“Unplanned,” the Movie, Lifts the Veil on Abortion
By Dawn Hoagland
The public has responded to the quiet distribution of “Unplanned” with support and praise. The film, which was shown in 1600 theaters for its opening last weekend, ended up being a box office success. It exceeded expectations despite minimal advertising due to refusals to air the trailer or ads for the film. Word of mouth has been very effective.
Critics have remarked that it is only Christians who are viewing “Unplanned.” Abby Johnson, the woman whose life the film is about, responded to that at CPAC 2019 by saying, “Fantastic! Because if 50 percent of people who call themselves Christians and Conservatives and checked a box on a form that said they were Pro-Life, were actually doing something to end abortion, we would have already seen victory.”
The true story of Abby Johnson’s devotion to her career at Planned Parenthood contrasted with her abrupt reversal of opinion about abortions provides a compelling narrative for the movie. The movie begins with the moment Abby sees a 13-week-old baby on a sonogram screen frantically struggling to get away from the suction tube of the abortionist.
On that decisive day, Abby Johnson, who was the youngest director of a Planned Parenthood center, was asked to assist a new doctor by guiding the procedure with a sonogram. Abby had never participated in the actual abortion of a baby during the eight years she had been counseling girls into having abortions.
She was shocked to see the baby on the monitor struggling to survive. She saw the bloody pieces of the baby sucked through the tube into a glass jar. She saw the young girl on the table in pain. She saw the empty womb on the sonogram screen when it was all over. She ran out of the room clearly shaken by the experience, which became the turning point in her life.
Abby realized she had inadvertently lied to thousands of girls about the baby just being a clump of cells and how a baby cannot feel pain until 28 weeks. That is what Planned Parenthood had told her to say. By September 2009, Abby had overseen 22,000 abortions. The weight of the lies she told the girls and the deaths of all those little babies weighed heavily on her heart. We praise the merciful grace of our Lord Jesus Christ who paid the price for all of our sins including Abby’s.
Abby went to visit the Coalition for Life group that had consistently prayed on the days when abortions were performed on the sidewalk outside of her clinic for years. They were surprised but overjoyed to see her in their office. Their kindness and love helped her see a way forward.
Her new pro-life friends were also there to assist her with the frivolous lawsuit Planned Parenthood hit her with two weeks later. As Abby puts it with her wry sense of humor, “Planned Parenthood thought it was illegal to become pro-life. It’s not.”
The movie sheds light on some of the secrets Planned Parenthood doesn’t want us to know. The movie included a scene in which a young girl passed out in the waiting room bleeding from a perforated uterus almost died. Abby was shocked when her director refused to call an ambulance because it would create bad publicity.
Later in the film, after Abby had just received an award for being Director of the Year, she was told by the head of Planned Parenthood that her clinic was expected to double the number of abortions it performed the following year. This was their business model because abortions provide the profit. The health services they are so proud to talk about offering are not their primary concern.
“Everyone who says they’re pro-life, everyone who says they’re Christian, needs to be directly involved in the pro-life movement in some way. So volunteer with your local pregnancy resource center, get involved with various national organizations—I mean, laws are important, but our goal should not be to make abortion illegal. Our goal should be to make abortion unthinkable. To do that, we have to be people willing to be part of the solution.”- Abby Johnson
Abby Johnson began an organization to help abortion workers find new jobs in careers they can be proud of. And Then There Were None (ATTWN) is a registered nonprofit organization that exists to help abortion clinic workers leave the abortion industry. To date they have helped over 500 people find new employment.
There are currently around 2,700 pregnancy resource centers in the United States. They greatly outnumber abortion clinics, of which there are 709 stand-alone abortion businesses. There are more abortion clinics closing every year. Operation Rescue tracks this on an annual basis.
“In recent years, under the leadership of Troy Newman, Operation Rescue has become one of the leading voices of the pro-life activist movement in America. Its activities are on the cutting edge of the abortion issue, taking direct action to restore legal personhood to the pre-born and stop abortion in obedience to biblical mandates.” (Operation Rescue)
Heartbeat International is the largest worldwide network of pregnancy help organizations. They have a 24/7 helpline (1-800-712-HELP) for people who are pregnant and in need of immediate assistance.
Here is their mission statement: Heartbeat’s Ministry Services team is here to invest in you, whether it is spiritual growth, workday stewardship, effective boardroom practices or launching a new vision.
From pregnancy help centers and clinics, to housing and even non-profit adoption agencies, our mission is to support your life-affirming mission. Whether your ministry is just starting out or is well established and seeking even more effectiveness, our role is to come alongside you every step of the way. We’re here to serve you as you seek God’s best in your work.
Grassroots Defunding Campaign finding Alternatives to Planned Parenthood is a website that is devoted to strategically defunding Planned Parenthood. One argument against defunding Planned Parenthood is the assertion that women will be denied non-abortion health care if Planned Parenthood centers are closed. This is their most compelling political talking point. It needs to become irrelevant.
This website offers a constantly updated state by state list of community health centers near Planned Parenthood centers that offer the same medical services. Planned Parenthood is strengthened when women and men choose to go there for actual medical services. Planned Parenthood is weakened when people choose to go elsewhere for the same medical needs.
The work to save the lives of the unborn is being done. Hallelujah! Become an active part of the pro-life movement by supporting any or all of these organizations or by doing your part in your own way.
Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward. Psalm 127:3
Dawn Hoagland is a teacher and writer who lives in upstate New York. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.