Yesterday, Joss Whedon, Hollywood director and writer, released a dramatic short film on YouTube, entitled ‘UNLOCKED,’ showing what the world would be like without Planned Parenthood.
The video’s description reads, “‘UNLOCKED’ highlights the vital role Planned Parenthood health centers play in the lives of millions of women in communities nationwide. The video follows three different women through critical moments in their lives—and brings to the forefront what the world would look like if attempts to shut down Planned Parenthood succeed.”
In a statement to Time, Whedon says, “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’s “Planned Parenthood-less world” shows a pregnant teen with a supposedly useless scholarship in her hand, a woman dying of cancer, and a young girl fighting with her boyfriend about STDs.
Essentially, Whedon is attempting to show that society would be in shambles if Planned Parenthood’s doors were closed. So many people, including Whedon, have bought into the lie that Planned Parenthood is necessary, and namely, that the organization does so much more than provide 300,000 abortions every single year.
Let’s take a look at what the video is assuming and what the truth really is:
The first lie is that without Planned Parenthood’s “vital health care” more people will have cancer that goes undetected and untreated.
There are a lot of problems with this assumption. Liberal politicians are known for claiming that Planned Parenthood provides vital cancer prevention and that defunding such an organization is the evil working of the pro-life agenda.
This is far from the truth. In reality, Planned Parenthood’s market share in the nation’s cancer prevention and detection is extremely insignificant.
Here are some staggering numbers taken from Live Action using Planned Parenthood’s 2014-15 annual report:
- Planned Parenthood performed 271,539 Pap tests in fiscal year 2014-15, out of 28.1 million tests nationwide. That’s less than 1% of the nation’s Pap tests.
- Planned Parenthood performed 363,803 clinical breast exams (these are not mammograms) in fiscal year 2014-15, out of 20 million exams nationwide. Planned Parenthood’s U.S. market share for clinical breast exams is 1.8%.
- Planned Parenthood’s market share in the nation’s mammograms is 0.0%. Meaning, no, they do not provide any mammograms… at all.
To put these numbers into perspective, their market share for the nation’s abortions is 34.9%. That’s a lot of abortions and very little cancer prevention.
The truth of the matter is that if Planned Parenthood’s doors were shut, the small percentage of cancer prevention and testing they do, would be quickly picked up by Federally Qualified Community Heath Centers around the nation.
You may be wondering if there are enough of these centers to cover the gaping 1-2% sized hole that would be left by Planned Parenthood in the realm of cancer prevention. Yes. Absolutely there are. While there are only 650 Planned Parenthood locations nationwide, there are over 13,540 health care centers around the nation that provide comprehensive health care for women.
So with all the numbers to prove it– no, more women would not be dying of cancer if Planned Parenthood was shut down.
The next lie this narrative perpetuates is that our nation would have more STDs that go untreated if Planned Parenthood wasn’t around.
The end of Whedon’s video, shows a world in which every worry is taken away by Planned Parenthood. The young woman who was fighting with her boyfriend about STDs is, instead hugging the same guy after a vibrant sex education class held on the school lawn. So Planned Parenthood must help a lot of people avoid STDs through sex ed, right? Wrong.
According to Planned Parenthood’s 2014-15 annual report, they reached 1.5 million young people and parents with sex ed throughout the year. This may seem like a lot, but that 1.5 million is only a very small percentage of the sex education that happens in America. See, there are 26,407 high schools in the nation and 80% of the students who attend these schools receive some form of sex education.
That’s a lot of students who have received sex education from another organization–likely a pregnancy resource center or community health center.
Another very important point I would like to make regarding STDs is in relation to birth control. ‘UNLOCKED’ shows Planned Parenthood providing young girls with birth control and also aiding in the prevention of STDs. This is very inconsistent.
Put plainly, promoting hormonal birth control is basically promoting unprotected sex. Birth control is pushed on women at a very young age and enables sex without “consequences.”
But the reality is that hormonal birth control promotes sex with very real consequences. Consequences that can be seen plainly in Planned Parenthood’s annual reports. That is, the 171,882 STDs that were detected in a single year. STDs that could have been prevented with abstinence education and the promotion of the use of condoms among people within committed marriage relationships.
In short, STDs are not prevented at Planned Parenthood, they are actually perpetuated by the organization itself and the values it promotes.
Another lie that Whedon’s video so harmfully portrays is that women who become pregnant have to give up their dreams.
The video shows a young woman who is pregnant, holding a scholarship letter in her hand. She puts it down on the coffee table, leans back and touches her pregnant belly, believing Planned Parenthood’s lie that having a baby is the end of her life.
This is one of the most harmful narratives pushed by Planned Parenthood and its team of celebrity ambassadors. Everyday, an organization that claims to be all about female empowerment, tells women that they are not strong enough to be mothers and pursue their dreams. This is the opposite of female empowerment.
We could go on and on about stories of women whose lives have been changed for the better because of their pregnancies. We could tell you of women who have been empowered, through motherhood (both planned and unplanned) to pursue their dreams, not forget them.
And we can also tell you of women who have been left defeated and manipulated by the abortion industry, of which Planned Parenthood is at the helm.
But today, we will just let you watch this powerful response to ‘UNLOCKED,’ made by a young mom whose teen pregnancy inspired her to pursue her dreams.
She shares about her experience of finding out she was pregnant as a seventeen-year-old and how she found support within the pro-life community.
She says, “You do not have to sacrifice your dreams just because you’re pregnant. In fact, you’re going to create more dreams and achieve more dreams because you are pregnant.”
The narrative in the video is dashed when she shares that “Unlike the video, I had scholarships and I used them and I kept them because that’s obviously an option. And I succeeded.” She not only graduated college, but she finished in three years with a toddler and a newborn son, who she had eight weeks prior to graduation.
She then turns and speaks to any woman who might find herself in the same situation — “If you’re pregnant or if you become pregnant, you don’t have to stop going to school. You don’t have to sacrifice any dreams at all and you’re going to succeed and you’re going to achieve your dreams. And it’s going to be that much better with a little kiddo by your side.”
And shouldn’t this be the story that celebrities are sharing? That women are capable of so much more than the abortion industry will ever let on. That women are like “super heroes” and that their ability to achieve their dreams is far greater than access to abortion or birth control.
So if Planned Parenthood ever shuts its doors, we imagine a world very different from the one in ‘UNLOCKED.’
We imagine a world in which more women and men know that community health centers and pregnancy resource centers are there to serve their needs–because they are already here, with doors open, providing the resources and support women need.
We imagine a world in which STDs are completely avoided by healthy and age-appropriate sex education. A world in which birth control is no longer pushed to every young girl.
We imagine a world in which women are truly empowered with resources, information and support. Where women are told they can, instead of being told they can’t.
So, I’ll ask you the same question Whedon begs of his audience: “What world do you want?”