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New movie “Unplanned” tells the story of Abby Johnson, former Planned Par­enthood director who is now an advocate for life. | Wiki­media Commons

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.