This week I had the privilege of watching the movie, Unplanned, the story of Abby Johnson, a one time director at a planned parenthood in Texas. I had read very little about the movie so that I could watch it free from the bias of others and I am glad I did. The movie is rated R (which appears to be an attempt to sabotage the movie by the MPAA before it was released to limit its audience) which means you must be over 18 or with a parent or guardian to see it. Sadly, no such limitation is actually put on those desiring an abortion - no parental consent is needed.
One thing that was significant to me was that I did not walk away from the film with the perception that those who work in or with planned parenthood are evil. It was obvious that each of the employees (perhaps minus 1) had a love for women, a desire to serve them and really thought they were doing good work, even God’s work. Such a realization should cause us to be more thoughtful in our speech towards those in the industry or those who have had an abortion. These people are not our enemies - deceived perhaps - but no enemies.
I also appreciated how there were two differing pro-life presentations in the film. There was the angry, hostile, violent group that is not loving, not Christ like and actually does more harm than good; as well as the more compassionate side through the “40 Days of Life” ministry. There is much to be said about our tactic in speaking against abortion and it was clear that the more loving, gentle group had a much bigger impact on Abby than the hostile one. It is also sad, how many who claim to be pro-life are not actually concerned about the lives of the women (and men) who may be involved in the industry. All lives matter - from conception to the grave - even the lives of those we do not agree with.
Seeing some of the images from an abortion were startling and at times made me uncomfortable. It was the first time I had a clear understanding of what actually happens during an abortion and it was overwhelming. The lady at the ticket counter stopped us and suggested we bring tissues into the theater - you might want to bring your own from home.
I am thankful for Abby and others who have been changed by God to value life. I highly recommend the film to anyone, but especially young girls ages 13 and up. I am also thankful for the birth moms of adoptive children who in a moment of crisis did not choose death but life. I also think there should be a renewed urgency to pray for those thinking about an abortion or involved in its practice. In the movie the power of prayer was evident - that is not accidental - it is because we have a God who is powerful, who hears our cries and who is able to do anything - even take a former planned parenthood director and turn her into an advocate for life.
if you watched the film, I would love to hear your thoughts about it, how it moved you and what if anything God would have you to do going forward that might also be “unplanned”.