Saturday, opening weekend, I went and saw the movie Unplanned, in a theater that was surprisingly full, and perhaps not so surprisingly, made up of a mixture of mostly senior citizens and teenage girls.
Much has been said about the movie; particularly its R rating. What follows, are my own thoughts.
I found the movie, and the book which I finished reading at midnight on Friday, to be particularly well done, and also particularly personal. And in many ways, I felt I could relate to Abby Johnson, even though as I have been alerted to many times in an internet discussion concerning the movie, my anatomical make up does not allow me to carry a child, or to actually be faced with the decision of having an abortion.
Abby Johnson’s story starts as a college junior at a career fair, where she meets a Planned Parenthood representative, who convinces her to volunteer at Planned Parenthood. The story continues over the course of several years, with Abby following along with the Planned Parenthood mantra that abortion is necessary, and that their goal is safe, legal, and rare. Abby believes all of this, and by her own admission, is rather naïve and gullible.
And that is where I come in, and perhaps most people as well. The media, the government, Planned Parenthood, and countless others prey on that misinformation. Growing up, right until I was in Seminary, I was indifferent at best on abortion, because I was blind to what was going on. I believed the arguments of how bringing unwanted children into homes of unprepared parents was wrong. I believed that sick children should be aborted, because their lives would be miserable anyway. I believed that abortion was safe; that it was being done in only extreme cases; and that after all, it was legal, and if it was legal, it must be ok.
Like Abby Johnson, I was naïve. I was left out in the open, where I would one day be cast down and shown the truth of what abortion truly is: murder.
For me, it was in a Seminary classroom, watching a video, hearing from women who had undergone abortions, and the gruesome way in which it was carried out; the babies butchered like animals, and then sucked out with a vacuum. A friend recounted later how he had to assist a vet with such a procedure on a calf stuck in a cow, and how even that was dreadful for all involved; how much more so on a child?
You can say Abby Johnson should have known better working for Planned Parenthood; and maybe she should have. I was a Seminary student preparing to join the Ministry of a church body that was unapologetically pro-life, and I should have known better. One day, a whole lot of people will admit that they should have known better too.
Unplanned shows the lie that the safe, legal, and rare argument truly is. It is definitely not safe for the child, and this movie proves that the mothers are not safe either. It is hardly rare; Johnson recounts how the clinic she oversaw did 40 surgical abortions on a typical Saturday, and gave out who knows how many pills for a chemical abortion. That is common, not rare. And while it may be legal, the question should be asked, why?
Gosnell: The Trial of America’s Biggest Serial Killer showed essentially what a back-ally abortion clinic would look like; a dump, filled with cats, and garbage. Ironically, during the trial the ‘good abortion doctor’ was put on the stand to show the contrast to Gosnell’s clinic. The clinic in Unplanned is spotless; and yet the result is exactly the same: children are murdered, and women are left scarred physically and emotionally.
There is one other thing that Unplanned shows; and it again relates to my own time at Seminary. Every Saturday, a group would meet early in the morning, about 100 yards from my dorm room, and go the nearby Planned Parenthood clinic and pray for an hour. I never went; I wish I had. Unplanned shows that prayer works, maybe not always immediately in the case of the mothers going inside, but in the case of Abby Johnson, and countless others who work in these slaughterhouses, prayer works in opening their eyes to what is going on.
May we all join in prayer, that one day the eyes of all America, will be opened to the horror that abortion truly is.