A Hard But Necessary Message

Unplanned is the story of Abby Johnson’s journey from college student to Planned Parenthood volunteer to clinic director to pro-life advocate. It’s in theaters now–but it won’t be there after this weekend unless it makes big box office numbers.

The film begins with Johnson’s statement that the story will not be easy to watch. The film garnered an R rating–ironically making it more difficult for a 15-year-old to see the movie than it would be for her to schedule an actual abortion.

There is no nudity, very little foul language–no F bombs, no God’s name in vain.

Even so, the first ten minutes of the movie may haunt me for a very long time. That portion of the movie depicts a sonogram-guided second-trimester abortion.


There are a few other emotionally jarring scenes. Johnson’s endurance of a chemical abortion (not the simple procedure abortion perveyors present) and the staff dealing with a patient’s perforated uterus (without calling an ambulance) among them.

Ashley Bratcher as Johnson provides an excellent portrayal and delivers a broad range of emotions from the joy of Johnson’s second marriage to anguish over the final realization of what her work for eight years as an “abortion provider” had truly entailed.

But the uncredited star of her story is the prayer others offered on her behalf and for the cause of ending abortion.

Go see this movie. But be prepared to exit the theater changed. There is power in Johnson’s story–whether in her books or on the big screen. There is power in the images of the death and danger involved in abortion.

Yet there is more power in the prayer that asks God to end the horror and grant forgiveness, mercy, and grace after years of pursuing and encouraging death.

This movie can change you.

In more ways than one.

Photo Credit: Lifesitenews

Nancy E. Head’s Restoring the Shattered is out in paperback! Get your copy here!

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20 Replies to “A Hard But Necessary Message”

  1. Thank you for sharing your review. I attended a private viewing of The Silent Scream in the mid-1980s when it first released and could only be seen in small groups. The live abortion depicted on there was life changing. With modern equipment, I’m sure it would be even more graphic today. I would have to avert my eyes. I can’t see that again. That we allow this atrocity in our country breaks my heart. You’re right about prayer. We need to pray more. Thank you for your bold focus on this.

    1. Thank you, Melinda. I thought of The Silent Scream. I can still replay Silent Scream in my mind. This movie has a similar effect. But lives change because of the love of Christ in this story. And it’s true too. God bless!

  2. Wow, this sounds like an amazing movie. I enjoy movies based on true stories. Yet, like you Nancy, not sure the imagery of an actual abortion and the other emotionally-driven scenes you mention is something I look forward to. I guess it’s just a necessary part of the overall abortion story and ugly part we need to come face-to-face with.

    1. So true, Karen. The movie is powerful. The power comes in the work God did through the revelation of the truth about the horror. I’d love to hear what you think after you see it. Thanks and God bless!

  3. I really need to see this movie. It scares me, but I know it’s a truth God wants me to understand!

    1. There are difficult moments in the film, Jessica. But it’s the reality that takes place times thousands EVERY DAY across America. We must arm ourselves with the hard reality and move to end this horror. Thanks and God bless!

  4. I heard about this movie and will be on the lookout for an opportunity to view it. Thank you for your final remarks – we must be in prayer for everyone. For the Lord to open eyes, to soften hearts and for Christians to extend forgiveness and hope in Christ.

  5. I don’t know if I will get to see this in the theater but it is surely creating quite a stir on my Facebook feed. Some Christians think the Gospel is not in it and it is not biblical because she does not want to make abortion illegal (which of course, it already is according to God’s Law). Others are raving about how clear the message of the horrors of abortion is. At the very list it is creating a lot of good conversation about a topic that no one wants to talk about.

    1. The movie very clearly presents God’s grace through the Christian people praying and Abby’s husband assuring her that God will forgive her if she asks. Some people think that the solution to everything is to make a law. We’ve been working on that for 46 years. When we change enough hearts, there can be a law. In the meantime, let’s change the hearts–and make the law an afterthought. Thanks for commenting, Beth. God bless!

  6. I already felt heavy while reading your review and it gives me more reason to watch this movie. In the Philippines, there isn’t much of a debate about abortion between political camps as in the US. The matter is settled by state decree that abortion is murder and illegal.

    1. Very happy for the babies and mothers of the Philippines. Thanks so much for reading and commenting, Aika. Please pray for America and Europe–where babies are in danger at every level of pre-born development. God bless!

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