"Unplanned" is a movie you probably wouldn't find unless you knew what to look for, but it is a movie you will tell others about. The low-budget film from Pure Flix tells the true story of Abby Johnson a Planned Parenthood clinic manager who made a 180-degree turn to be a pro-life advocate.
The movie starts out in the present, showing Johnson her husband and young daughter in a happy, healthy family dynamic, full of moral values. Even the daughter reminds Abby to eat a nutritious breakfast. Then it flashes back to Johnson as a junior in Texas A&M volunteering at Planned Parenthood, believing that by handing out birth control she would help reduce the number of abortions. Through the years, she moves up the ranks to clinic manager and even earns an Employee of the Year award. Things come crashing down on her when she challenges her boss's request to increase the number of abortions, and when, after eight years, she finally sees an abortion take place. At that moment she quits to join the 40 Days for Life protesters who stand on the other side of the fence outside the clinic every day.
The film peppers the dialogue with facts about Planned Parenthood, portrayed as a business more than a support for women. Johnson's boss, compares Planned Parenthood to fast food restaurants, which break even on burgers, but makes a profit on fries and drinks. "Abortion is our fries and drinks," she said.
The movie is informative, not preachy. It may also be too much for some people to take. The film depicts both medical and chemical abortions. In one scene, Abby has to explain to her daughter why her shoes are covered in blood. The blood helped the movie earn an R rating, which is a good thing. "Unplanned" is a movie parents and children should see together and discuss afterwards.
"I think it's safe to say that 'Unplanned' is the definitive movie on abortion," said Vicky Woodworth, from the local branch of 40 Days for Life, which presented the sneak preview on March 28.
Cheryl Calire, director of the diocesan Office of Pro-Life Activities, spoke briefly before the movie. "It is really important for you as your watching this movie to think of people who you might think might benefit from seeing this," she said.
Calire suggested buying tickets during this weekend's opening to help the film gain attention.
Post abortion materials, as well as movie posters were available on a table outside the theater.
One moviegoer called it, "The best thing that's happened for pro-life."
"It was fantastic. Everyone should see it," said Laurie, another guest.
Virginia, a post-abortive woman, found the movie to be painful. "But it gave me hope that things will change, that no one else will have to go through what I did," she said. When asked if the film was accurate to her experience, she replied, "Absolutely."
"Unplanned" runs 106 minutes and is currently playing Regal Cinemas in Orchard Park and Williamsville.