An anti-abortion movie, ‘Unplanned’, is set for its Malta premiere, with President George Vella in full support of its screening.
The film is based on the memoir of Abby Johnson, following her life as a clinic director for Planned Parenthood and her subsequent move to anti-abortion activism.
Rated ‘R’ in the USA, the film will be open to anyone 15 and older in Malta and will air on 30th October at 7:30 pm.
Supported “under the patronage of H.E the President of Malta”, tickets to the screening will cost €25, with all proceeds going towards the Crisis Pregnancy Lifeline in Malta.
Given the subject matter, the film has courted significant controversy in the USA. However, it still proved to be a moderate box office success, grossing $19 million on a $6 million budget.
The claims in the film, it should be noted, have been disputed.
Jennifer Villavicencio, an obstetrician who performs abortions and is the exact opposite of Abby Johnson (having grown up pro-life), has said that the film is factually inaccurate and heavily politicised.
Doctors For Choice have since also disputed the claims in the film, saying that “Unplanned is riddled with medical untruths, such as giving the impression that a 13-week old foetus can feel pain, which is contrary to the position of reputable international medical organisations”.
“More worryingly, such misinformation and dramatisation could encourage violence and harassment against women who have had an abortion.”
“We do not see how the involvement of the President, who is also a medical professional, in the promotion of this propaganda will benefit the health or welfare of our nation,” they said.
The debate surrounding abortion has grown in the last year, culminating in Malta’s first-ever pro-choice rally being met by a pro-life demonstration a few weeks ago.
Prime Minister Joseph Muscat said that the issue merited serious discussion, during the European election campaign. However, this is yet to materialise.