in an attempt to stop the defunding of Planned Parenthood. A loophole — and a benevolent question from Vice President Ross — gives Mellie a momentary respite. The show's lead character, Olivia (Kerry Washington), is seen getting an abortion as the holiday classic "Silent Night" plays in the background.

“Tonight, the millions of people who tune into Scandal every Thursday night learned that our rights to reproductive health care are under attack," Planned Parenthood said of the episode in a statement released last night. "Never one to shy away from critical issues, Shonda Rhimes used her platform to tell the world that if Planned Parenthood lost funding for contraception counseling, STI testing, cancer screenings, and safe, legal abortion — millions of people would suffer. And this episode wasn’t the first time one of Rhimes’ characters had an abortion, yet tonight we saw one of our favorite characters make the deeply personal decision that one in three women have made in their lifetime."

As Planned Parenthood points out, Rhimes previously scripted a refreshingly frank, pragmatic story line around a character receiving an abortion, back in season 8 of Grey's Anatomy, when Dr. Cristina Yang is seen undergoing the procedure on camera. Now, as women's health organizations like Planned Parenthood remain under political fire, women's reproductive rights once again get ready to go before the Supreme Court, and a frightening new study reveals that between 100,000 and 240,000 Texas women have likely tried to end a pregnancy via a self-induced abortion, the timing seems more than apropos. The show's cast seems to completely agree.
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