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Watch UNLOCKED here: https://youtu.be/3vTG4lUl1PU

05/17/2017 — He gave us Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Firefly, and the Avengers. Now writer/director Joss Whedon has teamed with Planned Parenthood to produce and underwrite a short film entitled UNLOCKED that highlights the vital role Planned Parenthood health centers play in the lives of millions of women in communities nationwide. The film follows three different women through critical moments in their lives—and depicts what the world would look like if attempts to shut down Planned Parenthood succeed. The film comes as Planned Parenthood marks its 100th anniversary this year, yet faces continued attacks from anti-abortion extremists in Congress and in statehouses across the country. Just a few short weeks ago, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the ACA repeal bill (otherwise known as the American Health Care Act)—which included a provision to prohibit people with Medicaid coverage from accessing preventive care at Planned Parenthood.

Watch the powerful and emotional film on YouTube and then share using the campaign hashtag #StandWithPP.

UNLOCKED explores the role Planned Parenthood doctors and clinicians play in providing lifesaving cancer screenings, STD testing and treatment, as well as affordable birth control—services the U.S. House of Representatives voted to block as part of the AHCA. The bill has drawn widespread opposition from health care experts, including the American Public Health Association, the American Medical Association and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, members of Congress from both parties, and a clear majority of American voters.

While the characters in the film are fictional, inspiration comes from real-life issues and close collaboration with Planned Parenthood staff. In preparation for making of the film, Whedon and producer Jennifer Cochis toured several Planned Parenthood Los Angeles health centers and shadowed a peer-focused sex education training. They spoke with young adults about Planned Parenthood’s sex education program—the nation’s largest—which focuses on consent and healthy relationships.

“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?” said Writer/Director Joss Whedon. “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. For so many, there’s an obvious tipping point between hope and despair.  Planned Parenthood is a beacon of hope, and 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."

This is not the first time Whedon has spoken out in support of Planned Parenthood. Whedon partnered with the organization on a fundraising initiative in November of 2015.

“For the 2.5 million people who have relied on Planned Parenthood in a single year—this is not a political issue. It’s about access to health care information and services,” said Cecile Richards, President of Planned Parenthood Federation of America. “This powerful and emotional film brings to light the impact that Planned Parenthood plays in the lives of patients and communities every day. I'm so proud of the quality care we provide and encourage people to come see it for themselves at one of our nearly 650 health centers across the country.

“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,” said Sue Dunlap, President & Chief Executive Officer of Planned Parenthood Los Angeles. “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. This includes making sure they have access to basic care like birth control, cancer screenings, and STD testing and treatment, and that all young people have the information and tools they need to make healthy, informed decisions. We are honored that Joss Whedon and his team took the time to learn about and understand our work, and share it with the world.”

For the past century, Planned Parenthood has transformed women’s health and empowered millions of people worldwide to make informed health decisions, forever changing the way they live, love, learn and work.

Supporters can visit Planned Parenthood’s website to get involved and learn more about the work Planned Parenthood does to keep patients and communities healthy.

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More About Planned Parenthood:

Planned Parenthood is the nation’s leading provider and advocate of high-quality, affordable health care for women, men, and young people, as well as the nation’s largest provider of sex education. With approximately 650 health centers across the country, Planned Parenthood organizations serve all patients with care and compassion, with respect and without judgment. Through health centers, programs in schools and communities, and online resources, Planned Parenthood is a trusted source of reliable health information that allows people to make informed health decisions. We do all this because we care passionately about helping people lead healthier lives.

More About Planned Parenthood Los Angeles:

Planned Parenthood Los Angeles is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that provides reproductive health care—including lifesaving cancer screenings, contraception, STD testing and treatment, and health counseling—to over 140,000 patients each year. In addition, PPLA reaches more than 60,000 teens and families with nonjudgmental information about healthy relationships, abstinence and birth control, and sexual and reproductive health.