"YOU FORMED ME IN MY MOTHER'S WOMB"
Unplanned Movie Review
By Clare Walker, Holy Trinity In-House Writer
Like go-getter career women all over the United States, Abby Johnson gets up every morning, kisses her family goodbye, and drives to work. But her job is not just work, not just a way to pay the bills. Her job is also her mission. Her mission is to help women avoid becoming mothers before they are ready, first by providing them with what they need to avoid pregnancy in the first place, then by making all other options available, including terminating their pregnancies. When Abby Johnson drives to work, she drives past a gauntlet of placard-waving, epithet-spewing, rosary-praying anti- abortion activists. Then she pulls into the parking space reserved just for her. Abby Johnson is the clinic director of Planned Parenthood in Bryan, Texas.
So begins Unplanned, a biopic of Abby that covers her journey from college pro-choice activist to high-powered executive with the largest abortion provider in the country to outspoken pro- life advocate. The journey is not rated G. It will make you cringe. It will make you weep.
And it will make you rejoice in God's power to change lives and save souls.
It will also make you a believer in the power of kindness. As in real-life, Shawn Carney and the other pro-life activists reach out to Abby with true Christian charity, rather than setting themselves up as Abby's enemies and treating her with harshness and scorn.
This is how to win the world for Christ: not by screaming and yelling about what's wrong in the world and what's wrong with people by throwing stones but by befriending and accepting people "as is," and trusting God to do the work of transformation and conversion.
The film is unapologetically pro-life, but every character and situation gets a sympathetic treatment. The plight of the unwed expectant mother is sensitively handled, as is the sincerity of Abby and the other clinic workers. They, like many on the pro-abortion side, truly believe they are helping women.
Be aware that the movie pulls no punches. It is rated 'R' for its realistic depictions of various abortion procedures. In fact, the actor who plays the abortionist in the movie is a former abortionist himself, Dr. Anthony Levatino. He personally ended the lives of over 1,200 unborn babies, but after a dramatic conversion he changed his life and has devoted himself to the pro-life cause.
If you've never gotten involved in the pro-life movement, start with 40 Days for Life. They are one of the most successful pro- life organizations in the country and are featured in the movie. 40 Days for Life began in Bryan, Texas, with peaceful prayer vigils right outside Abby Johnson's Planned Parenthood clinic. Their website, www.40DaysForLife.com, has tons of information--podcasts, a magazine, videos and more (including a moving interview with Dr. Levatino). Sign up for their email newsletter so you can join future pro-life campaigns right here in the area.
And if you get a chance, go see Unplanned. What you see might change everything.
*As this article went to print, Unplanned was still playing in selected Chicago-area theaters. Check your local listings. When Unplanned completes it theatrical run, check the 40 Days for Life website for news of the DVD release.
Clare T. Walker, a Holy Trinity Parishioner since 2003, writes for the National Catholic Register (www.ncregister.com). She is also an independent fiction author. Here are some handy links to her website and her books:
Clare T. Walker
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