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The Little-Known History Behind Planned Parenthood

Written by Tom

A new animated short video tells the story of Planned Parenthood’s first 100 years of existence. 

The video, which was produced by Lena Dunham in partnership with director J.J. Abrams, tells the story of the groundbreaking women who sacrificed to give American women safe and accessible reproductive health care. The short is narrated by big-name stars such as Gina Rodriguez, Mindy Kaling, Meryl Streep, Jennifer Lawrence and Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards.

Margaret Sanger, a nurse and sex educate who later created the birth control pill, opened the first birth control clinic in the U.S. in 1916. By 1942, Sanger’s clinic became the official Planned Parenthood. Although Sanger is a problematic icon — she aligned herself with the eugenics movement of her time ― she nonetheless paved the way for reproductive freedom for women in the U.S. 

The video goes on to tell the story of other iconic women who were integral to the creation of Planned Parenthood, including the former Connecticut Planned Parenthood director Estelle Griswold, Faye Wattleton, who was the youngest president of the women’s health organization and first woman of color to hold the position, and current president of Planned Parenthood Cecile Richards. 

“For 100 years, women and families have counted on Planned Parenthood,” Richards said in a press release. “Politicians may try to shut us down, but we will fight to keep our doors open ― while continuing to provide expert, affordable health care to millions of people each year. We will not rest until access to health care and rights is a reality for all people.”

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