Unplanned Movie Review

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Unplanned Movie Review

Reagan Parker, contributor

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The Pro-life community has launched its own film to address the issue of abortion in America: Unplanned. This movie seems to be overwhelmingly embraced by the audience, which is presumably a primarily anti-abortion crowd, with 92% liking on Rotten Tomatoes. But, in sharp contrast, the critics gave the film a 48%, claiming that the movie only enforces either side’s feelings, that it is badly executed, or that is is straight up propaganda. Some have even gone as far as to perceive the film as a threat to women and their rights. It appears that few lie in the center when evaluating the movie; they either adopt it into the midst of the pro-life movement, or they attempt to crucify it on the altar as evil propaganda.

If one had only read the responses of critics prior to watching the film, one could likely conclude that the film is offensive, harsh, unfair, an attack on individuals or society; yet, when one views the film, it is quite the opposite. Yes, the film is explicit in the realm of abortion, and certainly presents some grotesque images, but it doesn’t seem to attack those who support abortion or even those who have had abortions. In fact, the film even condemns the method of those who stand outside of Planned Parenthood, shouting, screaming, threatening, scaring, and expressing hatred towards the women entering the abortion clinic. The heroes of the story are those who stand outside of Planned Parenthood and pray for the women and show love towards them, even though they disagree.

The movie itself is based off of the book by Abby Johnson, who was a director of a Planned Parenthood Clinic in Texas, until she resigned, becoming a pro-life activist. Unplanned walks the viewers through her own life, including her personal experiences with abortion (she had two abortions) and her interactions with patients or the Coalition for Life, the Christian organization that prayed outside of the clinic. She adamantly defends her position on abortion, even when her parents, husband, and church openly opposed it, and claims that abortion is an empowering right to women. It wasn’t until she witnessed the actual abortion procedure where the baby was torn apart in the womb by the vacuum that she broke down in tears and determined to resign and protect the unborn rather than abort them. There are many other details of the film such as a victorious court case, coworkers, ideas, etc., but I guess you’ll just have to go view it yourself.

The general claim from critics that the movie is propaganda and will only harden each side to their own rock more is not a claim that with much merit. Since it is based on the real account of Abby Johnson, she experienced these things that the film presents, granted with some freedom from the director. But even still, while being a biased film, it presents its side, controversial as it is, clearly. Abortion, according to the film, is not only the outright murder of the baby, but also a physical and emotional tragedy for the women who go through with the procedure. While the movie, has that inherent bias, it is not a political film as much as it is from the hearts of the producer and their desire to protect life that they believe is being unjustly taken. One writer has called the film, “This gory, R-rated anti-abortion film paints Planned Parenthood as a powerful, bloodthirsty terrorist organization. It’s even crazier than it sounds” (Daily Beast). Twitter has also temporarily suspended Unplanned’s Twitter account and has been blamed to be the cause of 50,000 lost followers. Even Abby Johnson couldn’t access the Twitter account to her own movie.

This is a film everyone should watch for themselves, no matter the side you support. Abortion is the most controversial subject in the nation, and it has cost many lives. The problem is never solved by ignoring it, and Unplanned has brought it to America’s doorstep.

 

https://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/unplanned

https://www.newstatesman.com/culture/film/2019/04/unplanned-anti-abortion-propaganda-its-success-box-office-should-scare-us-all

https://www.thedailybeast.com/unplanned-inside-the-controversial-and-completely-bonkers-anti-abortion-movie

https://www.foxnews.com/entertainment/unplanned-actress-on-twitter-backlash-i-couldnt-even-follow-my-own-movie

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