by Drew Zahn
They were all there – the screaming anti-abortion zealots, the coldhearted abortion executives, the grieving family members, the scared girls, the gentle prayer warriors, the conscience-seared doctors, the boyfriends and fathers callously dismissing an inconvenient pregnancy as “her problem,” the earnest pro-lifers trying to save babies’ lives, and the clinic volunteers who genuinely believe that offering abortion helps women in the face of unimaginable distress.
They were all gathered at the fence, the black, wrought-iron fence that surrounds Planned Parenthood, crying out to be heard. And each gets their moment on screen in the heart-wrecking, heart-warming film “Unplanned,” showing in theaters now.
This is what makes “Unplanned” such a worthy and important entry in the decades-long debate over abortion in America. This, and the fact that it’s based on the true story of a decorated Planned Parenthood clinic director, Abby Johnson.
Watch the trailer below:
Abby’s tale, told in “Unplanned,” speaks not with rhetoric or vilification, but with experience. Abby was the scared girl, afraid to tell her parents of her pregnancy, bleeding on the abortion table. She was the young woman, suffering at the hands of a callous man, writhing in pain from a medically induced abortion she suffered at home, alone. She was the idealistic college student, defending a woman’s “right to choose.” She was a volunteer, a counselor, and eventually director of a Planned Parenthood clinic. She stood on the inside of the fence and watched the pro-life protesters, some who terrified the girls coming for an abortion, others who comforted and cared for them.
And then one day … she saw something that changed everything.
Abby Johnson became the woman who was devastated by the guilt of helping over 20,000 women end their babies’ lives. She became the woman praying at the fence. She became the earnest pro-lifer trying to save both women and children from the horrors she herself had overseen.
This is why you and *everyone you know needs to see “Unplanned”: It tells the story through the eyes of every pro-lifer and every pro-choicer standing at that fence, because it tells Abby’s story, and she’s been all of them.
In an age when public debate becomes bitter division, when opposing sides are quick to call the other a “woman hater” or a “baby killer,” we need to see through others’ eyes, to understand their heart before we seek to change their mind.
Because the real enemy isn’t the abortion clinic worker or the pro-life activist.
But there are real enemies to both truth and love in the controversy over abortion. There are users and liars, and there is genuine evil that is driving an industry that has killed over 60 million Americans in the womb and scarred scores of millions of women.
We must see this movie – one, because it’s long past time we see through others’ eyes, to learn to speak both truth and love in this debate, and two, because we dare not turn a blind eye to what’s happening to our daughters when we’re afraid to see … what Abby saw.
* “Unplanned” is rated R for the realistic, and therefore gruesome, depiction of abortion procedures. This is not a film for children or those whose hearts cannot look into the face of evil and pain. Women who have suffered abortion, or even miscarriage, may find the film’s first several minutes to be particularly difficult. Those first several minutes will be difficult for almost any audience to watch.
- See where “Unplanned” is playing and reserve your tickets here: UnplannedTickets.com
- I’ve seen the movie! What can I do next? Visit www.ShesABaby.com now for several things YOU can do today to make a difference.
- Looking for help? Or want to know how you can help others? The makers of “Unplanned” have created a page of resources, a help line, and organizations that will care for YOU.
Drew Zahn is the former film critic for WorldNetDaily and today serves as director of communications for The FAMiLY LEADER