Before Joss Whedon tackles DC’s Batgirl movie, the filmmaker first stands with Planned Parenthood. The Avengers filmmaker released “UNLOCKED,” an emotionally charged short film he directed that dramatizes the realities of life without the women’s health organization.
The short focuses on three women in different stages of their lives: a grown woman facing a loved one’s death from cancer, a teenager facing a life after an unexpected pregnancy, and a high schooler coping with her friend’s exposure to STDs. The footage begins with these life-altering struggles and rewinds to a time when Planned Parenthood was free to offer these women much-needed aid.
“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. “‘UNLOCKED’ is about what a world without Planned Parenthood would look like, which is truly dire. 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.”
Whedon called the organization “a beacon of hope,” adding, “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.”
Whedon is a longtime supporter of Planned Parenthood. In 2012, he addressed a Buffy the Vampire Slayer comic book arc in which the heroine gets an abortion.
“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,” the Buffy creator told EW at the time. “A woman’s right to choose is under attack as much as it’s ever been, and that’s a terrible and dangerous thing for this country.”
In 2015, Whedon partnered with Planned Parenthood to bring in more donations over the holidays.
“UNLOCKED” was created as Planned Parenthood continues to come under attack from conservatives and the American Health Care Act (AHCA), which would cut funding to the nonprofit.
“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,” Sue Dunlap, president and chief executive officer of Planned Parenthood Los Angeles, said in a statement. “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.”
Supporters can find out more information on Planned Parenthood’s website. Watch Whedon’s short in the video above.