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Planned Parenthood & Refinery29 Hold 8th Annual Sex, Politics, Film, & TV Reception at Sundance Film Festival

On Sunday, January 26, Planned Parenthood Federation of America and Planned Parenthood Association of Utah held its 8th annual Sex, Politics, Film, & TV reception along with Refinery29 in during the 2020 Sundance Film Festival on Main Street, Park City. The annual event celebrates the ongoing collaborations Planned Parenthood holds with a multitude of content creators, whose film and television shows authentically and unapologetically depict sexual and reproductive health issues. Planned Parenthood aims to partner with entertainment leaders in order to reduce the stigma around sexual and productive health rights present in entertainment, ensuring the stories shared are authentic to real life experience. 

During the event, Elaine Welteroth, Award-Winning Journalist, Author, and Producer spoke during the event and explained: “Pop culture plays a unique role in changing the conversation around some of the most pressing social issues. When that power is wielded for good, it does the heavy lifting on challenging stigmas and bias and ultimately shifting public perception toward acceptance, compassion, and understanding. That’s why it’s so crucial that we see more real, honest examples of women’s health care decisions and experiences, particularly around the issue of reproductive health because as crazy as it sounds, many people learn about sexual and reproductive health through the medium of TV and film.” 


Planned Parenthood is the top provider of high-quality and affordable health care, as well as sex education, for women, men, and young people across the nation. Planned Parenthood believes in running their over 600 health centered across the nation with respect and compassion for those who need it. 

Caren Spruch, Senior Director of Arts & Entertainment Engagement at Planned Parenthood Federation of America went on to say, “Right now, as our health and rights are under attack like never before, the arts and entertainment community is leading the way in increasing understanding and combating stigma surrounding sexual and reproductive health care. In order to realize Planned Parenthood’s mission to achieve a world where everyone has the freedom to control their bodies and their futures, we need to change the culture around these issues. I’m proud to have collaborated with so many film and television content creators over the years to produce real, honest portrayals of people’s health, sexuality, and lives, and I’m grateful for their support of Planned Parenthood.”


Though editorial, video, and social content, Refinery29 provides their audience with tools they hope will give individuals a more independent and empowered life. Refinery29 is part of Vice Media Group, the world’s largest independent youth media company. Amy Emmerich, President and Chief Content Officer at Refinery 29 told the audience:  “We are at a critical moment for the future of reproductive health in this country — as politicians wage an unprecedented attack on our rights and access to sexual and reproductive health care. Refinery 29 is committed to providing our audience with the information and tools they need to make informed decisions, which is why we’re so proud to be continued partners with Planned Parenthood because of their important work as a provider, educator, and advocate.”


Among over 150 film and TV shows Planned Parenthood has collaborated on over the years, this year the Sundance U.S. Dramatic competition feature Never, Rarely, Sometimes, always made its Sundance debut. Guests to the event were also invited to see a special screening of new short film Ours to Tellwhich is centered around four different individuals living empowered due to their free access to abortion. The film is extremely relevant in a time when multiple communities, including people of color and LGBTQ+ communities, are consistently denied access to abortion.Ours to Tell explores the world we could have, one of health care access to anyone who wants or needs it, met with undying compassion and support. 


Erin is a senior at University of Utah currently pursuing strategic communications major with writing and rhethoric minor. She's passionate about all things creative, and hopes one day to work in the film industry. 
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