Andy Richter shared an honest story about what abortion access meant to his family.

Comedian Andy Richter is best known as Conan O'Brien's quippy sidekick.

You may also know him as the guy who absolutely crushed CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer on "Celebrity Jeopardy" to raise money for St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital.

Andy and Conan probably up to some shenanigans. Photo via Team Coco/YouTube.


Other than that, though, he keeps a relatively low profile.

Recently, Richter was invited to speak at the Sexy Beast Gala for Planned Parenthood, where he shared a surprisingly personal and meaningful story.  

“I’d like to share a story,” he began (emphasis mine):

"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 our relationship. So when she called me to tell me that she was pregnant, it was not exactly happy news."

Richter went on to explain that in that difficult moment, he was immensely grateful for the existence of Planned Parenthood.

Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images.

He continued:

"Luckily for us, Planned Parenthood existed. 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 pickup 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."

Shortly after, the stress and strain of their long-distance relationship took its toll, and Richter and his girlfriend broke up.

But not for long, he explained:

"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."



Andy Richter (far right) and his family in 2015. Photo via Team Coco/YouTube.

Despite the fact that the procedure is common and has been federally legal for 43 years, abortion is still vilified, stigmatized, and blatantly misrepresented in the media.

Constant inflammatory rhetoric makes abortion providers like Planned Parenthood frequent targets for violence.

In November 2015, three people were killed at a Planned Parenthood in Colorado Springs when a man walked in and opened fire. It was mere months after an anti-abortion group started releasing misleading videos about Planned Parenthood's practices.

Photo by Olivier Douliery/Getty Images.

The more people like Richter share their positive experiences with abortion, the more we can change the conversation around it.

In August 2016, actress Naya Rivera revealed in her book that she had an abortion while shooting "Glee." She told People that she made the decision to publicly share that part of her life because abortion "is not something a lot of people talk about. ... But I hope someone out there gets something out of [her story]." Comedian Chelsea Handler, "Girls" actor Jemima Kirke, and rapper Nicki Minaj have also opened up about their own experiences with abortion in recent years.

The reality of abortion is in stories like Andy's, Naya's, Chelsea's, Jemima's, and Nicki's. It's in the stories of the 1 in 3 women who will use their right to an abortion in their lifetimes.

In Richter's case, he and his then-girlfriend, now-wife faced a difficult decision and had to make a choice. The choice they made allowed them to start a family on their own terms, when they were ready to support one.

Photo by Alex J. Berliner/ABImages via AP Images.

On a broader scale, safe access to abortion helps make society better for everyone by reducing child abuse, narrowing the gender gap, reducing crime, and (like it did for Richter and his wife) strengthening relationships — as people aren't forced to bring a child into the world that they don't feel equipped to take care of.

Every story like this that gets shared helps correct the misinformation that has been spread by the anti-abortion movement. These stories help the millions of people that Planned Parenthood reaches every year feel more secure in their ability to exercise their right to make decisions about their health, their safety, and their lives. And that's a good thing.

Family
Youtube

Should a man lose his home because the grass in his yard grew higher than 10 inches? The city of Dunedin, Florida seems to think so.

According to the Institute of Justice, which is representing Jim Ficken, he had a very good reason for not mowing his lawn – and tried to rectify the situation as best he could.

In 2014, Jim's mom became ill and he visited her often in South Carolina to help her out. When he was away, his grass grew too long and he was cited by a code office; he cut the grass and wasn't fined.

France has started forcing supermarkets to donate food instead of throwing it away.

But several years later, this one infraction would come back to haunt him after he left to take care of him's mom's affairs after she died. The arrangements he made to have his grass cut fell through (his friend who he asked to help him out passed away unexpectedly) and that set off a chain reaction that may result in him losing his home.

The 69-year-old retiree now faces a $29,833.50 fine plus interest. Watch the video to find out just what Jim is having to deal with.

Mow Your Lawn or Lose Your House! www.youtube.com

Cities

The world officially loves Michelle Obama.

The former first lady has overtaken the number one spot in a poll of the world's most admired women. Conducted by online research firm YouGov, the study uses international polling tools to survey people in countries around the world about who they most admire.

In the men's category, Bill Gates took the top spot, followed by Barack Obama and Jackie Chan.

In the women's category, Michelle Obama came first, followed by Oprah Winfrey and Angelina Jolie. Obama pushed Jolie out of the number one spot she claimed last year.

