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Shonda Rhimes’ Speech at Planned Parenthood Gala Will Inspire You to Fight at Full Speed

Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal creator Shonda Rhimes accepted the Champion of Change Award from Planned Parenthood last night, where she gave a rousing speech about how that title brought her both joy and sadness, thinking about how “women’s health needs protecting like some kind of endangered species.”

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Rhimes’ shows not only have a wide range of complex and interesting women, they’re dedicated to telling stories that are true. Scandal and Grey’s Anatomy have portrayed women getting abortions with sensitivity and candidness, something that actress Kerry Washington has praised saying, “by not having those moments represented in media, we add to the idea that there’s something shameful to be talked about. It’s always important that our storytelling reflects the real experiences of human beings, because it allows us to not feel as alone.” The team understood how stigmatized abortion can be, despite how common it is, and used their platform to try and change that. We’re seeing more and more honest portrayals these days from an industry that’s more often than not “No-Choice,” and I firmly believe you can attribute a lot of that to work Rhimes has done for years.

“I am attempting to reflect the world that I live in,” says Rhimes, “attempting to reflect the medical world that doctors exist in. Attempting to write women as they actually exist.” She goes on to address how much work needs to still be done, along with her anger and frustration that straight white men “who couldn’t find a vulva with two hands and a flashlight are insistent on telling me and all my friends what to do with the vagina we have been driving around America for our entire lives.”

“Women should be running things,” Rhimes says, making a promise that she will continue working for these causes and encouraging others to do so as well.

“So … we work. I will do my part. I will do champion-y things. As hard as I can. I will CONSCIOUSLY make an effort to do champion-y things. Because what I did before, that was me at half-speed. Me at full speed?

Get out of the way, please.

That’s my promise. I will live up to this award so that I am actually worthy of being called a Champion for Change.”

I will be inspired by every one of you who is fighting for change too. Full speed ahead.”

I recommend reading the full speech on Variety, the entire thing is amazing and will get you ready to charge full speed ahead.

(via Women and Hollywood, Image: screencap)

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