A new short film is shedding light on the importance of Planned Parenthood in millions of Americans' lives, and it's doing it without a single line of dialogue.
The video was directed by Joss Whedon, best known for his work on Buffy the Vampire Slayer and The Avengers. As Whedon wrote on Twitter, "Planned Parenthood has been around for 100 years. Here's to fighting for the next 100. Or even not having to."
The film, titled UNLOCKED, highlights just a few of the potential consequences of closing Planned Parenthood — including sexually transmitted diseases, unwanted pregnancies, and death from cancer. Three different stories are told backward to show how things could have changed if the women depicted had access to the affordable cancer screenings, sex education, birth control, and more services the organization provides to the 2.5 million people who visit the health centers each year.
Following the passage of the American Health Care Act in the House earlier this month, the concerns raised in Whedon's video are becoming more and more urgent. According to the Washington Post, Planned Parenthood "stands to lose about 30 percent of its funding under a provision in the GOP health-care bill to block it from getting Medicaid reimbursements for one year unless its hundreds of clinics stop offering abortions."
Currently, none of Planned Parenthood's approximately $500 million in annual federal funding goes toward abortion services, but that hasn't stopped anti-choice politicians from attempting to defund it. President Trump reportedly offered a deal in March, asking the organization to stop providing abortions in exchange for keeping its federal funding. Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards publicly rejected this offer.
Whedon said in a statement that UNLOCKED aims to depict how "truly dire" a world without Planned Parenthood would be. "I've supported Planned Parenthood in the past," he said, "but until I worked with them closely on this, I didn't understand how many services they — and for some, they alone — provide."
Watch the film below, and learn more about how you can help on the Planned Parenthood website.