Unsurprising, really, because what's not to love about Michelle Obama? She is smart, kind, funny, accomplished, a great dancer, a devoted wife and mother, and an all-around, genuinely good person.

She has remained dignified and strong in the face of rabid masses of so-called Americans who spent eight years and beyond insisting that she's a man disguised as a woman. She's endured non-stop racist memes and terrifying threats to her family. She has received far more than her fair share of cruelty, and always takes the high road. She's the one who coined, "When they go low, we go high," after all.

She came from humble beginnings and remains down to earth despite becoming a familiar face around the world. She's not much older than me, but I still want to be like Michelle Obama when I grow up.

Her memoir, Becoming, may end up being the best-selling memoir of all time, having already sold 10 million copies—a clear sign that people can't get enough Michelle, because there's no such thing as too much Michelle.

Don't like Michelle Obama? Don't care. Those of us who love her will fly our MO flags high and without apology, paying no mind to folks with cold, dead hearts who don't know a gem of a human being when they see one. There is nothing any hater can say or do to make us admire this undeniably admirable woman any less.

When it seems like the world has lost its mind—which is how it feels most days these days—I'm just going to keep coming back to this study as evidence that hope for humanity is not lost.

Here. Enjoy some real-life Michelle on Jimmy Kimmel. (GAH. WHY IS SHE SO CUTE AND AWESOME. I can't even handle it.)

Michelle & Barack Obama are Boring Now www.youtube.com

Most Shared
via EarthFix / Flickr

What will future generations never believe that we tolerated in 2019?

Dolphin and orca captivity, for sure. They'll probably shake their heads at how people died because they couldn't afford healthcare. And, they'll be completely mystified at the amount of food some people waste while others go starving.

According to Biological Diversity, "An estimated 40 percent of the food produced in the United States is wasted every year, costing households, businesses and farms about $218 billion annually."

There are so many things wrong with this.

First of all it's a waste of money for the households who throw out good food. Second, it's a waste of all of the resources that went into growing the food, including the animals who gave their lives for the meal. Third, there's something very wrong with throwing out food when one in eight Americans struggle with hunger.

Supermarkets are just as guilty of this unnecessary waste as consumers. About 10% of all food waste are supermarket products thrown out before they've reached their expiration date.

Three years ago, France took big steps to combat food waste by making a law that bans grocery stores from throwing away edible food.According to the new ordinance, stores can be fined for up to $4,500 for each infraction.

Previously, the French threw out 7.1 million tons of food. Sixty-seven percent of which was tossed by consumers, 15% by restaurants, and 11% by grocery stores.

This has created a network of over 5,000 charities that accept the food from supermarkets and donate them to charity. The law also struck down agreements between supermarkets and manufacturers that prohibited the stores from donating food to charities.

"There was one food manufacturer that was not authorized to donate the sandwiches it made for a particular supermarket brand. But now, we get 30,000 sandwiches a month from them — sandwiches that used to be thrown away," Jacques Bailet, head of the French network of food banks known as Banques Alimentaires, told NPR.

It's expected that similar laws may spread through Europe, but people are a lot less confident at it happening in the United States. The USDA believes that the biggest barrier to such a program would be cost to the charities and or supermarkets.

"The logistics of getting safe, wholesome, edible food from anywhere to people that can use it is really difficult," the organization said according to Gizmodo. "If you're having to set up a really expensive system to recover marginal amounts of food, that's not good for anybody."

Plus, the idea may seem a little too "socialist" for the average American's appetite.

"The French version is quite socialist, but I would say in a great way because you're providing a way where they [supermarkets] have to do the beneficial things not only for the environment, but from an ethical standpoint of getting healthy food to those who need it and minimizing some of the harmful greenhouse gas emissions that come when food ends up in a landfill," Jonathan Bloom, the author of American Wasteland, told NPR.

However, just because something may be socialist doesn't mean it's wrong. The greater wrong is the insane waste of money, damage to the environment, and devastation caused by hunger that can easily be avoided.

Planet

The world is dark and full of terrors, but every once in a while it graces us with something to warm our icy-cold hearts. And that is what we have today, with a single dad who went viral on Twitter after his daughter posted the photos he sent her when trying to pick out and outfit for his date. You love to see it.




After seeing these heartwarming pics, people on Twitter started suggesting this adorable man date their moms. It was essentially a mom and date matchmaking frenzy.

Keep Reading Show less
Family