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Listen to Meryl Streep, Lena Dunham and more narrate the history of Planned Parenthood

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Sarah Biddlecombe
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Lena Dunham and a host of fierce A-listers have lent their voices to an inspiring new animated short that narrates the 100 year history of Planned Parenthood, America’s biggest abortion provider.

Featuring Meryl Streep, Jennifer Lawrence, Mindy Kaling, Amy Schumer, America Ferrera, Constance Wu, and Hari Nef, the video charts the history of the nonprofit organisation, from its humble beginnings just over a century ago to the 650-plus clinics it operates today.

It covers the story that inspired the opening of the first birth control clinic in 1916, as well as the later launch of the Pill, the historic Roe v. Wade ruling [that made abortion legal in the US] and the challenges and threats that have faced the organisation and its workers throughout its history.

Margaret Sanger fighting for birth control legislation in 1934

Margaret Sanger fighting for birth control legislation in 1934

The clip begins with the story of a nurse called Margaret Sanger, who cared for a woman - who later died from a botched abortion – in 1912.

Sanger was so horrified by the experience that she decided to dedicate her life to helping women understand how to control birth, stating, “No woman can call herself free who does not own and control her body”.



Sanger went on to be imprisoned for opening a birth control clinic in 1916, but the ensuing national attention and cry for help from women across the country led to changes in the law and, eventually, Sanger founded the American Birth Control League in 1921. This later became known as Planned Parenthood in 1942.

Children play outside an early Planned Parenthood clinic in Texas, 1965

Children play outside an early Planned Parenthood clinic in Texas, 1965

Now, Planned Parenthood is visited by approximately one in every five women in America, with three-quarters of these women coming from low income households.



And the organisation goes much further than providing legal abortions, with cancer screening, birth control and education being just a few of the lifelines it offers to women, as well as making vital contributions to international research and protection of women’s rights.

Planned Parenthood offers birth control to women

Planned Parenthood offers birth control to women

The video ends with a voiceover from Cecile Richards, the current Planned Parenthood president, who proudly states, "In the first 100 years, Planned Parenthood helped establish what reproductive rights are and why they are so critically important.”

And in light of Republican plans to strip the organisation of its funding, placing its future under threat once Trump officially becomes President tomorrow, her final words are especially poignant.

“In the next 100 years, we will keep fighting to make sure they're available to everyone."

You can watch the full video below.

Images: Rex/Getty

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Sarah Biddlecombe

Sarah Biddlecombe is an award-winning journalist and Digital Features Editor at Stylist

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