A few months after “Never Rarely Sometimes Always,” HBO Max released the buddy adventure comedy, “Unpregnant.” While tackling a similar story to the previous one, “Unpregnant” is a seriously fun look at a journey gone wrong while trying to get an abortion. Veronica (Haley Lu Richardson) enlists the help of her former best friend Bailey (Barbie Ferreira) to accompany her from Missouri to New Mexico, facing unexpected diversions along the way. The subject is serious but surrounded by warmth and hilarity, which is a necessity in a political landscape awash in depression. Despite popular framing, abortion is not always a traumatic experience. “Unpregnant” introduced a new way of talking about abortion by adding levity and genuine happiness.
In 2021, Hulu released “Plan B” by Natalie Morales, about a young Indian girl (Kuhoo Verma) who is denied access to emergency contraception (AKA The Morning After Pill or Plan B) when a pharmacist refuses to sell it to him. If you think this sounds like something out of “The Handmaid’s Tale,” understand that these “laws of conscience” implemented under the Trump administration are very real. In some states, the personal conscience of a pharmacist or health care provider has more legal standing than a person in need of reproductive medical intervention (Biden complaints that he will cancel them). The “Plan B” plot runs on a lack of time as emergency contraceptives are only effective when taken as soon as possible, so this pharmacist’s refusal puts Sunny and her best friend Lupe (Victoria Moroles ) in a race against time. There’s a healthy dose of humor scattered throughout, but the film stands alone in focusing on non-white protagonists. People of color face exponentially more barriers to reproductive health than their white counterparts, and “Plan B” isn’t afraid to tackle these realities head-on.