Anti-abortion film showings selling out at Chilliwack theatre amid controversy
Cottonwood 4 Cinema in Chilliwack is one of 24 Canadian theatres that will show controversial anti-abortion movie “Unplanned."
“We had many request since it was aired in America,” said owner Pauline Lamb. “People are asking constantly if we are playing it.”
The U.S. film is a dramatization based on the memoirs of Abby Johnson, a former clinic director at Planned Parenthood who went on to become an anti-abortion and anti-birth control activist.
Beyond portraying abortions as inhumane, the trailer appears to demonize people working at Planned Parenthood–showing one employee ominously telling Johnson, "Congratulations, you've made an enemy of one of the most powerful organizations on the planet."
“We normally get a handful a request a month, this one we had 50 requests at least since March,” said Lamb.
The movie will also screen at independent theatres in Pitt Meadows and Surrey after those communities also urged for the movie to be played.
The movie’s website says Ciniplex theatres in Langley and Mission will also show the film.
Cineplex CEO Ellis Jacob, posted an open letter on twitter defending the company’s decision to screen Unplanned.
The Salmar Theatre in Salmon Arm announced it will not play the movie – after alleged threats to employees.
The executive Director of Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada said the film does not portray reality, adding that the organization is appalled.
“There is a lot of misinformation in the film in particular demonizing abortion itself, the procedure and as well as providers," said Joyce Arthur with ARCC.
“Abortion is a very safe and simple procedure and providers are caring and dedicated doctors."
Meanwhile, Lamb said she will not increase security for "Unplanned" showings at her theater.
“If we can all just get along bearing in mind everybody has a different point of view. It doesn't have to be the right one or the wrong one but there is no need for any issuing of any threats," she said.