iFamNews has launched a petition to HBO Max to demand that the film be cancelled.
2019 saw the release of arguably the most pro-life film in history, Unplanned, the true story of former Planned Parenthood clinic director and “Employee of the Year” Abby Johnson, whose first-hand encounter with the horrors of abortion turned her into an advocate for life and for helping women to escape the clutches of the abortion industry.
Well, 2020 has in many ways been a lower year than 2019, and it seems no exception in this regard either, because HBO Max is soon to air what may well be the most anti-life film ever produced. The title of the film, Unpregnant, may well be a winking riposte to Johnson’s autobiography, as the movie is based on a book (aimed at “young adults”) published in September of last year.
According to HBO Max’s website:
In Unpregnant, seventeen-year-old Veronica (Haley Lu Richardson) never thought she’d want to fail a test—that is, until she finds herself staring at a piece of plastic with a blue plus. With a promising college-bound future now disappearing before her eyes, Veronica considers a decision she never imagined she’d have to make. This never-taken-lightly decision leads her on a 1000 mile hilarious road trip to New Mexico over three days with her ex-best friend, Bailey (Barbie Ferreira) where they discover sometimes the most important choice you’ll make in life is who your friends are.
… and no, this description itself isn’t meant to be dark comedy: it’s real.
It’s when you read “between the lines” that the full chilling horror of thing really settles upon you. After all, one doesn’t typically think of “… a 1000 mile hilarious road trip” ending with a dead child. One might also think that the decision to snuff out the life of your unborn child is of rather more gravity than choosing “who your friends are”—and, too, we might say, so is the decision of whom you sleep with. (According to a Goodreads synopsis of the book upon which the film is based, the reason Veronica ends up in her situation of an unplanned pregnancy is that her boyfriend, dismayed at her plans to attend college out-of-state and intent to keep her around, pokes holes in the condoms he uses when having sex with her in an attempt to get her pregnant.)
Doubtless part of the strategy behind airing such an abominable film has been orchestrated by HBO Max executive Sarah Aubrey, whose purpose has been described by The New York Times as “challenging Netflix,” but whose appearance as described in the same article is telling:
Dressed in a salmon jumpsuit, metallic Birkenstocks and white socks, she looked more like a bohemian denizen of her Studio City neighborhood than a powerful executive. Even at the pandemic-appropriate distance of six feet, the charm on her necklace was not hard to see: “1973,” the year of the landmark Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade.
Aubrey is quoted in reference to this necklace, that it is “an easier way to talk about feminism without [her] having to wear [her] ‘Feminist AF’ T-shirt.” So, evidently her charm doesn’t end with her jewelry.
Apart from merely “challenging Netlix,” though, Aubrey’s role has been elsewhere characterized as “building on the HBO core audience by targeting younger adults as well as kids and families”—which, apparently, a film about abortion being funny is supposed to be able to do. Certainly, following this logic, Aubrey is well-credentialed for the task: in her previous work at TNT, she managed it such that the network “jumped an impressive 320% on the annual GLAAD TV report rankings for LGBTQ representation.” So, in addition to hysterical abortion slapstick from HBO Max, we can probably also expect a host of even more shows about gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, free-spirit, otherkin, and God knows what else to soon be streaming into homes across the globe.
Well, HBO Max may think abortion is funny, but we certainly don’t. Nor do we think that programming targeting younger demographics should be promoting the lie that it is. Sadly, apart from that glaring lie, other parts of the premise of Unpregnant do reflect reality. Though 17, Veronica’s choice to travel to New Mexico for an abortion without her parents’ consent is plausible, as the state deems age of medical consent to be 14 years of age and makes allowances for these kinds of situations where recalcitrant parents are involved.
iFamNews has launched a petition to HBO Max to demand that the film be cancelled and to suggest that Aubrey be dismissed for this appalling choice of programming. You can sign the petition here:
We doubt, however, that Warner Media Group (which owns the HBO properties) will respond to mere words alone. So we are also encouraging a boycott and cancellation of the streaming service. Perhaps if our words don’t merit attention, the power of the dollar will.
Joseph Grabowski is the Executive Director of the International Organization for the Family. He also serves as Director of Communications for the National Organization for Marriage. Joseph has a B.A. in Philosophy from Saint Charles Borromeo Seminary, Overbrook and M.A. in English from Marquette University. Joe has appeared as an expert on traditional marriage and family in local and nationwide media, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, Breitbart, and elsewhere. Joe’s writings on traditional marriage and family, as well as on Catholic Social Teaching and the writings of G. K. Chesterton and Hilaire Belloc, have appeared in The Stream, Gilbert Magazine, Ethika Politika, and The Distributist Review, and he has spoken at several national conferences on the place of G.K. Chesterton in 20th Century literature and thought.
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