×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Hillary Clinton Praises ‘Handmaid’s Tale’ in Planned Parenthood Speech: ‘It’s Not Too Late for Us’

“What a time to be holding this centennial,” said Hillary Clinton.

It was a 100-year birthday party for Planned Parenthood, held in downtown New York with 1,200 guests and pinks balloons as far as the eye could see. The non-profit has come under fire since the election because Republicans want to cut federal funding from its clinics that perform abortions, in addition to offering cancer screenings, STD tests and other medical services.

As an antidote, Clinton turned to a popular Hulu TV series. “Just ask those who have been watching ‘The Handmaid’s Tale,’ a book I read and was captivated by years ago,” Clinton said. “I’m not suggesting this dystopian future is around the corner, but this show has prompted important conversations about women’s rights and autonomy.”

“In ‘The Handmaid’s Tale,’ women’s rights are gradually, slowly, stripped away,” Clinton continued, during a 17-minute speech that led to two standing ovations. “As one character says, ‘We didn’t look up from our phones until it was too late.’ It’s not too late for us. We have to encourage the millions of women and men to keep fighting.”

Clinton, who has made a series of public appearances in recent weeks, once again brought up winning the popular vote — with roughly 66 million ballots — in the election. She spoke about the causes that still mattered to her, as well as her travels abroad, where she witnessed botched illegal abortions.

“Now I sometimes ask why I care so deeply about these issues,” Clinton said. “I always find it a bewildering question for me. We’ll start with … I’m a woman, mother, grandmother, and much to the surprise of many, I am a human being. I am also a person of faith who doesn’t take my decisions lightly. My views have been shaped by my experiences.”

She mentioned statistics that showed abortions were on the decline, which she attributed to agencies like Planned Parenthood. “We know that America is at a 30-year-low for unintended pregnancies, and a 40-year-low for teen pregnancy and abortion,” she said.

“Let us respect people’s convictions, but never back down from our commitment to defend the ability of every women to make these deeply personal decisions for herself,” Clinton added.

There were many high-profile faces in the crowd, from Annette Bening to Scarlett Johansson. Meryl Streep presented an honorary award to Shonda Rhimes, a Planned Parenthood board member who has dealt with abortion on her hit TV series “Scandal.” “Women’s health needs protection,” Rhimes said.

Harvey Weinstein splurged $80,000 on a pastel painting by London painter Cecily Brown during a silent auction.

And Chelsea Handler roasted Donald Trump in her opening remarks, as she spoke about Planned Parenthood’s array of services. “Perhaps if our president had visited one of these health centers as a young man … he could have prevented symptoms of undiagnosed long-term syphilis,” she said, alluding to angry outburst and bouts of paranoia. “Look it up: it all matches.”

More Scene

  • Lilli Cooper Tootsie

    How the 'Tootsie' Musical Was Updated for the #MeToo Era

    Turning the beloved 1982 comedy “Tootsie” into a 21st century musical already seemed like a challenge when work on the adaptation began back in 2016. Then the #MeToo movement revved up — and the writers knew they couldn’t tell Dorothy’s story for a modern audience without it. “It’s different than it was when the movie [...]

  • Ralph Fiennes attends a special screening

    Ralph Fiennes on Directing Rudolf Nureyev Biopic: 'It's Been a Very, Very Long Road'

    Ralph Fiennes celebrated his latest directorial outing, “The White Crow,” on Monday night in New York City. The Sony Pictures Classics film tells the story of legendary dancer Rudolf Nureyev. “It’s been a very, very long road. We were mad. We were mad to take on this subject of Rudolf Nureyev. Mad. Completely mad,” Fiennes [...]

  • Taylor Swift Time 100 Performance

    Watch Taylor Swift's Time 100 Gala Performance and Speech

    Just two nights out from Taylor Swift D-day spring 2019 — i.e., Thursday’s release of a new single — Swift made an appearance Tuesday at the Time 100 event in New York, where she did not let loose with any spoiler performances of new music but did sing a few fan favorites, including “Style,” “Delicate,” and [...]

  • Katie HolmesAT&T Presents: Untold Stories Luncheon

    Katie Holmes, Kal Penn Help Decide Winner of $1 Million Filmmaker Grant

    Tribeca Film Festival and AT&T gave one young filmmaker a million and one reasons to rejoice at the “Untold Stories” third annual competition. After a nerve-wracking 10-minute long pitch in front of over 850,000 live stream audience members and a panel consisting of celebrities and industry leaders, filmmaker Kate Tsang was awarded $1 million Monday [...]

  • Laurie Metcalf, John Lithgow'Hillary and Clinton'

    Why John Lithgow Worried About Starring in Broadway's 'Hillary and Clinton'

    When Lucas Hnath first conceived of “Hillary and Clinton” in 2008, he was writing for and about a very different America. Now, a total reimagining of the show has made its way to Broadway with Laurie Metcalf and John Lithgow in the titular roles. At the opening on Thursday night, the cast and creatives talked [...]

  • Patrick Page, Amber Grey, Eva Noblezada,

    'Hadestown' Took 12 Years to Get to Broadway, but It's More Relevant Than Ever

    When “Hadestown” was first staged as a tiny, DIY theater project in Vermont, those involved could never have predicted that it was the start of a 12-year journey to Broadway — or how painfully relevant it would be when it arrived. At Wednesday night’s opening at the Walter Kerr Theatre, the cast and creatives discussed [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content