On Mar. 29, “Unplanned” a powerful movie based on the true, heart-wrenching story of Abby Johnson, an ambitious young woman who becomes the youngest abortion clinic director in the history of Planned Parenthood will be released in theaters.
I had the privilege to view an early showing of the Pure Flix film while at the 2019 CPAC. The movie shows how Johnson began her career with a fervent desire to provide young mothers with abortions as a potential alternative to unwanted births. Despite the protests of her pro-life husband and parents, she serves Planned Parenthood faithfully for several years.
Johnson’s life and career irrevocably change when she is asked to participate in a live abortion, due to a last minute staff shortage. The process shocks Johnson and shatters her faith in her work for Planned Parenthood and the pro-choice cause. Almost immediately following this incident, Johnson quits her position as director of the clinic and offers her support to the pro-life effort by talking with other young women outside the fences of her old abortion clinic, persuading them to choose life over death for their child. Her betrayal of Planned Parenthood earns Johnson the reputation of a traitor among her former colleagues and friends. While Planned Parenthood seeks vengeance on Johnson through a series of lawsuits, she must also come to grips with the shocking fact that she aided in the killing of more than 20,000 unborn children.
The film is truly revolutionary in that it reveals abortion for what it truly is, often through graphic detail. In so doing, the film attacks one of the most common arguments of pro-choice advocates, primarily that an abortion causes no pain to the mother or the baby. While participating in the abortion, Johnson witnesses the child in the ultrasound attempting to avoid the suction device and lethal tools of the abortion doctor, which she perceives as the child acting in self-defense. The child appears to be in great physical pain.
Moreover, the film drives home the horrible feelings of regret and remorse which an abortion often causes for the mother. As someone who had two abortions prior to her career with Planned Parenthood, Johnson testifies to her own regret which worsens after her departure from the clinic.
Perhaps most important, Johnson’s story suggests that no crime, no matter how horrific in nature, is beyond divine forgiveness, though she struggles to come to terms with this. Eventually, Johnson comes to understand that she must move forward with her life, and find peace despite her past: forgiveness and reconciliation are in the present.
In revealing the great traumas that an abortion causes for the mother and child, this film permanently shaped my own outlook on one of the most divisive issues confronting America today. “Unplanned” is a must see for everyone, regardless of political leanings.