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Park City, Utah — Today Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Planned Parenthood Association of Utah, and Refinery29 honored the content creators and other artists who are helping to educate people and spark conversations about sex, relationships, and sexual and reproductive health, including Desiree Akhavan, Tessa Thompson, and Jeremy Allen White at the annual “Sex, Politics, Film & TV: A Celebration of Unstoppable Voices!”event at Sundance Film Festival.

 Hundreds of artists, content creators, and storytellers gathered to learn more about how Planned Parenthood works with the arts and entertainment community and celebrate the storylines that have centered sexual and reproductive health care in the last year, including Kelli BerglundJulie Cohen,  Catherine CurtinJulianne NicholsonLily RabeHamish Linklater,  Avra Friedman,  Zora HowardRichard KindTiffany Chu, and  Amy Hargreaves.

You can see photos from the event HERE.

“Film, TV, and video does so much to normalize sexual and reproductive health and erase the shame that often surrounds it. It’s one of our most important tools for educating people, especially young people,” said Caren Spruch, director of arts and entertainment engagement at Planned Parenthood Federation of America. “We need to ensure that everyone’s sexual and reproductive decisions are represented and valued. Content creators are thrilled to learn that they can turn to us a resource for these stories, because they want to ensure their work is accurate and realistic. ”

Planned Parenthood has collaborated on more than 150 films and TV shows over the past few years, including Little Woods, The Tale, 20th Century Women, Obvious Child, Unexpected, Grandma, Trapped, Orphan Black, and Big Mouth. There has been a seachange in portrayals of abortion on TV in the past few years: The Deuce, Glow, Jane the Virgin, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, Dear White People, You’re the Worst, Claws, The Fosters, Scandal, Good Girls Revolt, and Masters of Sex have all featured characters who talked openly about their decision to have an abortion, with no shame. This signals a real and important cultural shift, and as more women work behind the camera, we know we’ll see more stories that reflect women’s lived experiences on camera. 

"I'm proud to stand with Planned Parenthood and all they do to ensure that people have the information and health care they need to stay healthy," said filmmaker Desiree Akhavan, who spoke at the reception. "As a filmmaker, I know how important it is to center storylines about LGBTQ characters and sexual and reproductive health in my work. These stories need to be told to help shift the conversation in this country and remove stigma around these issues. I encourage more filmmakers to join me."

Guests at the event wore “Protect X” buttons to raise awareness about the Trump administration’s proposed gag rule, which would make it illegal for doctors and nurses across the country to tell their patients how or where to access abortion, and is designed to prevent patients from getting preventive health care like cancer screenings and birth control at Planned Parenthood health centers. The rule would essentially dismantle Title X, the nation’s program for affordable birth control and reproductive health care, which helps ensure that people who are struggling to make ends meet can still access birth control, STI testing, cancer screenings, and more. Four million people a year rely on the program — and more than 40 percent get their health care through Planned Parenthood.

Attendees also heard from Karrie Galloway, president and CEO, Planned Parenthood Association of Utah, about why it’s so important to talk about sexual and reproductive when there are ongoing attacks on health care, including the Title X program for affordable birth control and reproductive health care. 

Planned Parenthood is proud to work closely with arts and entertainment leaders — including film, television, and video professionals — to help develop content that is accurate and sensitive in its depictions of sexual and reproductive health. Through more realistic and honest portrayals of people’s lives, the entertainment community can help challenge stigma and change the conversation on issues like abortion, birth control, and sexually transmitted infections. 


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. 


Refinery29 is the leading next-gen media and entertainment company focused on women with a global audience footprint of 425 million across all platforms. Through a variety of lifestyle stories, original video programming, social, shareable content, and live experiences, Refinery29 provides its audience with the inspiration and tools to discover and pursue a more independent, stylish, and informed life. Please visit www.refinery29.com/en-uswww.refinery29.com/en-cawww.refinery29.uk and www.refinery29.de for more information and to browse content.