On September 10, HBO Max will release Unpregnant, which is described as a “female buddy road film” about a girl and her best friend traveling from Missouri to New Mexico for an abortion. Though described as a comedy, the book, and likely the film, are anything but.
Unpregnant is a novel written by Jenni Hendriks and Ted Caplan. It’s a rather strange, unbelievable, stereotypical and profoundly pro-abortion narrative, written by two people who have probably never met anyone from the modern pro-life movement.
It centers around Veronica Clarke, a 17-year-old high school student who discovers that she’s pregnant shortly before graduation. In the running for valedictorian and with a scholarship to Brown University, Veronica decides that she wants an abortion, but in the state of Missouri she needs her parents’ permission, which she believes she won’t get.
Her older sister also got pregnant while beginning a nursing program and didn’t finish in order to have her first child and marry the man who got her pregnant, though they had only known each other for a brief period of time. At the beginning of the book, Veronica’s sister excitedly announces that she’s expecting her fourth child, a subtle way to push the belief that an unplanned pregnancy can trap women in a marriage and family.
Veronica does decide to tell her boyfriend that she is pregnant, and subsequently finds out that he intentionally impregnated her by compromising the condom and wants to marry her and raise their child together.
Veronica rebuffs his proposal and pawns the engagement ring to get money for the trip and abortion. To get to the clinic, Veronica enlists the help of her loner ex-best friend Bailey to embark on the weekend road trip from Missouri to New Mexico, which results in felonies (most notably grand theft auto), a would-be-father stalker, strippers, marijuana, underage drinking and an emotional confrontation between Bailey and her neglectful father, who currently lives in New Mexico.
Perhaps the most unbelievable part comes when Veronica and Bailey hitch a ride with a pro-life stripper, who gives same-sex attracted Bailey a lap dance and a kiss, after their stolen car is stolen by someone else and totaled. Veronica discovers this after she sees “a votive candle with an image of a pregnant Virgin Mary, a collection of baby angel figurines balanced on top of the medicine cabinet, a tissue box cover cross-stitched with the verse ‘Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee’” in the stripper’s home. (Bailey also gets high on marijuana.)
The possibly Catholic stripper, named Sapphire, was also able to contact the boyfriend, who has been tracking the girls through several states, and invited him to come to her house and told him a variety of things to say about the dangers of abortion, which are random buzz words the pro-abortion activists believe that those with pro-life convictions say. Sapphire’s husband offers to marry the young, expectant parents.
The whole scenario is so utterly ridiculous and makes a mockery of both the pro-life movement and Christianity in general.
Though people are complex, the combination of a profoundly aggressive pro-life, Catholic stripper requires the audience to completely suspend commonsense and replace it with pro-abortion nonsense.
Towards the end Veronica finally arrives at the clinic, where she runs into a group of intimidating and aggressive pro-life demonstrators and her boyfriend. The young man, who has been interested in marriage and fatherhood for the whole book, does a complete 180 and now supports her abortion decision, saying, in part, that it’s her decision and they can get “a big bowl of ice cream afterwards” and will be “stronger as a couple.”
Noticeably, for a book about abortion, there is no description of the procedure. Just a bit during Veronica’s initial clinic evaluation. It’s a glaring oversight, which diminishes the impact of the abortion procedure. In the end, the book states that Veronica is pretty much the same and that there has been no emotional impact from the abortion.
This book is both morally corrupt and just plain bad.
The authors have stated that they wanted to make an abortion comedy, but they failed. This book is not funny, nor do they do their audience any favors by not being honest and truthful about abortion, the pro-life movement, the Christian faith and fears and uncertainty surrounding an unplanned pregnancy.
Instead, they’ve settled for caricatures and situations that are so unbelievable it’s difficult to see why anyone would agree to publish, let alone make a movie out of it.
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