Back in December, we learned of a new pro-life film coming to the big screen this spring: Unplanned. This movie tells the true story of Abby Johnson, once a Health Center Director of a large Planned Parenthood site, who became pro-life after a witnessing a 13-week old child struggle against the abortion procedure on an ultrasound. She then founded the ministry And Then There Were None, which seeks to help abortion workers leave the industry and find other employment.
Recently, a trailer for the movie was dropped and the release date was announced. The movie is set to hit theaters on March 29, 2019. The movie has also picked up a distributor. Pure Flix, the same company who produced the God’s Not Dead series, will be bringing Unplanned to approximately 800 theaters nationwide on opening day.
However, music for the movie is still an issue. The music supervisor for Unplanned, Blake Kanicka, has expressed the difficulty in getting licensing agreements from several publishing companies, including Disney, Sony/ATV, and Universal. In fact, Universal Music quoted Kanicka a price on using about 60 seconds on the song “Dead Man’s Party” by Oingo Boingo and then asked, “if the film is a faith based production and what position it is taking on the abortion issue." When told, “the film is telling the true story of former clinic director Abby Johnson. There is no official stance, but at the end of her story, she walks away from performing abortions, after facing a specifically horrific experience during an abortion procedure she was a part of,” Universal Music denied the request for the music licensing.
The movie release has also seen another unexpected development: the issue of an R-rating to the film from the MPAA. Pure Flix has never before distributed a movie with an R rating, however they are going ahead and releasing this movie.
Their president, Michael Scott, stated, “This story needs to be told and the message needed to be delivered...It is our calling as Christians to tell the story about the moral implications of abortion that the mainstream media refuses to acknowledge.”
Scott also told Fox News, "We’re proud to be associated with this film and we are confident that our fans will not stay away because of the opinions of reviewers and listen to those in the faith community who have seen the film and agree with us. In this case, R stands for recommended.”
The executive VP of distribution for Pure Flix, Ken Rather, put into words what many of us are thinking: “A 15-year old girl can get an abortion without her parent’s permission but she can’t see this movie without adult supervision? That’s sad.”
Abby Johnson echoed the same sentiment on social media, posting the following on Facebook:
Johnson also told Fox News, “We are pushing the boundaries of what has never been before on such a wide scale by showing America exactly what abortion is — and abortion is disturbing. It’s violent.”
In fact, the rating seems to be due to violence, since there is no profanity or nudity in the film. The MPAA objected to all three scenes which dealt directly with abortion, and the reason for the rating was “some disturbing/bloody images.” This has raised a few eyebrows, as other movies with gratuitous blood and gore have gotten lower ratings than R.
This movie is important. It shows a real-life, radical conversion from a staunch pro-choice position to a fiercely pro-life position. It also depicts the incredible emotional damage having an abortion and working in an abortion clinic can have on a person. It could change minds and lives. It seems the mainstream media is not too happy about the release of a movie truthfully portraying the horrors of abortion and of the abortion industry’s biggest provider, Planned Parenthood. But the straightforward, honest story should be seen precisely because it takes off the gloss of the abortion industry and exposes the cruelness and greed underneath. The truth may hurt, but it will make us better people for knowing it.
To find out more about the movie visit the film’s website and watch the trailer below: