As one of the youngest Planned Parenthood clinic directors in the nation, Abby Johnson was involved in more than 22,000 abortions and counseled countless women on their reproductive choices. Her passion surrounding a woman’s right to choose led her to become a spokesperson for Planned Parenthood, fighting to enact legislation for the cause in which she so deeply believed.
Until the day she saw something that changed everything.
Unplanned has an empowering, amazing story told through a strong female perspective. In the film, Abby Johnson is intentional. She makes her own choices. The film does not idealize her and treats her as an independent and real woman, recognizing the power in her choices. And as her choices purposefully and significantly shift, it is compelling. Her shift in perspective to the realization of the value of every person’s life, even if they have not been born yet, is powerful. Her loving and bold choice to strive for life may remind us of the significance of our choices, and encourage us to be empowered for life, love, and growth.
Ashley Bratcher’s performance as Abby is memorable and noteworthy; she impressively portrays experiences ranging from intense emotion to extreme physical agony and strengthens the film’s impact. Some of the peripheral characters are interesting. And Unplanned is not smug, which benefits it telling its story, and presenting its message.
The film could help start—or continue—the conversation of the important topics surrounding the abortion issue. As one seeks to love God and to love other people, including those who are not yet born, in order to better understand the topic of abortion—having loving and respectful conversations is significant and may have major, positive impact. Unplanned may help prompt, and further, considerate thinking and conversations.
Unplanned is Dove-Approved for Ages 18+.
Though there are graphic aspects accounting for our 18+ rating, the film could also potentially be utilized for younger audiences to discuss sexuality, responsibility, and the potential consequences of sexual activity, which are challenging but significant topics. The film can be a springboard to allow adults, pre-teens and teens an avenue for thoughtful discussion on the topic of abortion. There are portrayals of challenging, graphic, bloody, and emotional content regarding abortion. However, it is in service of the film and provides significant strength.
Dove feels that appropriate, positive conversation guided by adults can help younger individuals make the best choices that can change lives—and save them. It is vital this happens before it is too late.