Brittany Smith on Why “Unpregnant,” a Typical American Road Trip Comedy (About Abortion), is Problematic

Official poster for “Unpregnant”

Want to make abortion seem normal? Make a fun, road trip comedy about it.

This is the premise of one of HBO Max’s first films, Unpregnant. The film dropped Sept. 10 and features two Missouri high schoolers on a road trip to Albuquerque, N.M., for an abortion.

Veronica, played by Haley Lu Richardson, is a straight-A, type-A teenager who finds herself pregnant by her sweet, but dumb boyfriend despite being an obsessive condom user. After some preliminary research online she realizes she can’t get an abortion in Missouri without parental consent.

The problem is her parents are “ultra-religious” and would never consent. So what’s her Plan B? Convince her estranged childhood best friend, Bailey (Barbie Ferreira), to steal her mom’s car and road trip across multiple state lines to New Mexico – that being the closest state to Missouri that allows abortions without parental consent for those under 18.

The film fails to mention other options, including adoption, or one that would have short-circuited the road-trip before it started:  a judicial bypass. A judicial bypass is an order from a judge that would allow a minor to have an abortion without telling anyone.

NARAL Pro-Choice Missouri notes on its website that “minors may still obtain abortions without parental consent via the judicial bypass process, wherein a judge can grant the individual permission. This process is completely confidential.”

I made a quick call to the Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region & Southwest Missouri and told them I was a minor seeking an abortion. They gave me the phone number for the ACLU and said they could help me with the process, and that it shouldn’t take too much time.

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SOURCE: Christian Post, Brittany Smith