Ep. 182 Review of Unplanned, the Pro-Life Movie

Shows Main Idea – Lucia and I went to see the movie while our children went to their youth group. We wanted to preview the film before suggesting they watch it since it received an “R rating” from the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA).

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Show Notes

Vital Links

The full title of the book that the movie based itself on is, “Unplanned: The Dramatic True Story of a Former Planned Parenthood Leader’s Eye-Opening Journey across the Life Line.”

Our children are 13, 15, and 17 years old; we chose not to let them see it because there were four graphic scenes that they would not want to see. Perhaps your children would want to see it, but after talking to them about the movie, they were clear to us that they did not want to go.

Our children are pro-life, so the movie would not have altered their worldview on the sanctity of life. The four graphic scenes were Abby’s first abortion, the day after her abortion, a scene showing a post-abortive baby, and a lady who had to go back into surgery because of post-operative complications.

All of these scenes were bloody, though not on the level of Saving Private Ryan or nearly any other modern-made war movie. These scenes are vital to the movie because they reflect the acuteness of the problem with taking a child’s life.

The Unplanned Plot

As a college student, Abby Johnson was asking questions at the Planned Parenthood (PP) booth during a “work fair” at her university. She did not know about Planned Parenthood but was intrigued by the “rights of women” movement.

She decided to work for PP after she graduated from college, which she did for eight years. She also had two abortions before her view on pro-choice v. pro-life changed.

Eventually, you married a man (Doug), who was pro-life, and one of the more remarkable things about this movie is how their worldviews contrasted with each other on this fundamental point, but he demonstrated his love for her.

During her stint at PP, Abby was interacting with a pro-life group—40 Days of Life—who prayed and “counseled” those who drove up to her facility in Bryan, Texas. This group was pivotal in Abby’s conversion to a pro-life presupposition.

Unplanned Movie Quotes

You may copy and tweet these quotes.

  1. #Unplanned Movie Quotes: “Never trust a decision you don’t want your mom to know about.” @AbbyJohnson
  2. #Unplanned Movie Quotes: “I slammed the experience in a box and buried it.” @abbyjohnson was talking about her two abortions.
  3. #Unplanned Movie Quotes: “You are a baby from the moment of conception.”
  4. #Unplanned Movie Quotes: “Most of the women who sit in that chair know there is a pregnancy that they are not ready to deal with.” Part of the Planned Parenthood speech to young mothers.
  5. #Unplanned Movie Quotes: “Part of my job as a clinic director is to sell abortions, and I was really good at it.” – @AbbyJohnson.
  6. #Unplanned Movie Quotes: “You do credit cards, right?” A young lady was asking Planned Parenthood about their payment options so she can abort her baby.
  7. #Unplanned Movie Quotes: “Think about a world without her. Rhonda, don’t do this.” A mother is begging her daughter not to kill her baby.
  8. #Unplanned Movie Quotes: “Abortion is what pays for your salary.” Planned Parenthood Director is explaining “another reason” for abortions.
  9. #Unplanned Movie Quotes: “We are an abortion provider. Non-profit is a tax status, not a business model.” Planned Parenthood Director explaining why making money is vital for them.
  10. #Unplanned Movie Quotes: “These are little babies, with little brains, little hearts, and little toes.” – @AbbyJohnson husband, Doug, sharing his worldview with his wife.
  11. #Unplanned Movie Quotes: “Abby Johnson is in the other room. She wants out.” The day Abby showed up at 40 Day’s of Life offices.
  12. #Unplanned Movie Quotes: “I saw it. Then it moved. It was like it was twisting and fighting for its life. It was a tiny, little baby, and then it was gone.” @AbbyJohnson
  13. #Unplanned Movie Quotes: “I’m going to go in on Monday, and I’m going to put in my resignation. I don’t want to be part of abortion again.” @AbbyJohnson
  14. #Unplanned Movie Quotes: “How does it feel? Like I just got out of prison.” @AbbyJohnson explaining what it felt like to leave Planned Parenthood
  15. #Unplanned Movie Quotes: “I have been complicit in 22,000 abortions. That is the weight of my guilt.” @AbbyJohnson
  16. #Unplanned Movie Quotes: “Abby, look at me. I love you, and so does God. He will forgive you if you ask.” 40 Days of Life Director explaining God’s mercy to @AbbyJohnson
  17. #Unplanned Movie Quotes: “When someone is praying outside a Plan Parenthood Clinic, the no show rate can be up 75%.”
  18. #Unplanned Movie Quotes: “They will give you an ultrasound, but they won’t let you see it. They do this to determine the size of the baby, so they know how much to charge you.”
  19. #Unplanned Movie Quotes: “You can let them get rid of your baby, but they can’t make you get rid of the memory of your baby.”
  20. #Unplanned Movie Quotes: “Have you seen the names of our donors: Soros, Gates, Buffet. Who do you have, Abby?” Planned Parenthood Director trying to intimidate @AbbyJohnson
  21. #Unplanned Movie Quotes: “Planned Parenthood would go to any length to destroy someone who they believe is a threat to them.” @AbbyJohnson was feeling the weight from the intimidation and threats for leaving Planned Parenthood.
  22. #Unplanned Movie Quotes: “I’m sorry I did not fight for you. I think about you every day.” @AbbyJohnson at the fence of the abortion center “talking” to her two aborted babies.

