Abby Johnson was one of the youngest Planned Parenthood clinic directors in America. She was a passionate advocate for women’s choice and, on her watch, facilitated upwards of 22,000 abortions. So convinced was she of a woman’s right to choose that she stood up as spokesperson for Planned Parenthood, fighting to enact legislation for the cause she so deeply believed in.
Until, one day, she saw something in her own abortion clinic that changed everything.
Unplanned is a new film due for release in US cinemas on March 29, based on the book of the same title by Abby Johnson. It details how completely oblivious she was to the mechanisms of abortion provider Planned Parenthood – even while in the role as director and spokesperson.
Finally Abby, played by actress Ashley Bratcher, is privy to an abortion procedure that opens her eyes to the truth. What she sees there, in that room, on that day becomes the catalyst not only for giving up her day job, but for undergoing a complete transformation. Abby becomes one of the most ardent advocates for life in America.
The film has already courted controversy after the Motion Picture Association of America handed down an R rating due to a series of graphic abortion scenes. An R rating (the equivalent of an MA15+ by Australian standards) stipulates that theatre owners not allow anyone aged under 17 to view the film, unless accompanied by a parent or guardian.
Production company Pure Flix has historically only been involved with PG-13 ratings, and was frustrated with the result.
“A 15-year-old girl can get an abortion without her parent’s permission but she can’t see this movie without adult supervision?” Pure Flix CEO Ken Rather told media. “That’s sad.”
Will the film be released in Australia?
That is a very good question. We’re looking into it and haven’t been able to confirm either way as yet. Watch the trailer below and if you (like us) were affected by the stark reality, and the need for this truth to be shared widely, then please share this post to your network. Be sure to write something along the lines of, “Bring this movie to Australia!” and include these hashtags: #unplannedmovie #eventcinemas #acctv (and tag your local cinema).
Watch the Trailer
A story within the story
Lead actress Ashley Bratcher, who plays the role of Abby Johnson, went through a whirlwind audition process. When offered the role, she was required to fly to the set location within five hours after hanging up the phone, for seven weeks of filming. When she finally had time to pause and explain the film and the role she was playing to her mum, she was surprised by her response. And then floored by why. But she did receive more affirmation that it was a film she was meant to be part of.
She still tears up every time she shares why playing the character of Abby Johnson is so right for her.