He gave us Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Firefly, and the Avengers.
Now writer/director Joss Whedon has teamed with Planned Parenthood to produce and underwrite a short film entitled UNLOCKED that highlights the vital role Planned Parenthood health centers play in the lives of millions of women in communities nationwide.
The film follows three different women through critical moments in their lives—and depicts what the world would look like if attempts to shut down Planned Parenthood succeed. The film comes as Planned Parenthood faces continued attacks in Congress. Earlier this month, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the ACA repeal bill (otherwise known as the American Health Care Act)—which included a provision to prohibit people with Medicaid coverage from accessing preventive care at Planned Parenthood health centers.
Watch the powerful and emotional film on YouTube and then share using the campaign hashtag #StandWithPP.
UNLOCKED explores the role Planned Parenthood doctors and clinicians play in providing lifesaving cancer screenings, STD testing and treatment, as well as affordable birth control—services the U.S. House of Representatives voted to block as part of the AHCA.
In California, Planned Parenthood health centers serve more than 850,000 patients each year. Here are just some of the services at risk if Planned Parenthood health centers were to close their doors:
- Contraception to nearly 631,000 patients
- Nearly 307,000 emergency contraception kits
- 1 million pregnancy tests
- 97,000 cervical cancer screenings
- More than 75,000 breast exams
- More than 1 million tests and treatments for sexually transmitted infections
- Sexual health education programs reaching 207,000 people
While the characters in the film are fictional, inspiration comes from real-life issues and close collaboration with Planned Parenthood staff. In preparation for making of the film, Whedon and producer Jennifer Cochis toured several Planned Parenthood Los Angeles health centers and shadowed a peer-focused sex education training. They spoke with young adults about Planned Parenthood’s sex education program—the nation’s largest—which focuses on consent and healthy relationships.
“UNLOCKED is about what a world without Planned Parenthood would look like, which is truly dire,” said Writer/Director Joss Whedon. “I’ve supported Planned Parenthood in the past, but until I worked with them closely on this, I didn’t understand how many services they—and for some, they alone—provide.”
This is not the first time Whedon has spoken out in support of Planned Parenthood. Whedon partnered with the organization on a fundraising initiative in November of 2015.
“We’re grateful to Joss Whedon and the entire cast, crew and production team for standing with the millions of people who rely on Planned Parenthood health centers,” said Sue Dunlap, President & Chief Executive Officer of Planned Parenthood Los Angeles. “Each day, thousands of women, men, and young people call us seeking care. They often reach out to us in their most vulnerable moments, and we are committed to keeping our doors open to them—no matter what. This includes making sure they have access to basic care like birth control, cancer screenings, and STD testing and treatment, and that all young people have the information and tools they need to make healthy, informed decisions. We are honored that Joss Whedon and his team took the time to learn about and understand our work, and share it with the world.”