“Unplanned”, a movie based closely on the book of the same name by Abby Johnson, is an incredible autobiographical story of the youngest director of a Planned Parenthood clinic who incredibly worked there for over 8 years before she witnessed an ultrasound guided abortion and her life changed. Set in Texas, we witness the life changing moment in detail which I believe was essential to the story to create a full understanding of what Abby experienced. Without giving away too much, I feel the director of the movie set the audience up to experience it much as Abby did, with a certain coldness and no connection of feeling to the characters involved. Even without emotional investment in the baby being aborted or the mother of this baby, you feel the horror and sadness of abortion.
That moment…was the hardest part.
The most unexpected thing in the film for a person like me, who was unfamiliar with the book, was the past of Abby before she worked at Planned Parenthood and what ultimately caused her to be such a rising star there. We watch in incredible wonder how someone can come to the way of thinking Abby had and truly feel for her. The story does make you understand why she felt there was an importance of her job, how she did her work and why, and never makes you hate the women and girls who went into the doors for abortions, aside from possibly one. For that I would say it doesn’t fully dive into a complete “pro-life” argument and although I think ultimately you get there along with Abby, it is a balanced view on both sides of the fence. This sentiment was mirrored by some of the young pro-choice visitors who were happy to see “both sides” of the issue and admitted it was thought provoking and changed their views on many parts of this complicated issue.
Abby’s story may not change everyone’s mind about abortion needing to be banned completely, but it will definitely create pause for those who support Planned Parenthood. I also think it will change minds in how we conduct abortions, if we should continue to allow them at all. This movie was very well made for the budget and had heart-wrenching and heart-warming moments. Definitely not for anyone under the age of 15, the scenes are raw and graphic without being gory. This story is really something all young adults should watch to gain an understanding of what living with an abortion does to a person’s life and heart. The take-away in this is that Abby, in burying her own past, had to convince herself that abortion was a good thing (hence her passion for her job at Planned Parenthood) even while deep down knowing, as we all truly do, that it is wrong. And in the end forgiving herself for her own actions, caused by a pain she couldn’t even acknowledge. Deep. Must-see.