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Stand with Planned Parenthood: Ariana Grande joins the movement

She may have a penchant for licking donuts, hating on ‘Murica and being a Mariah-worthy diva, but Ariana Grande’s latest publicity stunt is for a greater cause. The singer posted a pink photo to Instagram of herself with the words #StandwithPP superimposed over her.

Grande joins the ranks of high profile people and celebrities everywhere, like Lena Dunham, Connie Briton, Sara Bareilles, Scarlett Johansson and even Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, trying to stop the efforts of Congress to defund the organisation.

Despite the focus of the media firestorm being on the abortion procedures provided by Planned Parenthood, it actually only makes up about 3% of their services. Even though the majority of Americans support federal funding allocated to PP (in fact, the healthcare provider fares better in the poles many politicians), a series of disturbing videos allegedly showing PP officials discussing the sale of aborted foetal matter has fuelled the oppositional movement.

The support of celebrities like Dunham and Grande is important because it gives a voice to a movement and a service which is highly stigmatised in both American and Australian society. It joins the ranks of other movements, like #ShoutYourAbortion, seeking to remove the negative connotation surrounding abortion.

Abortion has come under increasing scrutiny in Australia too, where it it still technically illegal to have an abortion performed in NSW and Queensland. Women can only obtain one through a legal loophole, whereby the women must prove she will be psychologically or physically unsound if the pregnancy continues.

Planned Parenthood’s president Cecile Richards was forced to defend her organisation in a congressional hearing on Tuesday, facing a barrage of criticism on everything from her leadership to her salary size. If congress is successful in efforts to defund the organisation, it could mean million of women lose access to sexual and reproductive healthcare and be a fatal blow to the availability of abortion services.

Women’s bodies are not political battlegrounds and the right to control over your own body should be a fundamental human right. Let’s hope more musicians and celebrities get behind the cause, or we could see healthcare reforms for women go back to the dark ages.