The producer is no stranger to addressing women’s health issues on the small screen.
Shonda Rhimes is taking on a new role: The creator of Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal and How to Get Away With Murder is joining Planned Parenthood’s national board.
In an interview with Elle, Rhimes shared the importance of the nonprofit health care organization.
“There wasn’t a time that there wasn’t a Planned Parenthood [available to me],” Rhimes told the Hearst-owned glossy. “And I’m fortunate. I’ve always had medical care. I’ve always had access. I’ve never personally had to use a Planned Parenthood. But I have many friends who have and do and did, and I think it’s important that that access be there for everyone.”
The prolific producer added that it’s “simplistic and silly” for men to ignore women’s health because “it doesn’t involve their uteruses.”
“Obviously it concerns them. It should obviously concern them. When you help make people healthier, it makes the nation healthier, it makes the world healthier, it makes the economy healthier,” said Rhimes.
Rhimes is no stranger to addressing women’s health issues, including abortion, on TV. In 2015, a mid-season finale episode of Scandal ended with Olivia Pope (Kerry Washington) having an abortion.
Following the episode, Planned Parenthood Federation of America’s Cecile Richards issued the following statement: “Never one to shy away from critical issues, Shonda Rhimes used her platform to tell the world that if Planned Parenthood lost funding for contraception counseling, STI testing, cancer screenings and safe, legal abortion, millions of people would suffer. And this episode wasn’t the first time one of Rhimes’ characters had an abortion, yet tonight we saw one of our favorite characters make the deeply personal decision that one in three women have made in their lifetime.”
Added Rhimes: “The idea that we’re even thinking about cutting that off because somebody else isn’t enjoying it themselves or somebody has extreme opinions about it is worrisome to me. So, I just want to be of service. And I’ll do that in any way I can.”
The news comes a week after she announced that she was partnering with Dove to encourage women to share personal stories that expand the traditional definition of beauty.