Factually fraudulent

Anti-abortion propaganda film hailed by Pence, Trump Jr. after big opening weekend

Demonstrators hold signs in front of anti-abortion protestors during the 2019 Women's March on January 19, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Zach Gibson/Getty Images)

Unplanned, an anti-abortion propaganda film released in a limited number of theaters last week, earned more than $6 million during its opening weekend after being promoted by evangelicals and top Republicans.

Based on the factually questionable memoir by Abby Johnson, a former Planned Parenthood employee who claimed she became an anti-abortion activist after witnessing a 13th-week abortion that records show never took place, the film has been hotly criticized for its gory and medically impossible depiction of the procedure. In the scene, a 13-week-old fetus is depicted fighting to escape from doctors during a surgical abortion, despite the fact that scientists say it’s impossible for a fetus to feel pain or sense danger at that stage of development.

“There is no neurological capability for awareness of danger,” Jennifer Villavicencio, a fellow at the nonpartisan American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists explained to the New York Times. “That part of the brain is simply not there yet.”

The film takes other liberties with reality, including by depicting Planned Parenthood as a “billion-dollar corporation” that encourages women to get abortions so they can profit off of them — despite the organization’s status as a nonprofit with only 3 percent of its budget allocated for abortion services. Still, the film has been embraced top conservatives such as Vice President Mike Pence, Donald Trump Jr., and Senator Ted Cruz as anti-abortion activists continue their push to make the procedure illegal nationwide.

Read the full story at the Cut.

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