Thursday, September 22, 2016

Conan's late night sidekick tells his Planned Parenthood story. Oh yes, he has one.

Courtesy of the Hollywood Reporter:

It’s not easy for anyone to share an abortion story, but Andy Richter did just that on Sept. 10. Host of the second Sexy Beast, the art-themed fundraiser for Planned Parenthood L.A. (PPLA) held at The Theater at Ace Hotel, Richter took attendees at the event back to the early 1990s, when he and his then-girlfriend (and now-wife), comedian Sarah Thyre, were starring in Jill Soloway’s stage production of The Brady Bunch. 

“I’d like to share a story,” he began. “In 1992, my girlfriend and I were having a rough time. We’d been performing in a show together for a couple of years, but it had come to an end, and we found ourselves living apart. She was in New York City working three jobs; I was in Chicago jobless and sleeping on my mother’s couch. The strain of living apart, and the stress of being two young people attempting to make a living as performers and writers was really taking a toll on its relationship. So when she called me to tell me that she was pregnant, it was not exactly happy news." 

 "Luckily for us Planned Parenthood existed," Richter continued. "My girlfriend knew that she was not ready for motherhood, and I knew that I was in no way prepared to be a father. I drove from Chicago in my battered old Toyota pick-up to be with her when she went to Planned Parenthood to terminate her pregnancy. Her choice to get an abortion was a choice that she made with assuredness. She knew that she was doing the right thing for everyone involved. But I can’t say it was easy. She was sad, and I was sad, and it was sad. But to this day, I know that she will tell you that she made the right decision."

Richter's story took another sad turn before a very happy conclusion. "Soon after I returned to Chicago, the strain of our long-distance relationship became too much for us, and Sarah and I broke up," he said. "But then, what seems like five minutes after that, we realized that breaking up was the stupidest thing we’d ever done. So we got back together, and we got engaged, and we got married, and we had a couple kids, and a parrot and two dogs. And so far, we’ve been married for 22 wonderful years. Planned Parenthood gave two young struggling people the ability to do the thing that is in their name: We got to plan parenthood. When we could barely care for ourselves, much less a newborn, we were able to choose the time when we brought a child into our lives. Planned Parenthood allowed my wife to make the decisions she needed to make in order to control her body and her health, and maintain her life and her future. And for that, I will be eternally grateful.”

I thought this was a very poignant story, and made even more so by the fact that it was told by a male concerning how the decision to terminate an unwanted pregnancy positively affected his life.

We actually need to hear more stories from the male perspective because often these decisions are as difficult and terrifying for them as they are for the women.

And ending a pregnancy when you are not yet ready to care for a child, certainly does NOT mean that you will not go on to have a wonderful family, a wonderful marriage, and to be a wonderful mother or father.

I have known more than one couple who terminated an early pregnancy only to go on to have a house full of kids after they finished school and were financially and emotionally ready to be parents.


  1. Anonymous4:07 AM

    Tell this to the Johnstons and Barstool.

    1. Anonymous4:57 AM

      Ha ha right

    2. Anonymous5:35 AM

      There is no reason to believe Bristol has not made a choice, say, in 2010.

    3. Anonymous5:58 AM

      @5:35, was that the 'wite-out' that had to happen over a Gino-inspired oopsy?

    4. Anonymous6:11 AM

      I've seen all of the DWTS pics with Bristol and while she was definitely fat, I'm not totally convinced she was pregnant. I think that would have been too much of a liability for ABC etc to take on if she were injured. And with all of the people that work behind the scenes plus the other contestants, it would've been very hard to keep a secret. There would literally be hundreds of oeople signing an NDA and I can't believe they could pull off something with so many cameramen, costume people, etc seeing her every day.

    5. Anonymous11:55 AM

      6:11 I agree that the risk for the TV studio to have a pregnant dancer compete in a competition would be something to consider.

      What can't be explained in Bristol gaining weight during said dance competition when no one else gains weight. Especially, considering the fact that Bristol now maintains a very low weight.

  2. Anonymous6:18 AM

    but isn't this is EXACTLY what you'd expect Satan to tell his minions to say?

    heh heh heh... jk.

    Thanks for sharing your experience, Andy & Sarah. And thanks for being there for them and millions of others in need, Planned Parenthood.
    And fuck you, religio-conservative douchebags, who spend every waking minute plotting to regain control over our reproductive organs.

    (but shouldn't they really call it Unplanned Parenthood? Just like we call it the Level 1 Trauma Center and not the Everything's Fine Department)

    1. Anonymous9:17 AM

      Their primary focus is assisting people in planning their reproduction via birth control, that is the major portion of their business, with the removal of the products of unplanned conceptions being a secondary service for those who did not initially avail themselves of the primary service, so I personally think that Planned Parenthood is an appropriate name.

  3. Anonymous6:26 AM

    I agree with you G, that it is helpful to hear men's accounts. It's too easy right now to just label the woman as careless or a slut.

    Thanks for posting.

  4. I had a planned pregnancy with a girlfriend in 2000. But she got sick, real sick and she made the choice. There was nothing easy about it but I sure am glad we had the choice.

  5. Anonymous7:39 AM

    You must have been a very close friend to those couples to have been privy to such confidential, life changing information.

    1. Actually not really.

      People overshare with me all of the time.

      I think I just have one of those faces.

    2. Anonymous8:38 AM

      Me too!

  6. eclecticsandra8:13 AM

    I wonder why they didn't consult Planned Parenthood earlier.

    1. Anonymous9:28 AM

      Who's to say they didn't? When has birth control ever been one hundred percent effective? Unless we're talking about abstinence, Bristol palin's favorite contraception.

