What Jennifer Lawrence Said About Planned Parenthood Sums Up Our Feelings Exactly

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If there was ever a US presidential election season that has used women’s healthcare and specifically reproductive rights as a tool to get more votes for certain candidates, it’s the 2016 campaign. Ever since a shady organization released undercover videos which were heavily edited to allege that Planned Parenthood sells “baby parts” for profit, the stakes were raised exponentially in terms of fodder for conservative candidates whose secret agenda to turn back the clock on women’s reproductive healthcare was made evident.

Republican candidates and those currently serving in Congress and the Senate have since voted twice to defund Planned Parenthood (which receives over $500 million in federal revenue through medicaid reimbursements) and it was only thanks to the veto power of our democratic President Obama that the healthcare organization is still eligible for funding today.

Those secretly-filmed videos and the organization have now become the center of a major law suit. Yes that’s right, Planned Parenthood is FINALLY suing the ironically-named Center for Medical Progress for a number of charges including racketeering and invasion of privacy (more on that below). Concurrently, there is a case before the Supreme Court right now which is examining the erroneous HB-2 law in Texas. Whole Woman’s Health v Cole alleges this law places undue burden on a woman’s legal and constitutional right to obtain an abortion, and depending on which way the Supreme Court rules, it could set a major precedent for abortion in other states.

Given that the majority of Republican candidates have openly stated they want to overturn Roe v Wade, and some go as far as to say they even believe in banning abortion in the case of rape and incest, it is more important that ever to think about electing leaders (both in the White House and in the House of Representatives) that actually believe in a woman’s right to choose her own reproductive decisions.

It has never been more important than ever for women to raise their voices and speak against the attack on their rights. Despite the statistics showing the majority of Americans now believe in a woman’s right to choose and are “pro-choice”, this fight is far from over. Celebrities are also speaking up about this issue and it is crucial they do, for they are far more influential than politicians these days.

One woman who has unashamedly spoken up about issues that affect her as well as other women is Jennifer Lawrence. Whether it is addressing the heinous crime committed against her and a string of other celebs when a hacker released nude photos to the public in 2014, or the issue of women getting paid less in Hollywood, J-law can be counted on to speak her mind.

In a recent interview with Glamour Magazine for their February issue, Jennifer dished her thoughts on the Planned Parenthood controversy and the growing attack on women’s rights. The topic came up after she spoke about collaborating with Amy Schumer on a forthcoming project, and how the comedian got so upset about the Planned Parenthood shooting in Colorado in November 2015 where a crazed gunman, claiming to be a “warrior for the babies”, shot and killed 3 people and injured 9 others.

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Jennifer then shares her own thoughts on why the attacks on the healthcare provider make her mad, echoing some thoughts we firmly agree with.

“It isn’t an attack on abortions; it’s an attack on women. Because Planned Parenthood is so much more [than abortion],” she said.

To clarify, only 3% of Planned Parenthood’s services performed are abortions nationally, the majority are pap smears, breast screening and STD tests, and none of their federal funds go toward abortions, except in the case of rape or incest.

Like many young women in America, Jennifer is no stranger to the benefits of Planned Parenthood, having gone to the healthcare provider for birth control in the past. But her strong conservative upbringing meant she didn’t always have the open mind she does today.

“My mom was really religious with me when I was young. She’s not so much anymore. And I wouldn’t have been able to get birth control if it weren’t for Planned P. I wouldn’t have been able to get condoms and birth control and all these things I needed as a normal teenager who was growing up in a Jesus house,” she said.

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It’s not the first time she has slammed her Republican childhood. In an interview with Vogue in November, Jennifer spoke about being raised in Kentucky and what she thinks of the right-wing conservative culture down there, specifically Kim Davis, the woman who went to jail for not issuing marriage licenses to make-sex couples because of her religious beliefs.

“[That] lady makes me embarrassed to be from Kentucky…all those people holding their crucifixes, which may as well be pitchforks, thinking they’re fighting the good fight. I grew up in Kentucky. I know how they are,” she said.

“I was raised a Republican, but I just can’t imagine supporting a party that doesn’t support women’s basic rights. It’s 2015 and gay people can get married and we think that we’ve come so far, so, yay! But have we? I don’t want to stay quiet about that stuff,” she added.

In Glamour, she says something similar about using her voice, and also attributed it to the fact that she was willing to “bite the hand that feeds” when it comes to speaking up about gender inequality in Hollywood.

“My business is based on everybody buying tickets and seeing my movie.… It’s not smart, businesswise, to be opinionated. But then what’s the point in having a voice at all if I’m not going to use it for what I truly believe in?” she said.

As for Planned Parenthood specifically, she directly credits the access she had to their services (birth control) with her success today.

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“And now [gestures widely] I am a successful woman who has not had a pregnancy, ” she said, before adding one more important thought about the healthcare provider.

“But seriously. What harm comes from supplying people with birth control, condoms, Pap smears, and cancer screenings?”

It’s a good question, and one which conservative candidates and those against women’s comprehensive reproductive rights access should considers. What alternative plan do they have other than simply defunding a health organization who are the biggest provider of reproductive services to lower-income women in the country? How do the anti-choice army plan on standing in the gap and providing alternatives?

And do they truly think defunding Planned Parenthood or overturning Roe v Wade will actually stop abortions? There is no such think as an “abortion free society”. Nope, instead it we will become a society that has willingly turned back the hands of time, where women are forced to perform their own unsafe abortions, drastically increasing the numbers of maternal mortality all because they don’t believe in a woman’s right to choose.

We’re glad Jennifer Lawrence is willing to speak her mind about reproductive rights to a generation of young women who need to recognize the need to take back the power of their bodies into their own hands. We have said it many times before, and this year we are most definitely going to say it again and again – VOTE! It is more important than ever. If you believe in women making their own decisions about their bodies and their healthcare, then vote for the candidates who believe the same and will afford you that right.

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