Lorna Dueck reviews the controversial film – Unplanned

July 15, 2019

“You don’t know *&[email protected]* about what you’re talking about,” my pro-abortion friend blurted out over lunch. Stunned, we laughed awkwardly, and quickly changed the subject.   

Actually, I do know what I am talking about around the no-go zone of abortion, but I have yet to figure out a way to make it a comfortable discussion.

I thought maybe the movie Unplanned would help keep the conversation open but based on secular press reviews on the ground-breaking film now playing in Canadian theatres, they are echoing my friend’s opinion – and worse.

Unplanned is well done. It far exceeded my expectations on screen. It holds minimal cheese and predictability but since it depicts a real Planned Parenthood clinic that once existed in evangelical mid-America, it does have some cheesy elements. 

The men in this film are white and have haircuts that look cringingly reformed. Get past it, the sheer miracle that this film has survived might convince you that the prayer movement also depicted is nothing to mock.

The abortion clinic staff portrayed in Unplanned are compassionate and dedicated to helping women; some are Christian and church-going. The doctor is, unfortunately, one dimensional and ruthless, but his on-screen appearances are minimal.

Unplanned focuses on the true story of Abby Johnson, who herself has had two abortions, and knows the dilemma of an unplanned pregnancy. With sincerity and a desire to reduce the need for abortions, Johnson climbs the career ladder and eventually becomes a Planned Parenthood clinic director. With a deep conviction of the service she provided at the time – she was involved in upward of 22,000 abortions.

The film follows Johnson’s transformative personal journey of rethinking the humanity of the fetus.

This gets very uncomfortable for the viewer, but it is gripping drama.

Johnson is played by American actress and anti-abortion activist, Ashley Bratcher who stars in Christian films – Bratcher makes the role believable.

In a 100 Huntley Street interview with Maggie John, the real Abby Johnson says she hopes the movie will inspire people to see this issue from a pro-life perspective and say, “Now I know what happens. Now I know why they’re fighting so hard. . . I might not understand their worldview, but now I understand what’s happening in the world, and I understand their passion.”

John also sat down with lead actress Ashley Bratcher who admits to being, “nervous to break the news” to her mother about the lead role she’d be playing in Unplanned. Further into the interview we hear why she was so nervous as Bratcher’s mother revealed to Ashley her own story of being on the abortion table—pregnant with her—when she got up and walked out of the impending surgery to abort her.

Few films have held my attention in such an emotive way as Unplanned

If struggling to become pregnant is part of your journey, you should probably take a pass on this film.

This is not an unbiased movie review.   

I have sat with my birth mother while she explained how she made four frantic, illegal attempts to abort me, prior to the legalization of abortion in Canada. 

I was genuinely unplanned. Both my birth mother and adoptive mother could tell you that a heck of a lot of sacrifice and therapy went into giving me a, “happily ever after.” 

As an adoption advocate, I am truly grateful for them and the many who cared for me.

I am pro-life because of my conviction that life in the womb has inalienable rights.

Like me, the fetus is also a clump of cells, which have a future that God will invite a loving village to support.

My hope is that the movie Unplanned launches us all into being a village around the women who need it, just like the one I had, and gratefully continue to live in today.

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Lorna is the CEO of Crossroads Christian Communication Inc., YES TV and Executive Producer of Context with Lorna Dueck TV show and online production. Lorna enjoys interviewing culture-shaping guests for any evidence of God. The award winning program is produced from the Crossroads Christian Communications Centre in Burlington, Ontario, airs on seven networks, and is seen Sunday mornings on Canada’s largest networks, CTV and Global TV. Lorna is a regular commentary writer on faith and public life in various publications in Canada, and a frequent media commentator. She travels the world reporting on church-led response to humanitarian crises.