UnPlanned – The Movie and the Necessary Response

Bernie Diaz, April 3, 2019

The movie Hollywood and the liberal left didn’t want you see, is being seen and is doing fine, thank you.

Despite a profound and perhaps conspiratorial cloud of ignorance if not censorship brought from mainstream media and advertisers, the pro-life film “Unplanned” earned double the box office sales expected for its opening weekend, even while dealing with a blackout on social media as well –  most predominantly by Twitter, which briefly suspended the film’s account, reportedly because of it being linked to a different account that had “violated the website’s rules.”

How convenient and coincidental? Twitter restored the film’s account soon after a big outcry from users, which led Chuck Konzelman, co-director and co-writer of the movie, to say that the suspension was “a sad state of affairs.”

Based on the life of Abby Johnson, a former Planned Parenthood clinic director turned anti-abortion activist, the movie raked in over $6.1 million over the weekend, already meeting and about to exceed its production budget.

This debut made Unplanned the third biggest opening weekend film released by Pure Flix, the production company behind “God’s Not Dead” and its sequel “God’s Not Dead 2”.

What is even more remarkable about the success of this pro-life film was its   “R” rating (Restricted to unaccompanied viewers 17 and older) and its exclusion from ads on most of the major cable television networks.

Why the Hubub?

There is one reason for the uproar and controversy over the release of Unplanned, which was screened in 1,000 theaters on Friday, March 29th.

Unplanned is maybe the definitive movie on abortion ever produced, in exposing its insidiously evil, blood-lusting industry, thereby sparking more pre-release controversy than any film in recent memory.

The explanation for that is not that complicated and the reason for all the drama is not necessarily because of the R rating.

The R rating Unplanned received is ironic, in the sense that it does not contain the usual R rated themes of sex, nudity, or foul language. What it does according to a pro-life advocate quoted in Newsweek magazine, “It pulls back the veil surrounding abortion, and reveals it for the truly gory and violent act that it is.” She added, “Even the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) recognizes abortion as truly horrific. The irony is that a teenager as young as 13 can get an abortion without her parents’ consent, but cannot see a movie about abortion unless she is over 17.” 

Could the controversy be because the film exposes Planned Parenthood for the abortion factory and big business that it is? Or is it because we currently have federal and state elected officials and presidential candidates from what I would label “the party of death,” almost casually supporting infanticide (the timing for this movie couldn’t be better)?

The uproar more likely is about the person who inspired the movie but will never be able to see it: the 13-week-old baby boy who was aborted right before the eyes of Planned Parenthood director Abby Johnson on September 26, 2009. He changed her forever. Johnson’s testimony reveals that he is the reason this movie exists. And by portraying his short life in the womb, this film validates the reality that this baby indeed was a person who had a life and a right to live it, until it was extinguished by a Planned Parenthood “doctor.”

The scene is short but powerful. According to a news report, the filmmakers of Unplanned, took actual ultrasound footage of a 13-week-old baby boy, like the one Abby witnessed. Then, using CGI technology, they created the abortion that took his life. It is as powerful as it is disturbing–and something the viewer needs to see if they can stand it and will never forget.

Obviously, Planned Parenthood officials and other pro-abortion supporters would rather you pass on this film, which accurately depicts the inherent personhood of all unborn children facing abortion, who are hardly ever known or seen and who have no voice in which to defend themselves.

Yet that baby’s death has led to far-reaching implications for the abortion industry, including by God’s grace, the transformed heart of a former abortion facility director. Abby Johnson has thus far helped at least 500 abortion workers leave the business, to say nothing of the amount of  babies she has helped saved from abortion as a result of her ministry and pro-life stance.

In addition, 40 Days for Life has helped nearly 200 more abortion workers leave their job; Abby Johnson was the 26th. She managed the Planned Parenthood where 40 Days for Life began; a support ministry which has offered free pregnancy tests and alternatives to abortion. This peaceful prayer-based campaign has now gone to 816 cities in 56 countries.

Her story and this movement may be fueling a revival among evangelical and Biblical Christians to engage in what is arguably the most important social justice issue of our times, and among the youth of this generation as it touches on the related themes of discrimination (i.e. against the unborn), the sanctity of life, the true dignity of women and motherhood, morality and sexuality.

The pro-life issue is the primary one that our church in South Florida is concentrating on, as we’re about to launch a new Sidewalk Counseling and Prayer Ministry, now further emboldened by the historic and courageous portrayal of the ministry which impacted Abby Johnson’s life and happened to close down a Planned Parenthood facility in Texas.  

There are many good reasons to see Unplanned whenever and however you can. Films like this need to be supported for the dramatic sunlight they shine on the darkness of abortion. They make a difference.

If this movie angers Planned Parenthood to the point of vitriol or silence, it must be doing something right and must be cause for those that love the unborn as ‘neighbors like themselves’ to be encouraged, as God may be moving providentially within the pro-life movement. In the first three months of 2019 we’ve seen:

– 250 bills restricting abortion have been filed in state legislatures.

– 41 states have seen some abortion-restricting bill proposed.

– Seven states have proposed total bans on abortion.

– Six states are down to one abortion provider.

While many if not most pro-life bills fail to become law, this is the path the great Christian reformer William Wilberforce took to end slavery in Great Britain. He proposed unsuccessful bills again and again until finally one of them passed. We can hope and pray that God will bless those kind of efforts to change hearts and provide these little ones the protection they need.

But the primary reason you should see this–and why Planned Parenthood does not want you to see it–is because of that 13-week-old baby boy. He had no voice and now he has a movie.

Why so Many Christians are So Pro-Life

If you’re asked by pro-abortion sympathizers why you as a God-glorifying and Christ-exalting, people- loving Christian emphasize the pro-life movement so much- why so many of us care so much, simply tell them what God tells us:

  • God is the sovereign creator and sustainer of life from womb to tomb (Psa. 139:13-16; Jer. 1:5; Lu.1:39-44).
  • Abortion is murder and murder is sin (Exo. 20:13). Regardless of whether or not abortion is legal in this country, and the pain and fear mothers are undergoing in crisis pregnancies notwithstanding, abortion is still premediated murder, in the taking of the life of an innocent human being.  
  • Christians are to speak truth, mercy and justice in the defense  of those that cannot defend themselves (Psa. 82:3-4; Pro. 31:8; Eph. 5:11).  

Deliver those who are drawn toward death and hold back those stumbling to the slaughter. (Pro. 24:11; ESV).

Let us honor the lives of the unborn and pay homage to those infants who have gone through the same barbaric death as the one that touched Abby Johnson’s life, a death that although Hollywood rated R, should not be forgotten.  Make plans to see Unplanned, prayerfully spread the word and join the tens of thousands now commemorating the lives of the preborn with this movie and engaging in this life-saving movement.

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