Movie Review: Unplanned


Emma Judge '22, Contributing Writer

In 2009, a young woman handed in her resignation letter and left her job for the last time. For eight years, Texas native Abby Johnson worked for the Planned Parenthood center in Bryan College Station, Texas. Ten years later, Abby’s story came to the big screens in the new film Unplanned. Based on her bestselling book of the same title, Unplanned aims to reach viewers through the true story of one woman’s conversion and decision to make her work at an abortion clinic a thing of the past, and it encourages abortion workers to rethink their decision to work in the abortion industry. On opening weekend, Unplanned earned a spot as #4 for box office earnings for its opening weekend, March 29th-31st. Unplanned made over 6 million dollars, more than double the amount Gosnell, a movie about abortionist Kermit Gosnell and his illegal practice, earned in October of 2018.

In February, the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) gave Unplanned an R Rating, a first time for film distributor PureFlix. In response to this, many involved with the film have said that the rating is a good thing. Actress Ashley Bratcher, who portrays Abby Johnson, stated: “For the MPAA to give Unplanned an R Rating, they agree that abortion is a violent and disturbing act.” The rating also forces parents to see the film if their teenager wants to see it, which opens the potential for discussion, regardless of one’s personal views. Others, consider the rating hypocritical. Ken Rather, an executive of the company pointed out that a girl under 17 can get an abortion without parental consent in at least 13 states, but is unable to see a film exposing the violent and graphic truths of abortion without an adult by her side. 

The film itself was incredibly well done, especially considering its relatively small budget of $6 million. There are several funny moments in the film that bring light into the darker truths that are exposed in the film. However, it is incredibly graphic and as close to a realistic abortion as a film could get. Gabriella Bachiochi, ‘21, said: “I was appalled at the inhumanity of their actions and their lack of compassion for the unborn.” Though the filmmakers have been accused of doctoring the ultrasound video of the 13-week baby being aborted to make it seem worthy of more sympathy, Dr. Anthony Levatino, a former abortionist, assures viewers that it is very realistic though it isn’t a real ultrasound.

Early on in the film, the character Abby suffers the traumatic aftermath of a chemically induced abortion, more commonly referred to as the abortion pill. Abby’s real experience with the chemical abortion was even more bloody than the film revealed. When asked about the graphic imagery used in the film, actress Emma Elle Roberts (Marilisa Carney) said: “You see it and you’re like, I want to look away but I can’t. There’s a couple scenes in there where, I kid you not, are absolutely horrific to watch, but it’s so needed.”. Though the film had several very disturbing moments, and the theme of killing unwanted or unplanned children is heartbreaking, the film showcased the reality of abortion and exposed, what the movie exposes as lies that Planned Parenthood, and the late Margaret Sanger, told about abortion — even before their first clinic opened in 1916.

The students that saw Unplanned all had very strong reactions. When asked about the most shocking thing she noticed, Abigail Finnerty, ‘19, said: “I think the most shocking moment was when Planned Parenthood revealed their true motivation–not to limit abortions but instead to increase them and hit higher numbers than ever.” Many agreed that the graphic imagery, although hard to watch, was one of the best things about the film because it revealed the reality of abortion. They also agreed that it encouraged them to be more active in the Pro-Life movement.

Though most mainstream magazines, including Variety and Forbes, and many politically active celebrities, such as Alyssa Milano and Samantha Bee, responded negatively to the film, the film has had mainly positive responses from diverse audiences. Whether you are pro-life, pro-choice, or unsure of where you stand, this film is a must-see.

Unplanned exposes the gruesome reality of abortion and allows insight into what really drives abortion providers such as Planned Parenthood: profit. Our world today wants everybody to always listen to the woman’s testimony. Abby Johnson shared her story. Let her testimony be heard.