This film has all the elements you would hope to find in a good drama: romance, marriage and sex (not necessarily in the correct order); birth, death, friendship (true and false), and betrayal. There is even a court case! The main character experiences love, fear, grief, joy, shame and anger. She is ambitious and idealistic. There is repentance and forgiveness. There is an “AHA” moment when our heroine realizes that her altruistic desire to champion women has been used for an evil purpose (isn’t this what sin is often about?) There is a piece of very good advice: Don’t do anything you don’t want to your mother to know about! There are scenes that are gripping and painful to watch. Faith undergirds it all.
Surprisingly enough, this is not based on a novel, but the true life experiences of Abby Johnson, once the director and prized employee of Planned Parenthood, now a pro-life activist. If you’ve read the book Unplanned by Abby Johnson–Book Review, you’ll find that the movie follows it fairly closely. Of course, it is not possible for a movie to completely explain the spiritual wrestling and progression that you will find in the book. I would recommend both, but view the movie first, if possible. Then you can dive into further detail with the book.
Both movie and book portray honestly this young woman’s struggle with resolving a weighty spiritual issue. VERDICT: 5 STARS. Don’t miss out on this one. I was able to get it from the public library system. If yours doesn’t have it, why no recommend it be purchased? I’m sure many viewers would be influenced positively by Abby’s experience.
If you don’t have time for any other book this year, read this one. I seriously had trouble putting it down once I started. Abby Johnson is completely honest and vulnerable in describing her journey from Planned Parenthood Director to leader in the pro-life movement. I enjoy reading about the spiritual journeys of others, and this an engrossing example. Abby writes about her professional and personal life, including her own two abortions.
Some of my personal takeaways were:
- Semantics matter. It is very easy to be taken in by words that sound good, but are not completely truthful. For example, Abby was deceived by claims that the goal of Planned Parenthood was to “decrease abortions” by providing better access and education about birth control
- We should not treat those who disagree with us as the enemy. Abby was won over by the genuine concern and love of pro-life workers, not by being badgered. She also know many Planned Parenthood workers who truly cared about the health of women, and who worked to do good in their communities
- Prayer is meaningful and we should not give up. People prayed for Abby for many years before her eyes were opened to the truth. Pray not only that abortions be prevented — pray for those who have had abortions, and for those who work in the abortion industry
- The saddest part of this story was the reaction of different churches Abby attended. One church told Abby and her husband they could not be members because of her work at Planned Parenthood. A second church told her she should leave when she quit the job to become pro-life. We have become so polarized that even fellow Christians are unwilling to dialogue with one another about sensitive issues. We’re very quick to judge and reject others.
VERDICT: 5 STARS! Don’t miss it!