Olivia Pope Has an Abortion as ‘Scandal’ Tackles Women’s Reproductive Rights –
Olivia Pope underwent an abortion during Thursday night’s episode of ‘Scandal’ and Planned Parenthood applauded Scandal’s bold choice. The brief abortion scene comes right after Republican Senator Mellie Grant, Bellamy Young’s character filibusters for Planned Parenthood and women’s health. The scene implied that Olivia was having an abortion. Olivia strolls into a doctor’s office and undergoes a medical procedure with her legs in a stirrup and “Silent Night” playing in the background.
Planned Parenthood issued a statement applauding Shonda Rhimes’ decisions: “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. 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. We applaud Shonda Rhimes tonight — and every Thursday night – for proving that when women are telling our stories, the world will pause and watch. We just hope those in Congress — and throughout the nation — who are steadfast on rolling the clock back on reproductive health care access are taking note.”
Planned Parenthood is an advocate for the legal and political protection of reproductive rights. This advocacy includes contributing to sponsorship of abortion rights, and to women’s rights events
Planned Parenthood receives above a third of its money in government grants and contracts (about $528 million in 2014. By law, federal funding cannot be allocated for abortions, but some opponents of abortion have argued that allocating money to Planned Parenthood for the provision of other medical services “frees up” funds to be re-allocated for abortion.
A coalition of national and local pro-life groups have lobbied federal and state governments to stop funding Planned Parenthood. As a result, federal and state legislators have proposed legislation to reduce funding levels.