Protest to be held at 'Unplanned' Friday night showing in London

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.

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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.”

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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 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.”

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

“ 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.

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© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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