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Abortion is a medical procedure that one third of American women will experience in her lifetime, yet is rarely discussed in the media unless under a political lens. Abortion stigma, or the shared cultural understanding that abortion is morally wrong and/or socially unacceptable, often silences the most important voices in the political conversation: people who have actually had abortions. 

In the past, the popular media has mostly contributed to the stigma around abortion. Today, these women help normalize abortion by showing accurate representations of the procedure without shame and/or sharing their own stories:

  • Olivia Pope (Kerry Washington) in Scandal: Olivia Pope goes to Planned Parenthood for reproductive health care! In the season 5 finale Pope claims agency over her own body by getting an abortion without conferring with her President boyfriend. The procedure is not a main plot line nor does it derail Pope’s life in any significant way.
  • Jenny Slate in Obvious Child: The film documents a comic’s experience with abortion and how she inspires the other women in her life to share their abortion stories as well.
  • Chelsea Handler, comedian and talk show host, shared her abortion story. She expresses that it was the right decision for her at the time and she has never looked back.
  • Cecile Richards, wrote an eloquent op-ed in Elle in 2014 to share her abortion story and stress the role that personal stories play in destigmatizing abortion.

Planned Parenthood is proud to provide the full range of reproductive health care, including abortion. Planned Parenthood applauds those who work to destigmatize abortion. By empowering people to share their abortion stories, society can start seeing abortion as an experience, not an issue.

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