On March 29th, 2019, a "true story" titled "Unplanned" hit theaters. Let me be the one to say that this "true story" is absolute garbage. If you haven't heard of this movie, it's because it is so far fetched and harmful to women's rights that the only TV channels that agreed to show commercials for it were Fox News and Christian Broadcasting Network. In fact, the Unplanned Twitter account was even suspended.
Unplanned tells the story of Abby Johnson, one of the youngest Planned Parenthood directors in the United States. One day, Abby is asked to assist in an ultrasound-guided abortion and is so disturbed by what she sees that she becomes a pro-life activist.
I came across the trailer for Unplanned on Twitter, and I clicked on it out of curiosity. At first, I thought, "She's helping women!" and I couldn't help but notice that the only people who told her that she was "killing babies" were two white men. However, as the trailer went on I realized that this movie is not beneficial to women's rights at all.
This movie has so many holes, I'm not even sure how it was allowed to be labeled as a "true story". How does someone make their way to PP Director and not know how an abortion is performed? The trailer also gives an unrealistic description of abortion. Abby claims that she saw the fetus "twisting and fighting for its life" during the procedure. That isn't possible because at that stage, a fetus can't feel. Apparently, the movie also portrays abortion as extremely bloody and violent (spoiler alert: it isn't).
Not only does this movie spread false information on abortion, it makes Planned Parenthood out to be some evil corporation. The trailer shows Cheryl (presumably a higher up in PP) tell Abby that she is paid to be a "perfect instrument of corporate policy" and that she has "made an enemy of one of the most powerful organizations on the planet". Do the people who made this movie know how much PP struggles against incorrect information and naive protestors? If you're going to portray an organization that provides healthcare to women in need as evil, at least try to make it believable. Supposedly, at some point in the movie, Cheryl approaches a woman in the bathroom and tries to convince her to get an abortion, completely unprompted. That defeats the purpose of being pro-choice, but at this point in the trailer, it was already obvious that this film was completely one-sided.
Planned Parenthood does so much more than provide abortions. For many people, it's their only means of affordable healthcare. Defunding Planned Parenthood means taking away that healthcare. Unplanned fails to mention that 66% of abortions occur within the first eight weeks of gestation, and 92% are performed within the first thirteen weeks. The women getting these abortions have thought very hard about their decision, and more than likely are not too torn up about their decision to terminate. Those that are upset are probably in that state because there were either complication with their health or the health of the fetus, or because some women are raped and have to make a choice that they never wanted to make. This movie attacks those women who already feel terrible. Instead of making a one-sided movie, maybe these producers who are so concerned over abortion could support organizations that emotionally help these women.
Honestly, I'm only comforted by the fact that only people who's beliefs are already cemented will buy into this movie. That said, I hope it flops. I hope it gets terrible reviews. I hope it loses revenue. I hope the people who worked on it feel guilty. I wonder if the pro-birth community thinks that their aggressive tactics are working, because this pushed me even further towards pro-choice, and I didn't think that that was possible.
Let's be reasonable and continue to fund Planned Parenthood. If you're really pro-life, you'll fight for the lives and health of women and their reproductive rights.