The television producer, screenwriter and author said, "I just want to be of service."
This article originally appeared on EW.
Shonda Rhimes is doing more for Planned Parenthood beyond her efforts on television. The creator of Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal joins the organization’s national board, as revealed in a new interview with Elle magazine.
“The fact is that women’s health is under fire right now,” Rhimes said. “And so, to me, it feels like it’s important to help fight back.” Cecile Richards, the president of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, asked Rhimes to take on the role. “I’ve been so, so impressed by everything she’s ever done,” Richards remarked.
Rhimes is already on the Los Angeles board for Planned Parenthood. As for what her new role will entail, she said, “I haven’t totally defined what I want to do yet, but mostly I want to be of service — in any way that I can. And if that is helping to convey messages, that is what I’m going to do. If it’s rolling up my sleeves and getting to work, that is what I’m going to do.”
In 2015, Scandal aired an episode in which Olivia Pope (Kerry Washington) underwent an abortion. “When that episode came out, I thought the reaction was going to be so much stronger… which is always awesome when it’s not,” Rhimes later explained of the moment. “Because the fans are always much more enlightened than, you know, the studio lawyers are.”
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Planned Parenthood released a statement at the time, saying, “Tonight, the millions of people who tune into Scandal every Thursday night learned that our rights to reproductive health care are under attack. 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.”
Under the Trump administration, GOP lawmakers have been working to strip Planned Parenthood of funding, prompting a wave of support from activists and celebrities. Shondaland actress Kate Walsh, Scarlett Johansson, and Lena Dunham were among those advocating for the organization and women’s rights, while others, including Katy Perry and movie studio A24, made donations.