January 24, 2013

Planned Parenthood is a great organization. They provide so many important services—sex education, access to contraceptives, pro-choice lobbying, screening for HIV and cancer, and yes, abortion—that it’s unfortunately mind-boggling how their mission could be baldly manipulated for political purposes. Here’s an upswing in good fortune, though: The Second City, the Chicago-based comedy club where stars like Tina Fey and Amy Poehler made their bones, have been running a scheme in which audience members can bid to get their ideas on stage for use in an improv scene. When the scenes are completed, the audience finds out that all their money has gone to… Planned Parenthood! (clap clap clap)

To date, they’ve raised more than $32,000 for the organization. (Beforehand, the audience is told that they can’t get their money back — even if their idea doesn’t get on stage.) “When it’s told that the money goes to Planned Parenthood, the response is usually positive, but not overwhelmingly so,” said Katie Rich, the cast member who came up with the scheme. “We get some boos from time to time, because people don’t fully understand what Planned Parenthood does.” And now they do, which is good for everyone. To anyone who’d have a problem with that: What’s wrong with you?

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