    2. Anonymous9:46 AM

      I know of several women who were on birth control pills, took them properly, and wound up being members of the 1-2% who conceive while on the pill.

      Go ahead and get judgey-wudgey, trolls. These ladies I know were all married and banging their husbands, not out screwing around when they had unwanted pregnancies.
      No one in modern society should have an unwanted baby, and no child should EVER have to suffer growing up unwanted. EVER. These unwanted kids are so prone to vile abuses and neglect.

  7. Anonymous8:16 AM

    Or it could be they know you will not judge them.

  8. Anonymous8:37 AM

    "I drove from Chicago in my battered old Toyota pick-up to be with her when she went to Planned Parenthood to terminate her pregnancy. Her choice to get an abortion..."

    The irony is that it is called "planned parenthood" when it is anything but. Why not call it "oops we didn't use a jimmy and I got pregnant, unplanned, and now I need a way out to NOT be a parent(hood)"

    1. Anonymous9:16 AM

      8:37. Don't be an idiot. Planned Parenthood's provides birth control services far more than it dies abortions. That's the planned part - provide birth control services for millions of women so they can plan their pregnancies or not. This is critical for womens' health in many countries....unfortunately, our "friends" in the GOP keep defunding PP to keep them from providing such essential services.

    2. Anonymous9:17 AM

      Because 97% of what Planned Parenthood does is NOT abortion; more than half of their services are providing contraception to keep pregnancies from happening.

    3. Anonymous9:26 AM

      You are displaying a remarkable amount of ignorance concerning contraception. Bristol, is that you?
      Contraception isn't 100% yet and until it is, abortion needs to be safe and legal. you have to get sterilized for 100% and that's often not reversible OR realistically possible for the man or woman.
      Most couples who've been thru abortion wouldn't agree that it's such an easy way out, as you so judgementaly suggest. And that's the point of Richter's statement, Bristol. They got to PLAN their future family together, on their time table when they were both financially and emotionally able to parent. So Yes, it's aptly named 'Planned Parenthood'. No surprise it all went way over your little head.

    4. Anonymous11:38 AM

      Ahhh, but let us not lie, it is the easy way out, isn't it 9:26?

    5. Anonymous4:29 PM

      Well, if they really wanted to describe the majority of what they do they'd call it "Women's Health Clinic" but that isn't very catchy.

    6. Anonymous1:51 PM

      11:38AM is either a GOP male or a palin.
      Some women NEVER want to be pregnant. EVER. And in this here Modern Murika, that should be just as viable an option as yer 'blessed mutherhood'. Since obtaining a two-bull (tubal ligation) is fraught with lengthy legalities for married OR unmarrieds, and many indignities along the way, not to mention expensive as shit and it's a fucking SURGERY, yeah we have pregnancy termination since Every fuck is possibly the start of a pregnancy whether you want that or not. And abortion has been around sincepeoplebeganfucking, sweetie. Since the dawn of humankind, there have been women who have NEVER wanted to be pregnant as well as women who didn't want to bear a child then. And that is HER choice, sorry if that pisses you off to the point you sink to slut-shaming, with your "easy way out" dig. That's all that is. Sorry Charlie, but it's HER body, HER choice. An unwanted pregnancy should never be equated with punishment for consensual sex. To suggest this is sickening, and that's what you're doing, let us not lie 11:38AM.

  9. Anonymous10:14 AM

    Democrats walk out of GOP-led Planned Parenthood hearing

  10. I have two sisters and a great aunt who were pro-lifers to the core--until circumstances put all three of them in a place where they had to look at the future and the chaos an unplanned pregnancy can create.

    All three of them had a young person in their lives looking at college and life beyond, two of them knew the consequences of an unplanned pregnancy and no choice but to get married and have a baby. When it came to their own children, they were hell bent on making sure their kids got a choice.
    Funny how that happens huh? Until it becomes a cold reality, it's really easy to throw all that pro-life anti-Planned Parenthood crap around. But when two full ride scholarships were on the line and one kid who wouldn't be able to graduate from freaking high school on time--all that noisy rhetoric just dried up and blew away. grads, married and four kids between them. Imagine that..all planned.

    1. Anonymous1:09 PM

      That little story right there makes me so happy that my parents were realists and had me on birth control at age 15 after I told them that I was sexually active.

      No unplanned pregnancies in our house and I was on birth control until age I was 25 when I met my life partner and we've been together for 25 years and never had children, even without birth control!

      My parents and I Iaugh now because obviously I'm unable to conceive but I'm still thankful that they were proactive when I was having sex in my teens, even though it was a moot point.

    2. Anonymous4:31 PM

      And I'll bet they are still Anti-Planned Parenthood.

      I guess Abstinence didn't work out, huh?

  11. Anonymous11:47 AM

    I suspect that, under the circumstances, if they had gone through with the pregnancy when they were young, struggling, and unprepared, the odds are they would NOT still be happily married 22 years later.

    Marriage is challenging enough without starting out under those kinds of pressures.

  12. Anita Winecooler6:05 PM

    One of my favorite charities/causes. Good for the men who are open with their experiences as well. An acquaintance of ours was lamenting about an ex of his who had an std. He felt embarrassed to go to his PCP because he's a friend of his family's, I told him to check with PP, sure enough, he got tested and had gonorrhea, which, untreated, can lead to infertility and all sorts of horrid things. They charged him on a sliding scale, used a nickname his friends use when they called (was still living with the rents), He paid his bill and gives when he can.
    Thing is, Men are Parents too, and they deserve the same privacy and level of care as women.


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