Carly Fiorina has been enjoying a little wave of post-GOP debate fame as many Americans finally begin waking up to who this person running for the Presidency actually is. Unfortunately for Carly, the sparks of any high she felt post-GOP debate fizzled quickly, before the winds of public outrage blew it up into an inferno of criticism. Jane Fonda, feminist and social and political activist on key topics such as equal pay and teen pregnancy, is one of the many that found some of Carly’s statements just plain inaccurate. According to HLN TV Sept. 28, she called out Carly Fiorina’s flaming trousers, and says, she’s not sure why Carly Fiorina is a liar, but presumes it’s just to make headlines.
Jane Fonda is no stranger to the topic of teen pregnancy, and knows what she’s talking about when she says Carly Fiorina’s comments on Planned Parenthood “just aren’t accurate.” CTV News reported last week that last week Jane Fonda celebrated a milestone anniversary for her Georgia-based charity that she began in 1995. Last week was the twentieth anniversary of the Georgia Campaign for Adolescent Power and Potential, which 77-year-old Jane Fonda celebrated in Atlanta last week.
Jane told HLN this week that when she founded the organization, Georgia had one of the highest teen pregnancy rates in the country. Since then, the state has seen a drop by 60% in teen pregnancies. Fonda doesn’t attribute all of that drop due to her work, but she can’t help but feel a little responsible.
And she’s not alone. Her accomplishments were celebrated with her by many of the world’s political and media elite. CNN’s Ted Turner attended Jane’s gala in Atlanta last week, as did NBA star Julius Erving and former US Surgeon Generals David Satcher and Joycelyn Elders. Jane told the Associated Press last week that when she started the organization, social times were tough, even in 1995.
Fonda said that she found that talking about topics like contraception and teen pregnancy in a very red and very Conservative state difficult. She still thinks more sex ed is needed in American curriculum. Until that happens, the Georgia Campaign for Adolescent Power and Potential is spreading that message.
“When we started 20 years ago, it was so hard. I mean, there were many counties where we were not allowed to come in to talk about pregnancy, contraception, comprehensive sexuality education…..Now, many of those same counties are begging us to come in because they’ve seen that it can make a difference.”
CTV reports that the numbers from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reflect what Jane Fonda is saying. There has been a decline in teen pregnancies, but the numbers are still staggering. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, there are approximately 26.5 births for every 1,000 teenagers annually as of 2013. That translates into a quarter of a million teenage pregnancies in America annually, as of 2013.
Jane Fonda is hoping her work has an even greater impact over the next 20 years, than it did in the 20 previous. The organization is based out of Atlanta, Georgia. As Fonda has moved to Los Angeles to continue work in acting, she has stepped down as the organization’s Chair, but remains very active. She is currently expanding the mission of the GCAPP so that its messages include ones that pertain to physical activity and nutrition, two topics she is world renowned for being a very passionate expert in.
Yasmin Vossoughian for HLN News caught up with Jane Fonda this week. HLN was hoping to find out more about Jane’s political leanings, in addition to her social activism. And Jane Fonda interviewed in true Jane Fonda style, not holding back any punches. She told Yasmin why she started the GCAPP.
“I had a difficult adolescence and um, so I have a great deal of empathy for teenagers…..I decided that that was a way that I could be helpful, in improving the lives of adolescents. When we started in 1995, Georgia had the highest rate of teen pregnancy in the country, it was really bad and that has dropped by 60%. I can’t say that the Georgia Campaign for Adolescent Power and Potential is [completely responsible] for that shift, but we’re the organization that have kept this issue on the front burner.”
77-year-old Jane Fonda also told HLN that she feels being a part of the Twitter Nation is not enough to create social and political change. She says you have to get out in the streets.
“Writing, tweeting, blogging, connecting with your elected officials is very important. I’ve been going to Canada for climate rallies for example…it’s changing there because there have been tens of thousands in the street protesting, forcing the officials to take action.”
Jane Fonda considers herself a feminist and an activist, and she’s not afraid to say it. Calling upon a speech made by Emma Watson on feminism, where Emma Watson protested the fact that feminism has become such an uncomfortable word, HLN asked Jane if she thought feminism was a “bad” word.
“Feminism means we have an equal opportunity to be a human being on every level. And why wouldn’t we want that? It means that doors are not closed to us because of our gender. And I think everyone except Neanderthals should be in favor of that.”
But it’s not just accepting humans for what they are, that Fonda wants to see changed. She said she wants the politicians to do their part. And she thinks that a talk on adding an equal rights amendment to the Constitution for women, was a very important conversation that was missing from the recent GOP debate. She told HLN,
“I want an equal rights amendment, to make equal rights for women part of our Constitution. I would have been very curious to see what those Republican candidates said. I bet most of them would have said no. I hope I’m wrong.”
With the subject of feminism and politics now on the table simultaneously, HLN took the open door as an opportunity to address the pink elephant in the room. HLN asked Jane Fonda what she thought of the two women candidates running for President of the United States. Jane said,
“Well, I think Hillary’s great…(long pause with awkward laughter) Want to know what my problem with Carly Fiorina is? She’s a liar….You’d have to ask her why she lies, I don’t know. To get headlines I guess? What she said about Planned Parenthood is just not true. I’ve read very carefully about her record as a CEO, it’s a little bit puffed up but, you know, on the Republican side…she’s not the only one.”
Could Jane Fonda be referring to Donald Trump or Jeb Bush who have had a series of flack themselves since the debate? What would Jane Fonda think about Jeb Bush’s comments on single moms? You can watch clips from Jane Fonda’s most recent interview here. In the meantime, while Jane Fonda is working steadily with her campaign, she is filming the next season of the Netflix original series “Grace and Frankie” with Lily Tomlin. She also regularly updates her own blog, here’s one from when she appeared in Toronto, Ontario, this summer for a big Climate and Jobs March.