Contentious anti-abortion movie screened in Lethbridge on Friday

WATCH ABOVE: After threats of protests, the Movie Mill saw a peaceful first showing of the highly controversial film “Unplanned” in Lethbridge Friday, Demi Knight reports.

The anti-abortion movie Unplanned began screening in select theatres in Canada on Friday, including the Lethbridge Movie Mill, and the decision to show it has not been without controversy.

However, despite the outrage expressed by some pro-choice advocates over the film being screened, the first screening in Lethbridge was a quiet event.


READ MORE:
Anti-abortion movie ‘Unplanned’ to play in more than 24 Canadian theatres

The American film is being screened in more than 40 Canadian theatres and has been the subject of fierce criticism from pro-choice advocates in Lethbridge and beyond.

Leonard Binning, president of Movie Mill Inc., told The Canadian Press that he’s seen “a vocal negative opposition, who have indicated on multiple occasions, boycotts and protests.'”

Binning also said he’s hired additional security for the opening weekend as a precaution, but hopes it won’t be necessary.

“My young staff does not need to deal with any political fallout from showing movies — regardless of popular opinion.”

Watch below: (From July 9, 2019) Controversial movie Unplanned sparks protests. Jamie Mauracher reports. 

The film is based on a true story, and follows the journey of a Planned Parenthood clinic director turned pro-life advocate. While some Canadians have taken to social media to voice their concerns over the narrative portrayed, when Global News spoke to some of the first people to buy tickets in Lethbridge, they were welcoming of the story the movie is telling.

“I think it’s really important to have the movie screened because it’s a biographical film telling one woman’s abortion story,” said Colette Aikema, who lives in Lethbridge.

“I think it’s really important that we hear other women’s abortion stories.”


READ MORE:
‘There is a problem here’: advocates sound alarm over abortion access in Canada

Despite earlier threats, no protests were staged on Friday during the first showing. The Pro-Choice Society said on its Facebook page that “while we support and empower a pregnant person’s right to choose,” it was not within their mandate to organize a protest.

Pro-Choice Society of Lethbridge respond to protest threats surrounding the screening of 'Unplanned'

Pro-Choice Society of Lethbridge respond to protest threats surrounding the screening of 'Unplanned'

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The movie is set to run for one week but Binning said Unplanned could run longer, depending on demand.

Wait, There’s More: The controversy surrounding Unplanned

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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