“The one thing that all experts agree on is that at this stage, the feoteus can’t feel anything.”
That’s the loaded statement that Planned Parenthood abortion clinic worker Abby Johnson would tell her female clients, to reassure them the termination they were about to have, was harmless.
It’s a statement she now believes is a lie, after the day in 2009 when she watched a baby in the womb, at 13 weeks, twisting and fighting for its life – in the middle of an abortion procedure.
The astonishing true story is the subject of the dramatic film Unplanned, which screened across the US in March and is now showing in over 150 cinemas across Australia and New Zealand from this week.
The film follows the rise of Abby Johnson (Ashley Bratcher) through the ranks of the Planned Parenthood organisation, from college volunteer, to become one of its youngest clinic directors, and finally Employee of the Year.
That all changed when she was called in to actually assist with an abortion, and saw up close what takes place, on an ultrasound screen. Abby watched in horror as the baby on the screen before her, tried in vain to escape from the vacuum instrument that would end its life.
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In her memoir, Abby has written that she was also disturbed at how similar the baby in the ultrasound image had looked to her own daughter.
The shocking experience turned Abby from a staunch abortion advocate, into a pro-life campaigner. It was a shift that put her in the firing line of a Planned Parenthood lawsuit.
“Congratulations,” says her former boss, in a scene from the film. “You have made an enemy of one of the most powerful organisations – on the planet.”
In their lawsuit, Planned Parenthood falsely claimed that Johnson violated a confidentiality agreement in sharing her story, and that she breached an employment contract – even though she never had one with the clinic.
The film’s co-directors Cary Solomon and Chuck Konzelman (writers and co-producers of God’s Not Dead), said while the film raises strong emotions – with some movie theatre owners even receiving death threats for screening it – the demand for screenings continue to grow. The pair are unapologetic about their desire to show the truth about the abortion industry, and help people come to more informed views on the issue.
“Large theatrical exhibitors are not shying away from Unplanned, and that’s a bold statement,” they said. “We know that Abby’s conversion can be the world’s conversion. Every theatre, every community that shows Unplanned, creates a new opportunity for transformation in the lives of individuals and in the culture.”
Victorian MP Bernie Finn is among those supporting the film’s distribution in Australia. He encouraged people to go and watch the film with an open-mind.
“The last thing the abortion industry wants is truth,” he said. “Unplanned is an uplifting story of one woman’s moment of truth from abortion champion to pro-life warrior. This movie is an invaluable contribution to a debate that is too often blurred by lies. Every Australian should see it.”
To find out where Unplanned is showing in Australia and New Zealand, or to bring it to a community not listed, visit https://fan-force.com/films/unplanned.