NEW YORK, March 17, 2014 ( – The entertainment industry has long been accused of working with Planned Parenthood. But Saturday Night Live “Weekend Update” anchor Cecily Strong went one step further: She worked for the abortion industry.

“I worked at Planned Parenthood in Chicago for a long time in the corporate office,” Strong told SNL alumna Rachel Dratch in a recent interview for Michigan Avenue magazine. Dratch had asked if there are “any causes that you feel passionate about.”

She and Planned Parenthood Illinois have both confirmed her employment in a corporate capacity, although neither specified her duties.


Strong added that other causes that inspire her include “St. Jude's,” and “anything women’s rights, gay rights, or animal rights.”

She will take part in Planned Parenthood of Illinois' fourth annual Generations Celebration on Wednesday, April 23. The event's honorary co-chair is Susan Pritzker.

Last weekend, Strong showed her dedication to Planned Parenthood in a sketch alongside HBO Girls star Lena Dunham. “Jewelry Party” castigated a prototypical beta male for shutting down two Planned Parenthood offices.

Dunham told Strong's character, Marisol, that Planned Parenthood provides “low cost medical advice and care,” although abortion accounts for 93.8 percent of its services to pregnant women. Marisol, his Venezuelan girlfriend, breaks up with him because he shut down the facilities.

Latina magazine was outraged by her portrayal. “In the skit, Cecily Strong, who is NOT Latina, plays into the worst kind of stereotypes as a ditzy, ignorant Venezuelan woman with an over-the-top accent and enormous red flower in her hair.” The magazine accused the show of “actively making fun of Latinas.” Others called the skit “offensively lame.”

Strong said she learned her comedic timing when the audience burst out laughing at her performance in the play “Angels in America,” a dramatic play about the AIDS epidemic. “I learned that playing things real is such a big part of comedy, too,” she said.

The 30-year-old grew up in the Chicago suburb of Oak Park. Her father, Bill, was bureau chief for the Associated Press covering state politics. She went on to earn a BFA in Theater from the California Institute of the Arts.

A veteran of the Chicago improvisation scene, Strong previously belittled the pro-life movement in the 2012 short, “How to Sponsor a Uterus.”

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Strong joined the cast of Saturday Night Live in September 2012 and joined Seth Meyers as co-host of “Weekend Update.” Since his departure, she been hosting “Weekend Update” with a new co-anchor, lead writer Colin Jost.

She said she based her SNL character “The Girl You Wish You Hadn't Started a Conversation with at a Party” on her own, sometimes inappropriately intense, dedication to liberal causes.


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