Unmasking HBO’s New ‘Unpregnant’ Film

We’ve all experienced times of doubt in our lives: uncertainty, fear, not knowing what the next day holds for us. But who has more fear, anxiety, and turmoil than a young girl facing an unexpected pregnancy?

Unpregnant is a new teenage comedy film that tells the story of a “perfect” Ivy-League-bound teenage girl who ends up getting pregnant. But unlike what pro-lifers across America might have been hoping for, this movie doesn’t end with her embracing the child she carries inside her, changing the course of her life to fit with that of her unborn baby’s life, and rejoicing that she made that decision years down the road.

The film is a blatant slap in the face of pro-lifers: this is the story of a 17-year-old’s journey to find “the closest clinic that will serve her… 1,000 miles away.” According to the film summary, “With conservative parents, an incompetent boyfriend, and no car, Veronica turns to the only person who won’t judge: her ex-BFF and legendary misfit Bailey.”

The film encompasses Veronica’s journey from the moment she sees the plus sign on the pregnancy test, to her research on where she can get an abortion, to her utter dismay that the abortion laws require her to obtain her parent’s consent. That, of course, she cannot obtain because her “Jesus-freak” parents would never allow her to have an abortion. So where else does she have to turn but her rebel ex-best friend?

There are so many moments in this film where young mothers are portrayed as somewhat incompetent or just ultimately irresponsible. One such moment is when Veronica and her best friend Bailey make fun of Veronica’s older sister saying, “Your sister had a kid early and it turned out fine, right? Remember when we found out you were gonna be a nine-year-old aunt?”

When Veronica is first hit with the news of her pregnancy, a poignant scene portrays her walking into her front door, and there, covering the entire hallway, are all the awards she has earned through her years of being an exemplary student. She then looks further down the hall to the top of her family’s mantle, and what does she see but a menacing, dark picture of Pope Francis that her parents have hung up. She knows then that she can’t ask her parents to help because they would judge her for not being a good Christian.

The typical awkward, nervous meeting where she’s going to tell her boyfriend she is pregnant is also presented in this film. Instead of being the cop-out boyfriend seen in many scenarios, however, he proposes to her, says he knows it won’t be easy but he’s excited to bring this beautiful, little version of them into the world.

When she rejects even this, he pleads for her to stay, saying, “You can’t make this decision alone.” But nothing can stop Veronica’s determination to terminate the life of this child and move on with her life.

Another iconic scene occurs during one of Veronica and Bailey’s adventures on their way to get an abortion. Living off the high of a roller coaster, Veronica shouts, “I’m pregnant and I’m getting an abortion!” And Bailey victoriously yells, “Yes!” These girls aren’t just getting an abortion, they aren’t just driving 1,000 miles to do it, they are- literally- shouting their abortion for the world to hear.

With more anti-pro-life propaganda than one could think of, including a creepy, shadowy room full of pro-life posters, foreboding music when the camera zooms in on a young couple with their child, and even an ultrasound van that chases the girls at one time in the movie, there’s no secret to the message of this movie: pro-lifers are to be avoided at all costs!

Perhaps the pinnacle of the movie comes when Veronica, stranded in the middle of a desert, is pacing back and forth on the railroad tracks with Bailey. She shouts for the world to hear, “This is a joke… I should not be here. I should be able to waltz down the street, open a door, say, ‘my boyfriend is an asshole,’ here’s five hundred dollars. [and get an abortion.]”

“Why in the hell do you need to get parental consent to have an abortion but not actually birth a human child?” she demands, “F*** you, Missouri State Legislature!”

In the  closing scene, when she admits to her mother that she had an abortion, she’s in tears and one would suspect that she might feel bad about her decision. Instead, one of the film’s closing lines is Veronica’s claim, “I don’t feel bad about the abortion. I feel like I’m supposed to, but I don’t.”

The fact that this film is marketed to young people is beyond troubling. The storyline so blatantly pro-choice. Not only does it purposefully make light of abortion by putting it within the context of a comedy, but it takes care to portray Veronica, a young, successful, Ivy-League bound teen, as a heroine for searching far and wide and overcoming so many obstacles to find a place that will willingly kill her child.

This kind of indoctrination cannot be overlooked. The impact this will have on teenage girls, in particular, will be astronomical. When an insecure teenage girls see a beautiful, popular seventeen-year-old, set to attend an Ivy League school, with a handsome boyfriend, get an abortion, there is so much potential for them to–even unknowingly–justify it in their minds.