In 2012, Buffy creator Joss Whedon was forced to defend his feminist heroine from pro-lifers who weren't happy with her decision to have an abortion. Issue 6, Season 9 of the Buffy comic spin-off was an important one for Whedon, a long-time crusader for Planned Parenthood who was frustrated by media skirting around the issue of abortion.
"I don't think Buffy should have a baby," he said at the time. "I don't think Buffy can take care of a baby. I agree with Buffy. It's a very difficult decision for her, but she made a decision that so many people make and it's such a hot button issue with Planned Parenthood under constant threat and attack right now."
Nine months later, Barack Obama would win a second presidential term. Five years later, decisions about what women do with their bodies look like this.
The thing is, Planned Parenthood's services extend far beyond abortion. Whedon is driving this home in a new short film he directed for the crucial organisation. Unlocked focuses on three women navigating a life in which efforts to shut down Planned Parenthood have succeeded. A teenager faces an unwanted pregnancy, a high school student watches her friend play Russian Roulette with STIs, and a woman watches her family stand by as she dies from cancer.
"If politicians succeed in shutting down Planned Parenthood, millions of people lose access to basic health services. STD testing, birth control, cancer screenings… how can these be at risk?" Whedon said in a statement. "For so many, there's an obvious tipping point between hope and despair. Planned Parenthood is a beacon of hope, and anyone trying to shut it down is committing an act of evil. It's not just inhumane — it's inhuman. I just wanted to remind those of us with some humanity still stirring how much is at stake."
Text Hannah Ongley
Image via YouTube