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Let me start off by saying that I received nothing for this post about the movie Unplanned. The disclaimer above is there only as I have affiliate links to resources present in the post. Additionally, this is a no-judgment zone. I recognize that we all have made choices that seemed the best at the time. My Catholic faith teaches me that we can repent and be forgiven.
My family is not big on going to the movie theater. Rather, we tend to see things when they hit Netflix or on DVD. With 4 boys, taking a family of 6 just gets too expensive. So we are selective with what we watch at the theater.
That being said, there are times when we make the decision to spend our money on a movie in the theater. One such time is when Veggie Tales released Jonah in theaters. Supporting a film that fits our beliefs and is the underdog in Hollywood is something we are willing to do.
Unplanned is one such film. My husband and I did go on a discount ticket day, but it was completely out of pocket. Our teens did not want to go, citing that they already know enough about abortion and why we should be choosing life. I’m glad my 9-year-old didn’t push to go (more in a moment), although there were families with kids around his age in attendance.
This movie is based on the book of the same title.
Unplanned is the inspiring true story of one woman’s journey of transformation.
All Abby Johnson ever wanted to do was help women.
As one of the youngest Planned Parenthood clinic directors in the nation, she was involved in upwards of 22,000 abortions and counseled countless women about their reproductive choices. Her passion surrounding a woman’s right to choose even led her to become a spokesperson for Planned Parenthood, fighting to enact legislation for the cause she so deeply believed in.
Until the day she saw something that changed everything, leading Abby Johnson to join her former enemies at 40 Days For Life, and become one of the most ardent pro-life speakers in America.
Books Associated with Unplanned
Unplanned Film Trailer
Mainstream media is refusing to accept ads for this film. Here’s the released trailer to give you a taste of the movie.
Our Thoughts on Unplanned
An emotional roller coaster is the best way to describe this film.
If you are expecting the filmmakers to villainize all of the Planned Parenthood workers, you won’t get that. Nor will you see them avoid mentioning some of those who go to extremes in the name of the pro-life movement.
Rather, you see a story where a young woman makes decisions she thinks to be the best at the time.
By the time Abby is drawn to Planned Parenthood as a volunteer, she had already had an abortion. While working there as a volunteer, she has a second (chemically induced one.)
It isn’t that she hates children. Instead, she sees it as the only choice to be made as having a child would have been inconvenient. The inconvenience is first because she is young, unwed and in college. The second time it is after divorcing her cheating husband and she can not fathom being forever attached to him through a child.
Abby comes from a family which has been pro-life and rooted in their Christian faith. Yet, she sees Planned Parenthood as a way to help those who are hurting and need a second chance. What really ‘hooks’ her into the organization is the mission of promoting birth control so that abortions become a rare occurrence.
Something that struck me with this film is how easy it is to be gullible and think you are helping others even though your faith says otherwise. One of the co-workers states “I’m Catholic and believe I am doing God’s work here.” I cringed. But having talked with professing Catholics that actively practice birth control and believe it to fit with the faith, I can say little surprises me.
We can tell ourselves the lies the world says and believe them.
One scene that brought it home for me is a conversation between Abby and Shawn, the director of 40 Days for Life. She says women’s reproductive rights is a big movement just like slavery and the Holocaust. He replies that all of those atrocities share one common factor: dehumanizing some to make the atrocity palatable.
Themes of Conversion & Redemption
Conversion and redemption are strong themes in this film.
Abby’s family (including her husband) did not share Abby’s belief in Planned Parenthood’s Mission. Yet, they never shunned her for those decisions. Instead, they continually prayed for her conversion.
And it is through the dramatic swing to being an outspoken pro-lifer that helps Abby find a sense of redemption.
In the days after her leaving the clinic, Abby shares with those who had prayed outside the clinic for years that those days saw a serious decrease in women coming through the door. In the film, you see that the pro-lifers are praying over the remains of aborted babies at the same time Abby experiences her moment of conversion.
They even show that when presented with the facts of what happens behind those doors (not the mechanics, but the manipulation) a young girl can change her mind.
Addressing the R Rating of Unplanned & Should Your Minor Child See It
When the R rating was issued, I joined others in speculating that it was to keep teens from seeing this film on their own. Conspiracy theory can be attractive. But, having seen this film I can see why they opted to issue the rating.
Do I think someone under the age of 18 can and should see this film?
However, you need to know your child and how they will react. There is no way I’d have my 9-year-old watch this. But, my teens have enough maturity to see it.
Most Disturbing Scenes in Unplanned
My best guess is the opening scene portraying the moments which changed Abby’s life forever is what branded the film as R. You join her in the procedure room, something she’d never been asked to do over the course of 8 years.
The abortion shown is a vacuum extraction where the physician uses ultrasound to make sure he gets everything. You see the ultrasound with the baby moving away from. You see snippets of the action on the ultrasound. And you see the medical equipment filling with blood and remains. The final look at the ultrasound shows an empty uterus where the baby was just moments before.
That opening scene had me on the verge of puking in the theater. It hits hard and I pray for the person who can watch it and feel nothing even though it is simulated to show what happens behind those closed doors.
Another scene which could be disturbing to some is when Abby is shown the POC room. This is where all the aborted babies (pieces) are taken to be put together. It is someone’s job to reassemble them to ensure nothing was left in the mother. The scene is short, but also evokes an emotional response in me. Having miscarried early in the 2nd trimester, I saw what my own baby looked like at that stage.
Final Takeaway on Unplanned
As disturbing as it was to watch, I stand by our decision to financially support this film. I suspect there are some who are doing so by purchasing tickets and not showing up to actually watch the film. When we arrived at the theater, almost every seat was sold. And, it was rather packed. But, there were a few empty seats near us that had shown up as booked.
Given the push to allow young girls to seek an abortion without parental consent, I strongly believe EVERY teen or young adult should be exposed to the information packed into this film. Whether it is reading the book, seeing this film, or finding another documentary that seeks to shed light on the abortion industry, everyone should be fully informed.
Have you read the book or seen the movie?