My Unplanned Takeaways

The Visual Effect – Knowing abortion happens and watching an abortion happen are two different things. The visual impact was not something we wanted our children to see at this time. There are sharp differences between reading about something and seeing it acted out on a screen.

Folks who saw The Passion of the Christ movie had a similar experience. You have to consider the maturity of your child, as well as his/her ability to process graphic content. (R rated movies are allowed to the teens under 17 accompanied with a person who is older than 16.)

Loving Confrontation – It was stunning to hear the dialogue between pro-life advocates working outside an abortion clinic. They have a bold responsibility that takes an amazing amount of grace, patience, and the ability to resist the temptation toward self-righteousness—a greater than, better than attitude.

(Then there are those who do this poorly, which they showed briefly, as they shouted harsh truths at those seeking abortions. Note to Evangelists Everywhere: If you want to win me to your cause, do not yell at me, telling me how awful I am.)

Low Commitment – Abby was not so much a committed pro-choice individual as she was pragmatic in her choices to abort her babies. It was not convenient to give birth, and there was an option for her to abort.

This point is vital when interacting with women considering abortion. They are not awful people, but are self-reliant, as they are looking out for what they believe is best for them. It is possible to have a civil conversation with a pregnant mom and help them to realize there are other options.

Family Dynamics – One of the more intriguing things about this movie were the inter-family dynamics. Abby’s parents were not activist, but they were pro-life. Doug, her husband, was also pro-life.

The family showed much patience and kindness toward Abby, though they strongly disagreed with her life choices. The power of prayer was most evident with those who disagree with her, which should encourage all of us who have relatives making poor choices.

Pieces Of Children – One of the saddest parts of the movie was P.O.C. room in the PP facility. P.O.C. means “parts of conception,” though some folks within PP call it “Pieces Of Children.” The purpose of this room is to “put the baby back together” again, post-abortion. They want to make sure that they aborted all of the baby and that there are no remains left in the mother.

Selfish Ambition – One of the running ironies in the movie is how PP is a job that provides individuals with opportunities to have financial success, as well as corporate ladder climbing, self-fulfillment, status, power, and all the other “perks” that come with the American dream. In this way, these workers are no different from any other corporate climber, except they kill babies.

Abby’s boss put pressure on her to abort her child because it would interfere with her work ambitions. Ironically, it was during this time that Abby was tabbed by her boss to become the head of the local facility. Her boss was moving up the ladder, and Abby showed great ambition and qualification to replace her.

The interplay between career aspirations and the work they do were apparent. Even though “regular abortion workers” are working their normal job, the tension about job loss is real, regardless of what they are doing. It takes a lot of courage to quit a job when that job supports you. There are always sacrifices when your principles become more critical than pragmatics.

Reality Bites – One of the “turning points” in Abby’s career was a botched abortion. Abby walked into the recovery room, seeing a mom bleed on the floor. Abby rushed her back to surgery but was ordered not to call an ambulance because of the protestors outside. They could not permit the publicity.

It was sobering to think about all the “back alley” shenanigans that happen at these abortion mills. Abby’s panicking caused concern for the lady in charge, as she did not believe that Abby was “hard” enough to run a facility.

Hardening the Conscience – It’s hard to imagine how calloused a person has to be to convince themselves that they are doing good work. As one abortion provider said, she was doing God’s work by helping women kill their babies.

It was a warning to me to think about how I can alter my “inner voice” when I don’t want to change or think about the things I should not be doing. My soul was sad about the blindness of these workers.

Another aspect of the “conscience dilemma” is how you present yourself to family and friends. Abby “had” to lie to her daughter about what she did, which was “right” according to her sideways world.

Should You Watch It?

Whether you should watch this movie is between you and the Lord, (and your spouse or parent, if applicable). I highly recommend it. I’m glad I saw it, and will probably view it again when it comes out on DVD.

This movie would also be perfect for a small group to view and then discuss it afterward. It will become a “go to” documentary on the subject of pro-life. It was well done, including the humanizing of the pro-choice community. It was not antagonistic toward them though it did not compromise the hard truths that we all must hear.

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