July 12, 2019 9:01 am
Updated: July 13, 2019 9:05 pm

Protest to be held at ‘Unplanned’ Friday night showing in London

Actor Ashley Bratcher (right) is shown in a scene from the film “Unplanned.” A controversial American anti-abortion film is set to hit Canadian theatres soon, with the distributor bracing for possible protests.

THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Soli Deo Gloria Releasing
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A controversial anti-abortion film is set to debut in London on Friday, but viewers may catch a glimpse of resistance to the movie’s content before heading inside.

SilverCity London Cinemas is among more than 24 cinemas who plan to air Unplanned for a week.

The biographical drama is based on the memoir of Abby Johnson, an American woman who became an anti-abortion activist following a stint as a Planned Parenthood clinic director in Texas.

WATCH: Controversial movie ‘Unplanned’ sparks protests (July 9)

The film’s stance on abortion has spurred controversy nationwide and London is no exception.

“We see this… as a propaganda film from the anti-choice movement,” said Robyn Schwarz, the co-founder of Pro-Choice London, a grassroots organization that promotes abortion access, comprehensive sexual education and reproductive health care.

“It is not portraying abortion in a realistic way and if this was a film about heart surgery that portrayed heart surgery as a terrible experience and something to be afraid of… you’re never going to want to have heart surgery, even if it could be the healthcare that you need access to.”

READ MORE: ‘There is a problem here’ — advocates sound alarm over abortion access in Canada


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Schwarz has helped organize a protest ahead of the film’s Friday night showing at SilverCity. As of Friday morning, the protest’s event page on Facebook says more than 150 people are interested in attending.

“Our purpose of going and doing this is not to counter Cineplex’s decision [and] it’s not to counter the film,” Schwarz said.

“It’s to show Londoners that we support choice, that people in their community support their choice and to counter the stigma that is attached to what is a health care procedure.”

READ MORE: The forgotten history of Canadian women who travelled around the world for abortions

Schwarz emphasized that the protest will be a positive one with the aim of sparking a conversation rather than a debate.

“[We’ll] talk about abortion, talk about reproductive health and let people know what resources are available if they have an unplanned pregnancy that they need to deal with,” Schwarz said.

Wait, There’s More: The controversy surrounding Unplanned

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