Every year, there are a handful of movies that Hollywood despises because it does not toe the progressive line the industry has created. Unplanned is one of those movies. Whenever you take a stand against’s one of Hollywood’s biggest cash cows and America’s leading abortion provider, Planned Parenthood, you can expect some roadblocks along the way.
Shot in secret in Oklahoma to avoid backlash from pro-abortion groups, Unplanned got a surprise when the Motion Picture Association of America hit the film with an R-rating (The first R-rated film for the production company, Pure Flix) for what they called “some disturbing/bloody images”. Despite the ridiculous setback, the film received a nationwide release in over 1,000 theaters. You already know the media will be biased against this due to its subject matter. So what is the objective opinion? The reason why there is so much ire towards this movie, its because they expose so many secrets that Planned Parenthood fight tooth and nail to protect.
Unplanned is about the story of Abby Johnson (Ashley Bratcher) who became one of the youngest Planned Parenthood clinic directors in the United States. Abby was a college student before she was approached by Planned Parenthood to become a volunteer at a local facility in Texas. During the next eight years, she assisted in over 22,000 abortions until one day she watched doctors perform one herself and it was the day that changed her stance from Pro-Choice to Pro-Life.
There are two big takeaways with Unplanned. The first being what you rarely hear about the abortion debate, the actual procedure. If the general public knew and/or saw what happens behind closed doors, their opinion would be swayed to a direction that Planned Parenthood wouldn’t approve of. However, empathy is the most important takeaway from the movie. It is very easy to listen to voices like Michelle Wolf glorifying abortion and take a very jaded stance against women who decide to go through with the operation. The perspective you don’t hear enough are from women who are unsure, scared, and in a lot of cases pressured into making a decision they may regret down the road, mostly from the place they are paying to abort their child. Abby goes through two abortions and as easy as it is to blame her for a lack of personal responsibility, you empathize with the women who end up in her position due to a lack of guidance or poor guidance.
One of the great things about movies like this is that due to the subject matter, the film has to carefully vet their cast as most Hollywood actors wouldn’t do Pro-Life movie. The ones who do, take great pride in their work and Unplanned is no exception. Ashley Bratcher puts on a wonderful performance as Abby, a woman who goes through a wide range of emotions for the audience to understand the full depth of her character. Jared Lotz and Emma Elle Roberts provide a little extra heart as they represent the 40 Days For Life advocacy group that peacefully intervenes to change the minds of those entering for abortion.
A couple of negatives, the film does drag on a bit towards the final act and would have benefited from cutting a few scenes to sharpen the runtime. The third act gets a bit too partisan against Planned Parenthood. Abby’s testimony exposes many of the company’s dirty little secrets but it goes too hard in condemning them when the point had already been made to that point. Outside of that, Unplanned is a tear jerking movie whose amazing cast leaves an emotional punch. Regret is a hard hurdle to clear and it never truly goes away, a film like this reminds us that while an abortion will only last a couple of minutes, the decision is one that lasts a lifetime and it is empathy not condemnation that will be the break through to young women across the country.