Planned Parenthood Applauds the New Hulu Show Shrill for Its Authentic Portrayal of Abortion
For Immediate Release: March 15, 2019 (Updated: March 15, 2019, 5 p.m.)
New York, NY - Planned Parenthood applauds the new Hulu show “Shrill,” for its accurate and sensitive portrayal of abortion in its pilot episode. Pop culture has the power to challenge stigma and change the conversation around social issues, including abortion. Planned Parenthood Federation of America and Planned Parenthood Columbia Willamette collaborated on the show’s script and and a scene was filmed inside a Planned Parenthood health center.
Shrill is based on the memoir by writer and #ShoutYourAbortion cofounder Lindy West titled,Shrill: Notes From a Loud Woman. The show stars and is co-executive produced by “Saturday Night Live” cast member Aidy Bryant as Annie, a fat young woman who wants to change her life — but not her body. In the show’s pilot episode, Annie learns that she’s pregnant and visits a Planned Parenthood health center for a safe and legal abortion.
“TV can challenge stigma and change the conversation around sexual and reproductive health care. We’re thrilled that the filmmakers behind Shrill chose to show ‘Annie,’ the main character, decide to have an abortion and to do so in the very first episode,” said Caren Spruch, director of arts and entertainment engagement at Planned Parenthood Federation of America. “Emotionally authentic portrayals of access to abortion on TV and in film are more important now than ever, as abortion rights are under constant attack from politicians. To reduce the shame and silencing that many people experience, we must replace misinformation with facts and support honest, authentic portrayals of abortion. And that’s just what Shrill helps to do.
It was important that we included an abortion in ‘Shrill’ because abortion is normal and common,” said Shrill writer Lindy West. “I had an abortion and so have millions of other people, so it’s time we see more abortion stories onscreen. We need to work to build a culture in which talking about abortion becomes as normal as the procedure itself.
This show comes on the heels of a new gag rule from the Trump/Pence administration that interferes with the provider-patient relationship and violates core ethical standards in health care by forcing Title X providers to withhold health care information from patients. It is important that every person have every medical option and be able to make their own decisions about their pregnancy, in consultation with their health care providers — and without interference by politicians.
TV especially has a unique role in helping change public views and support on social issues-- we saw this with Will and Grace and Ellen DeGeneres in the 90’s and early 2000’s, and over the past few years we’re seeing it with transgender characters in Transparent and Orange Is the New Black. Now, the tide is beginning to turn when it comes to portrayals of sexual and reproductive health and rights on TV, and we’re seeing more stories that more accurately reflect real life.
As the nation’s leading sexual and reproductive health care provider and advocate, Planned Parenthood is committed to providing patients with high-quality, confidential, and nonjudgmental care including abortion, in a safe and compassionate environment. We believe every patient deserves accurate information about all of their options so they can make their own, fully informed health care decisions and that if they decide to have an abortion, they get high-quality, compassionate care.
Planned Parenthood is the nation’s leading provider and advocate of high-quality, affordable health care for women, men, and young people, as well as the nation’s largest provider of sex education. With more than 600 health centers across the country, Planned Parenthood organizations serve all patients with care and compassion, with respect and without judgment. Through health centers, programs in schools and communities, and online resources, Planned Parenthood is a trusted source of reliable health information that allows people to make informed health decisions. We do all this because we care passionately about helping people lead healthier lives.