Allison Janney paid a visit to the president of Planned Parenthood on Tuesday, and she came bearing gifts: 250,000 of them!
Janney’s hit sitcom, “Mom”, made headlines earlier this year when producers announced that instead of embarking on the usual “for your consideration” Emmy campaign, the money that would otherwise have been spent on lobbying for a nomination would be donated to Planned Parenthood, and Janney made good on the promise by presenting the organization’s president, Cecile Richards, with a quarter-million-dollar cheque.
As Associated Press reports, the former “West Wing” star was joined by “Mom” exec producer Gemma Baker in presenting the donation.
“We don’t NOT want to be considered for Emmys,” Janney said. “But we decided to use the money instead to support Planned Parenthood.”
“It just made sense,” said Baker. “We have an all-female cast, and it’s what our show does: We deal with serious issues. Our characters have dealt with teen pregnancy and breast cancer and sexual assault. This just seemed like a way of standing with an organization that is providing health care to millions of women.”
Added Janney: “It’s not just about our donation, but also to raise awareness of what’s happening, and encourage other people to donate as well.”
Noting that there’s “a lot of anxiety among women right now, particularly in the heartland of America where they are desperately concerned about losing access to affordable health care,” Baker said that Tuesday’s visit sends a powerful message. “I think it’s really great when they see an iconic star like Allison on a program like this dealing with the same issues that we deal with in our clinics every day.”
Janney also discussed her own personal history with Planned Parenthood, revealing that her great-grandmother worked with Margaret Sanger, the trailblazing birth-control activist who established the organization that would evolve into Planned Parenthood. In fact, she noted that both her mother and grandmother also worked with Planned Parenthood.
“This organization has been close to me and my family for a long time,” she said, pointing out that supporting Planned Parenthood is something that the show’s audience will appreciate. “I think for most of the viewers who are hardcore fans of ‘Mom,’ our support of Planned Parenthood will give them all the more reason to watch,” said Janney, with Baker revealing her own history with the organization. “Twenty years ago, I worked in the national office in fundraising,” she said, admitting that being back at Planned Parenthood headquarters felt like a homecoming.
Meanwhile, the organization’s president pointed out that the number of donors who make monthly contributions has actually quadrupled since Donald Trump was elected president (his proposed budget would eliminate all federal funding for Planned Parenthood).
“We’ve been in the crosshairs of this Congress and this White House for the last several months,” said Richards. “But women all across this country can’t believe that an organization that is providing health care to one in five women in America is now at risk of not being able to serve patients anymore. We’re fighting very hard to keep that from happening.”