The pro-life movie “Unplanned” opens in theaters today (March 29) amid a flurry of media attention centered on the film’s realistic depiction of abortion and its political implications. But pro-life advocates hope the greatest impact of “Unplanned” will be changed lives.
“In the past four days, I have received three emails from women who previously worked in abortion clinics and are looking for healing resources,” said Abby Johnson, the former Planned Parenthood worker whose story the film tells. “In their emails, they all stated that they watched the trailer for Unplanned and realized that they needed healing from their past in order to really deepen their relationship with Christ.
“They realized that just from the trailer!!” Johnson wrote in a March 23 Facebook post. “God is about to shake up this country in a powerful way on March 29th.”
Produced by Pure Flix, “Unplanned” depicts Johnson’s ascent to become one of the youngest Planned Parenthood clinic directors in America as well as her subsequent conversion to pro-life views. The film, starring Ashley Bratcher, is based on Johnson’s 2011 book of the same title. “Unplanned” opens in 1,000 U.S. theaters.
Advertising “Unplanned” has been an uphill battle for Pure Flix, which also distributed “God’s Not Dead.” All cable networks other than Fox News and The Christian Broadcast Network refused to air commercials for it, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Lifetime, The Travel Channel, HGTV and Food Network, among other channels, all declined to advertise the movie due to its “sensitive nature.”
Despite the lack of TV advertising, Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission communications vice president Dan Darling said he hopes “millions of people see ‘Unplanned’ and that it becomes a catalyst for creating a culture of life in America.”
“I’m grateful for the life and ministry of Abby Johnson and am glad a new generation of people will be able to see her transformation into an advocate for life and human dignity,” said Darling, author of “The Dignity Revolution: Reclaiming God’s Rich Vision for Humanity.”
“Planned Parenthood is a predatory agency who profits off of the extinguishing of human life in its most vulnerable stage,” Darling told Baptist Press in written comments. “Through her work, Abby has exposed the dark underbelly of Planned Parenthood, but has also demonstrated that God is at work even in these dark places and the image-bearers working there can see the light and become advocates for life.”
Reviews of “Unplanned” have been polarized. The conservative publication The Federalist called it “an intense movie” that “uses its intensity to tell a story that is unique and powerful.” Texas Baptist author and speaker Jim Denison said “Unplanned” “competes as cinema with anything Hollywood will release this year.”
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Source: Baptist Press