I just returned from seeing the movie, Unplanned, and I will attempt to provide a few thoughts while they are still fresh in my mind. First of all, I rejoice that this movie was made, because it tackles the issue of abortion from an honest and realistic perspective that won’t be found in a Hollywood production. The movie is based upon the true life story of Abby Johnson, who spent years as the director of a Planned Parenthood abortion clinic in Texas. To prevent spoilers, I won’t divulge the plot, although Abby’s story is quite well known by now.
The movie is extremely effective and quite powerful, although the overall quality of the film is subpar. The lead actor who plays Abby Johnson (Ashley Bratcher) gives an excellent performance, but unfortunately the same cannot be said for all the actors involved. However, one of the other authentic performances is given by Dr. Anthony Levatino, a former abortionist who portrays an abortionist in this film.
I also wasn’t a fan of the contemporary Christian soundtrack that ran throughout, but I was prepared for that. However, the story flowed very well, and the grim and controversial subject was handled without resorting to propaganda or political talking points. Yes, you will surely read reviews from abortion proponents who will tell you otherwise, but I was pleased with the overall objectivity of the film. In fact, I anticipate that some abortion opponents will be disappointed that the movie was not more biased and slanted in its presentation. But at the outset we are told that this is simply Abby Johnson’s own personal story, and therefore the film simply depicted her own experiences and struggles with the subject matter. And therein is the movie’s effectiveness. Whatever one thinks about abortion or Planned Parenthood, no one can argue against what Abby Johnson personally experienced.
I confess that I cried more than once during the film. I think anyone who has experienced the sadness and despair of abortion will be deeply moved by this film. Whether you’ve had an abortion, or been involved in an abortion, or been on the front lines in the fight against abortion, the realistic portrayal of the physical, emotional, and spiritual damage of abortion will stir your conscience and your soul.
Although the overall quality of the film is lacking, the abortion scenes are powerfully portrayed, absent of exaggeration or embellishment. I do think the “R” rating is warranted. There are some graphic and bloody scenes; and that’s a good thing, because abortion is indeed graphic and bloody. But as I stated, the abortion scenes are not gratuitous or embellished. They are heartbreaking to watch, but people need to see the truth.
I strongly recommend taking your teenager children to see this movie. It will surely save lives – unborn lives and women’s lives. And even if you are already Pro-Life, go see this movie. It demonstrates the power of prayer and the vital importance of urgent, loving, nonviolent Pro-Life activism. If you are a youth minister in your Church, please consider taking your entire youth group to see this film.
Unplanned won’t go down as one of the best pieces of cinema ever made, but it might well be remembered as one of the most important. Go see it!
Selam, + Gebre Menfes Kidus +