Unplanned: A Review

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My bride and I and our son saw Unplanned last Saturday.  It is a great film with a magnificent message, and is also highly entertaining.  Every pro-lifer and Christian should see this film, or anyone who simply enjoys watching a deeply involving film.  Full review follows below the fold.  The usual caveat as to spoilers is in full force.  If you are unfamiliar with the story of Abby Johnson, and intend to see the film, you might wish to read the review after attending the film.

 

The above woman is Abby Johnson whose story is told in the movie Unplanned.  She is the woman most hated by the pro-abortion movement, with the possible exception of the Blessed Virgin Mary.  The film begins with the scene where Abby Johnson, clinic director of the Planned Parenthood clinic in Bryan, Texas was called upon to assist in an ultrasound guided abortion and was horrified by what she saw.  She tearfully flees from the room with the abortionist wondering what the Hell had gotten into her.  A more accurate question would have been what the Heaven got into her.  She locks herself in a bathroom.  One of her workers asks her through the door if the she should call the doctor, the abortionist.  Johnson tearfully responds that he is the last person she wants to see right now.  The film then backs up to Abby’s college days to show the viewers how she arrived at that point.

 

 

Ashley Bratcher portrays Abby Johnson and she is a marvel.  She captures the woman perfectly.

 

 

 

From a pro-life family, Abby had an abortion with a worthless boyfriend who she later made the mistake of marrying briefly; he cheated on her and left her pregnant which resulted in her second abortion, a chemical abortion that is horrifically portrayed in the film.  Throughout the film Abby’s parents are praying that she will change.  They never preach to her, but she knows where they stand.  During her chemically induced abortion, Abby falls asleep in agony on her bloodstained bathroom floor, convinced she is dying and  wondering who would find her body, praying it would not be her mother.

 

Like most undergrads in college Abby was trying to find her way in life, and thus she was easy pickings for Planned Parenthood, first becoming a volunteer clinic escort and then, after her graduation from college, a paid counselor at Planned Parenthood, whose job was to sell women on the idea of having an abortion.  The film shows the rationalizations by which people normally find themselves in a place of great evil in this Vale of Tears.  It is rarely a leap into the abyss but rather an easy step by step process along what initially appears to be a slight downward gradient.

 

The saving grace for Abby was, as with so many of us, her marriage to her husband Doug.  A Christian, both Abby Johnson and her husband now being Catholic converts., he did not support her working at Planned Parenthood, but he loved her.  Her parents were enchanted by him.  They married.  After their daughter Grace was born, Abby Johnson was living a divided life.  Planned Parenthood director of an abortion clinic in her working life;  loving wife and mother, and Christian, in her off hours.  Something had to give.

 

 

Throughout the film the sidewalk counselors represent the better angels of Abby’s nature struggling to be heard.  Against her will she grows to respect and even like them, although in a humorous sequence she uses the sprinklers on the perimeter of the clinic against them.  The film emphasizes that the soft sell works for sidewalk counselors, attempting to convey the love they feel for the women seeking abortions.  Near the end of the film Abby successfully counsels a woman not to have abortion by explaining that the clinic will do an ultrasound on her to see how big the baby she is carrying is, in order to determine how much to charge her for the abortion, but they will not allow her to see the ultrasound, because that might deter her from the abortion, which is how they make their money.  A large element in the film is the gradual disenchantment with Planned Parenthood by Johnson, because of the slowly dawning realization that abortion was a business for them, and that their claim to be helping women was a pretense.

 

 

 

Every great movie needs a hissable villain and Unplanned has one in Cheryl, the supervisor of Abby Johnson at Planned Parenthood.  When she tells Johnson that she has picked a fight with one of the more powerful organizations on the planet, supported by some of the richest men in the world like Gates and Buffet, she made my flesh creep.  Ironically, or not so ironically, she is memorably portrayed by Robia Scott, who is not only an actress but also a pro-life activist.

After she left Planned Parenthood, Planned Parenthood foolishly filed suit against Abby Johnson, seeking a restraining order against her to shut her up.  This is handled humorously in the film with Abby Johnson and the Coalition for Life retaining a lawyer who advertises on billboards that his clients Get What They Deserve.  When he interviews her, Abby asks what his defense will be.  He responds that she is innocent and that is their defense.  Abby responds, “We are so screwed!”. Go here to read a post by Tito Edwards of TAC back in 2009 about all this.  Cheryl at the hearing mocks the attorney that Abby has representing her, stating that Abby will indeed get what she deserves.  Her attorney defeats the high-priced Planned Parenthood counsel in a 58 minute hearing, and Abby is now free to tell the truth about Planned Parenthood.  He then tells Cheryl that Abby has gotten what she deserves and so has Cheryl.

 

 

 

There is good reason for the pro-aborts to fear the impact of this movie.  Unplanned cries out to young women who find themselves through the circumstances of their life swept up in the pro-abort movement while remaining deeply ambivalent about abortion.  It tells them that there is another way and that there is forgiveness from God.  Near the end of the film Abby is weeping and tells her husband that she has been complicit in 22,000 abortions and how can she live with herself and how can God forgive her.  Her husband reminds her that God most certainly can and does.  Throughout the film the immortal words of the prophet Isaiah came to my mind:

 

[16] Wash yourselves, be clean, take away the evil of your devices from my eyes: cease to do perversely, [17] Learn to do well: seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge for the fatherless, defend the widow. [18] And then come, and accuse me, saith the Lord: if your sins be as scarlet, they shall be made as white as snow: and if they be red as crimson, they shall be white as wool.

Isaiah 1: 16-18

A grand film that reminds us that sin abounds in this Vale of Tears but so do repentance and redemption, a good message at all times, but especially during Lent.

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5 Comments

  1. Thank you for that powerful review. It’s telling that the movie is rated R by the industry but for reasons other than “the usual.” They don’t want word to get out.

  2. Thank you for the review, Donald. Because of personal issues with regard to this topic, I would not be able to withstand seeing this movie. I am in 100% agreement with its theme and intent. But I have already discussed previously this issue and don’t prefer to do so again. Thank you for promoting the film. Maybe the next person won’t fail as I did.

  3. Thanks for that very comprehensive review with the extra videos! I’d read the book so the movie was not a surprise. I really thought it was well made and will reach a lot more people, change hearts and minds. I cried at the end because it *is* emotional.

  4. First MARCH FOR LIFE, April 03. It was a beautiful day with 6,500 attendees including students from Catholic schools and home schooled families from every area of the state.
    Many powerful speeches, one very poignant from a survivor of a saline solution abortion. The pro-life delegates stood on the steps of the Capitol before they went into the Capitol to vote on Veto Day:
    Good news from http://www.familyfoundation.org:
    “The Governor’s amendment to keep millions in tax dollars flowing to abortion facilities was defeated 50-49, and his amendment to fund abortions failed on a vote of 50-45. We want to thank several Delegates who made compelling floor speeches in support of the pro-life language, including Delegates Dave LaRock (R-Loudoun), who has been a champion for the budget’s “Hyde Amendment” language, Nick Freitas (R-Culpeper), and Scott Garrett (R-Lynchburg). Look out for videos of these and others like them on our Facebook page soon – The Family Foundation Action.”
    https://www.richmond.com/news/virginia/government-politics/general-assembly/photos-va-march-for-life/collection_ba1614b6-7062-5ec1-b8c2-5a8bcc6ec083.htm
    The margins are slim in the VA Assembly. We desperately need more pro-life politicians elected this November!!!!

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