Word on the Litchfield prison yard is that Orange is the New Black stars Natasha Lyonne and Selenis Leyva are supporting Planned Parenthood with some awesome limited edition t-shirts. Known as Nicky Nichols and Gloria Mendoza back in the cellblock, the pair has designed a shirt as part of Planned Parenthood’s celebrity tee series, in which other brazenly bold celebs — including Scarlett Johansson and Gabrielle Union — have already participated.
The shirts were created to promote Planned Parenthood Action Fund’s 2014 Women Are Watching movement, an advocacy and political campaign that hopes to mobilize voters and show them what’s at stake in women’s health rights in November’s midterm election, like the possibility of more heavily-restricted abortion laws, less available cancer screenings and female health exams, and prohibited sex education in schools across the country. The campaign intends to fight politicians who want to limit women’s health and reproductive rights, particularly those who support the Supreme Court’s decision that companies like Hobby Lobby are allowed to refuse coverage of birth control in their employees’ health care plan. But those Parenthood superheroes could always use some help and that’s where our favorite fictional inmates come in. Seriously, who better to bring these issues to young voters’ attention than these ladies?
In a press release sent by Planned Parenthood, Natasha Lyonne explained her involvement with the organization, saying:
"Politics aside — birth control is basic health care. Anyone who says differently is deeply out of touch. That’s why I’m proud to partner with Planned Parenthood Action Fund to make sure people get out and vote and send a message to politicians that you can’t win the support of women if you’ve spent your entire career attacking our access to basic health care. This is about respect and equality. And if politicians don’t trust women to make our own health care decisions, then we can’t trust those politicians to fight for us."
Coming from a show that has become known for featuring lower-income women and minorities, the devastating effects of not having access to women’s healthcare, and what happens when the demand for women's rights are often met with red tape, Lyonne and Leyva have the perfect platform and the kind of loyal-till-the-end-of-time fan base that's needed to propel the movement forward.
The shirts are actually super cool, reading "I am one of the 99% of women who have used birth control," on the front and "It’s my business. Not politicians" on the back. You can snag them now at PlannedParenthood.org, but there are even more ways to fight for equal rights. Remember to go that extra mile and vote in the November elections to keep bad policies from passing in the first place, and fight the ones that already exist by contacting your politicians and getting involved in the Women are Watching campaign. "[This] should be a rallying call for young women to get out the vote on November 4th in support of candidates that will stand up and fight for them. We need to make our voices heard," insists Leyva. Say it sister.
Images: Ali Goldstein for Netflix; Courtesy Planned Parenthood (2)