Unplanned: A review of the film and the state of our culture
By Dr. Richard Moss
I took my two youngest children to see “Unplanned,” a Christian pro-life movie. It provided a different message than what is typical in our media and general culture. We are a conservative Jewish home, perhaps a little unusual in the American Jewish community, which is broadly Democrat and liberal. With so many movies and other aspects of our culture shifting ever more to the left, the opportunity to see a film that delivers a more traditional religious theme was welcome, rare as it is.
The movie tracks the life of Abby Johnson, who early in the story has two abortions, including one chemically induced by the abortifacient RU-486, in a particularly agonizing scene. She is recruited to be a volunteer at a Planned Parenthood Clinic in Texas, and eventually attracts the attention of the director, Cheryl. We observe the arc of Abby’s thinking. At first, she is comfortable in her role at the clinic, believing that she is helping women in crisis. As she sees it, she is providing necessary reproductive health care and “family planning,”and thereby reducing the number of unwanted pregnancies and abortions.
There are conflicts with her family. Her parents are religious Christians and believe that life begins at conception. Her boyfriend, who later marries her, is also a Christian and pro-life. She goes on to have a daughter. Her parents and husband had hoped that with the birth of her own child, she would change her mind, but she does not. She misses the inconsistency, but then she is not alone. Much of the nation and one major political party, has been gripped by the rather vile idea that killing children or fetuses at any stage is acceptable, a matter of convenience.
Cheryl tests her resolve by taking her into the POC room (“Products of Conception” or, as fellow workers refer to it, “Pieces of Children”). Cheryl shows her aborted fetuses, miniature babies, in effect, with all the likenesses, and she clinically examines them. Abby is fascinated rather than disgusted. She passes the “test” and Cheryl welcomes her into the sorority. She has found her future director.
There is a conflict with the pro-life Christian group, Coalition for Life. They pray at the fence surrounding the facility every Saturday. Abby develops a polite friendship with Shawn, who leads the group, and his wife, Marilisa. As devout Christians, they are gracious and compassionate. This allows them to cultivate a cautious friendship.
At one point, Abby is asked to assist with an ultrasound-guided abortion. She watches in horror as a 13-week baby fought for and ultimately lost its life at the hand of the abortionist. She experiences a crisis of conscience remembering the baby being dismembered and sucked into a tube. It’s a deeply unsettling scene that undercuts the accepted narrative that aborted babies are just fetuses unable to feel pain.
Later, Cheryl, the former director now based at corporate headquarters in Houston, takes her to task. She is accused of being disloyal to the mission. She is advised that the purpose of Planned Parenthood is to provide abortions.
“Abortion is what pays your salary!” Cheryl snaps, reminding Abby that “nonprofit is a tax status, not a business model.”
Abby meets with her Christian friends and joins them. After some 22,000 abortions as director of the clinic, she resigns.
It is refreshing to see a film with a religious Christian message. We swim in an ocean of narrative created by the left, which controls the towering heights of opinion, education, the economy and culture. They run our schools, colleges, media, entertainment industry, and, of course, Hollywood. To have a movie espousing biblical, Judeo-Christian values with a message of Christian love and compassion is a welcome reprieve from the “pro-choice” culture that we must now endure — particularly as Democrat governors of New York and Virginia and the Democratic Party unabashedly support not just late-term abortion but “post-birth” abortion, in effect, infanticide.
It is instructive to note the ratings and criticisms of the movie. Film critics, like so many of our cultural betters, are far left. Most panned it, with a varied array of put-downs and insults, citing its partisanship, oversimplification, and one-sidedness. They decried it as right-wing propaganda, preaching to the choir, pro-life talking points, rallying the base, absolutist, extreme, dim-witted Christian drama, shaming women, twisting facts and so on.
Such critics do not appreciate their own privilege, the unending deluge of propaganda through TV, movies and other forms of media that deliver their message and narrative every day to Americans. They attack “Unplanned” as if this small, independent film would threaten their dominant hold on our culture.
Let me help. Hey! You guys have won, we live in your world, your narrative, your culture, the one you foisted upon us with the advent of the sixties, yes, “sex, drugs and rock and roll,” the sexual revolution, promiscuity, radical feminism, cohabitation, the welfare state, secularism, the rejection of marriage, two- parent families, religion and so on. This is your universe, replete with the various lifestyles, habits, attitudes, and ideologies you so lovingly promote.
Thanks to your policies and culture, we now have rampant out of wedlock childbirth, single-parenthood, fatherlessness, welfarism and dependency, high levels of criminality, incarceration and drug abuse; soaring domestic and sexual abuse, poverty, unemployment, educational failure, permanent underclasses, and, yes, many “unwanted” pregnancies and, thus, abortions on a grand scale. Hence the consequent “need” for operations like Planned Parenthood — which you celebrate.
You won the cultural wars years ago; you control all the organs of power and culture with a firm Soviet grip.
Now witness the social calamity, chaos and tragedy you have sown.
This film is part of a rear-guard battle, a “Hail Mary” from a shrinking demographic appalled at what has become of the nation and a response to the culture the left has produced; it is one tiny bright spot in a dismal canopy of darkness, a miniscule salvo against the leftist barrage. “Unplanned” is a small step in the right direction of reasserting the bold biblical truths that founded the nation. Go see it. And pray.
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