COMMENTARY

‘Unplanned’ delivers must-see message on abortion

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No matter which side of the fence you’re sitting, the movie “Unplanned” needs to be seen.


If you’re pro-life, go see it.


If you’re pro-choice, go see it.


It does what movies like this are supposed to do, it challenges you to think. Even if it doesn’t change your mind about abortion, and it very well should, it will at least make you think. The horrors of abortion are shown on the big screen and that’s what earned the movie its R-rating. There’s no other reason. The language is mild, no sex scenes, nothing else.


Producers fought the R-rating but it only underscores the true violence of abortion and makes the point of the pro-life camp. If you don’t already believe it, this movie will make you see that abortion is, well, murder. Across our nation, including Kentucky, the abortion discussion has never been more hotly debated. Statehouses across the country are looking long and hard at the issues, many that will likely land in the lap of the Supreme Court.


Four pro-life measures were brought forth in the General Assembly’s recently completed session. Further court battles already await two of them but Gov. Matt Bevin, a strong pro-life governor, isn’t backing away from the fight.


Neither are many other lawmakers in the state, 35 of whom co-sponsored a resolution on the last day of the session from state Rep. Melinda Brunty, R-Benton, that honors Bevin for defending bills in court and criticizes Attorney General Andy Beshear for failing to do the same. It’s certainly going to be a potential hammer that Bevin uses in the gubernatorial race this fall.


Abortion is a political hot potato, and there’s no middle ground here. Not in Kentucky or anywhere else. The answer seems simple enough: Value life. It’s that easy. Abortion takes life. The other side says it is simple too: It’s the women’s decision and nobody should tell them what to do with their body. But the one who doesn’t have a voice on life or death is that baby growing in the womb.


We can all talk about abortion and pontificate over the issue but seeing is believing and you won’t be able to un-see this movie. It’s like the opening scene from “Saving Private Ryan” or Mel Gibson’s “The Passion of the Christ” as Jesus is taken to the cross. They leave you with images and so does “Unplanned.”


This movie, which will move you to tears at different places, makes clear the consequences of the abortion decision in graphic form and shows the mental anguish that goes with this life-haunting choice. During one especially poignant scene, a young girl considering going into the Planned Parenthood office is told in the parking lot that you can get rid of the baby, but the memory of that baby never leaves. Abortion changes you. The person you are going in will not be the same one who leaves.


The Christian movie with the decidedly pro-life purpose had a strong opening weekend with $6.1 million from 1,509 theaters at the U.S. box office despite an unexplained Twitter suspension on Saturday morning, the day after the film opened. It hasn’t been a movie welcomed with open arms but managed to be the fifth-most watched of the weekend.


It’s an inspiring rollercoaster of a true story with plenty of power-packed emotion as Abby Johnson tells her story on both sides of the issue. She had two abortions and dedicated her early work life to Planned Parenthood – including being a darling in the organization at one time – because she wanted to empower women.


Even with opposition from her (second) husband and parents about working for Planned Parenthood, she became a clinic director. But after watching an abortion at 13 weeks for the first time, Johnson is overcome with guilt and raw emotion and decides she can no longer work for the organization. She later deals with the haunting number of helping 22,000 women decide on abortion.


Abby went from being one of Planned Parenthood’s strongest advocates to its most vocal critic almost overnight and continues to be today. The movie is based on a book she wrote.


As a Christian, if you are looking for a straightforward gospel movie, you may be disappointed. However, you will not be disappointed in the movie for pulling back the veil on abortion’s horrors.


I’ll leave you with this. Since 1973, when the Supreme Court handed down its Roe vs. Wade decision, there have been well over 54 million abortions. Let that number sink in.


Abortion is legal in the United States. Let that sentence sink in.


God help us.


MARK MAYNARD is managing editor of Kentucky Today. Reach him at mark.maynard@kentuckytoday.com 

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