Planned Parenthood is praising two recent films for challenging stigmas around topics like sex, sexuality, and abortion.
The group said Friday that it provided information and support to the filmmakers behind Sleeping with Other People, starring Jason Sudeikis and Alison Brie, and Grandma, with Lily Tomlin, to make sure they handled topics like masturbation and abortion accurately and sensitively.
Lily Tomlin stars in Grandma as a lesbian poet who needs to get $600 together quicky so her teenage granddaughter (played by Julia Garner) can have an abortion.
“The film highlights the need for every woman to have full, accurate information about all of her options so that she can make the best decision for herself — as well as the need for skilled, respectful providers who can ensure that she is treated without judgment or shame,” said Caren Spruch, senior advisor of arts and entertainment engagement at Planned Parenthood Federation of America. “When it comes to abortion, every woman’s situation is unique, and every woman’s decision about her pregnancy — whether to parent, choose adoption, or have an abortion — should be respected and valued.”
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Sleeping with Other People, Spruch added, “addresses very real aspects of women’s and men’s sexuality, including masturbation, virginity, and sex addiction.”
“The movie also features a scene that depicts female masturbation, a topic that’s still relatively new to the big screen,” she said. “This lack underscores the need for more understanding and openness about this healthy and normal aspect of sexuality.”
Spruch also noted that films and television shows can help change the conversations around those topics.
“Honest portrayals of sexual and reproductive health topics like abortion and masturbation in film and television are still extremely rare, and that’s part of a much bigger lack of honest depictions of women’s lives, health, and sexuality,” she said. “We’re thrilled that the filmmakers behind Grandma and Sleeping with Other People recognize this fact.”
Grandma and Sleeping with Other People are in theaters now. You can see trailers for both above.