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Rowan Blanchard: I think especially for people my age or a little older than me, sexual health is always something that's used against them, or in sex ed classes, it's talked about from a male perspective, and it's never something that's in favor of a woman. I can go there and have a non-judgmental place where it's safe." Richards: I'm curious about people your age, because it's so important that we move and change to be there for young people.What is it you feel that they need from Planned Parenthood?And then once she became political, she was really into the women's movement. But I also think that the more you have a chance at an early age to take a stand, no matter how supportive your parents are, there's a moment at which -- and I'm sure there was a moment for you -- when you say, "I just have to do that myself." And then once you do, if it feels good, and feels right… And I tell this to our young activists, that there's a lot of times that everyone is actually thinking the same thing you are, but either no one knows how to say it, or they're not quite ready to say it, and then you say it and they go, "I'm so glad you said that." That must happen to you all the time. I mean, obviously I'm not afraid to tackle things, because I feel like I've read the news my whole life, and at one point it's like, "I don't really want this to be happening." I feel like I made the connection between the political as personal, and knowing that those things actually affect me.When I started talking about them on social media, I noticed that with teenage girls [and insecurity], it comes from a deep place of shame about their bodies, and everything that they're taught from a very young age. Richards: Social media is an awesome thing, particularly because women's stories are told.The president of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America was recently in the spotlight for the way she intelligently and gracefully testified before Congress during a House hearing that included accusations and bullying from GOP lawmakers attempting to cut federal funding from the organization.A few months after these events, Richards and Blanchard got together to discuss why it's more important than ever that young women receive information about reproductive health, and why despite this fraught political landscape, there's a lot of reason for hope. And I know so many of my friends who are like, "I come from a very conservative family that literally does not believe in any of this, in being able to have access to any of this," and they're like, "I can drive, and I know where my nearest Planned Parenthood is...Or what do they need in their life that Planned Parenthood could actually be there for?
So I think your impact on the Internet has had a huge effect on people my age, because it's anonymous and it's safe. But I'm kind of shocked to hear you say that, even for your generation, these are still issues that people are uncomfortable about.
I know growing up in Texas that it was really uncomfortable because usually the coaches were teaching sex ed, and they were super uncomfortable, but it shouldn't be that way anymore.