My Uncontrolable Sobbing While Watching Unplanned Scared My Wife

This weekend, history will be made as the Unplanned movie will open in more than 1,100 theaters across the nation. And you can expect the backlash to be intense. And I mean very intense. The foundations of the pro-abortion movement, in particular, those of Planned Parenthood, will be challenged. Evil will be exposed and hope will be exalted.

By all means, make your plans to flood the theaters this weekend, not just for your own benefit, but to help send a message to the movie industry that this movie needs to be seen. That means it needs to be widely available.

If you’re not familiar with the background to Unplanned, it tells the real-life story of former Planned Parenthood clinic director Abby Johnson, who is now a pro-life champion.

Earlier this week, on my radio show, I spoke with Ashley Bratcher, the Christian actor who plays Abby in the movie. She explained what it took for her to become Abby Johnson, and as you’ll see, she did it with excellence.

I was able to watch an advance release of Unplanned in the privacy of my home, but I was caught off guard by one pivotal scene.

To be clear, I’ve been involved in the pro-life movement in varying degrees for many years. And I’ve often shared the horrifically-graphic, deeply-moving images of aborted babies.

Back in the early 1990’s, the day before participating in an Operation Rescue event in Washington, DC, we had an all-day prayer meeting at my house.

During our prayer time, I passed around one of those graphic pictures – the mangled body of a late-term aborted baby. And as each person saw the picture, each began to weep. “What have we done?” cried out one of my friends.

You could say, then, that I was emotionally prepared for whatever was coming in Unplanned. Except I wasn’t.

I had about 45-minutes free before going to teach a night class at our ministry school on a Tuesday night, so I told Nancy (we’ve been married for 43 years) that I was going to start watching the movie in my study while having my dinner salad.

You see, I thought the movie would proceed chronologically with Abby’s life and so, it would be awhile before any disturbing images might appear. That meant I could sit at my desk, have dinner, and watch the first part of the movie.

Without giving anything away, let’s just say that an important scene in the movie occurred earlier than I expected. (For those concerned about bringing children to Unplanned, first, there are far more graphic images of aborted babies found online than anything seen in the movie. Second, if your kids are old enough to have an intelligent discussion with you about abortion, they are old enough to see the movie.)

As the scene unfolded – it is something witnessed at Planned Parenthood clinics every day of the week and it was scientifically fair and honest – I was completely overcome, sobbing uncontrollably. Yet there was nothing manipulative or contrived about the scene in the least. Just the simple reality of an abortion. And I lost it.

For the next 15 minutes I tried to compose myself, shutting the movie off and distracting my mind (after first pouring my heart out to the Lord in prayer). Then, when I thought I was ready, I went to talk to Nancy, who hadn’t heard me tell her I was about to watch Unplanned.

I managed to get out the words, “I have to compose myself,” before completely losing it, sobbing and unable to speak.

As you can imagine, this totally scared Nancy, who thought someone close to us had just died. (What would you think if your spouse came walking into your room and was sobbing so intensely he or she couldn’t talk?)

When I finally did speak, I barely got out the words, “That movie,” before explaining the rest.

Then, a few minutes later, when I shared with my students about recent, aggressive, pro-abortion developments, one of the students asked if we could stop and pray.

We did, and the class never happened, as we spent the better part of the next 2 ½ hours in prayer, often weeping and wailing for the lives of the unborn.

Honestly, I am amazed that Pure Flix was able to get Unplanned into so many theaters, knowing how hotly opposed this movie will be.

In fact, I have learned that the number rose from 900 to 1,100 theaters (at last report) due to popular, advance demand. I also heard that one theater cancelled the showing but had to reinstate it after a local outcry.

Not everyone will be affected the way I was. But I’m confident that all who see this movie with an open heart and mind will be positively and deeply impacted for the cause of life.

Make your plans to be there this weekend. Perhaps this will be a turning point in the history of the modern, pro-life movement.

It’s way, way past time.

https://barbwire.com/my-uncontrolable-sobbing-while-watching-unplanned-scared-my-wife/

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VIDEO Unplanned Graces

February 25, 2019 by Kathryn Jean Lopez

Ashley Bratcher in Unplanned (Pure Flix Entertainment)

An upcoming movie tells a true story of love, hope, and redemption in the wake of abortion.

‘Apparently you have a super-human marriage,” actress Margaret Colin (of Independence Day fame) said to Abby Johnson after an early screening of the movie Unplanned, which tells her conversion story. Abby had been a director of a Planned Parenthood clinic in Texas. Through a series of events, the pivotal one being her participation in an ultrasound-guided abortion, she decided to leave her job. Unplanned, which will be in theaters at the end of March, will naturally attract self-consciously pro-life people familiar with Abby’s story. Colin, who has been active with Feminists for Life and is not shy to share her opposition to abortion, had what I am told is a frequent response to the movie — and was mine as well: It’s a love story full of hope. For individuals, for marriage, for our politics, and for our culture.

Unplanned can be the occasion for a healthy examination of conscience for everyone. Early in the movie, Abby’s first visit to the clinic where she would later become director is depicted, complete with a man screaming rude things at the women walking in for abortions (on Saturday, the day they did them) and at the staff ushering them in. That kind of verbal abuse wasn’t the approach of the Coalition for Life folks whom Abby developed a relationship with through a fence over the years. Loving kindness makes a difference. It helped pave the way for Abby, who knocked on their door one day to say she wanted out.

Abby only ever wanted to help women. She had two abortions herself. She knew they weren’t pretty. She knew they weren’t ideal. She didn’t want women to have to have abortions, but she wasn’t going to take the choice away from anyone. The more she learned, however, about the corporate bottom line at Planned Parenthood, and the more she saw the cycle of despair it perpetuated, she wanted more for women. She couldn’t be a part of the taking of lives once she saw what she saw on the ultrasound screen — a baby pulling away.

Chris Jones, the producer of Unplanned, told me, at the pre-screening at the Sheen Center in Manhattan, that he and his partners wanted to make the movie in 2011, when Abby’s book was first published. But they prayed about it and had the sense it wasn’t the right time. That the movie is released now, when there is such open discussion about the details of late-term abortion is breathtaking. A bill in the Senate is getting people on the record about survivors of late-term abortions. At the same time, the discussion over late-term abortions gives us the opportunity to think about abortion in all three trimesters: Do we see this? Do we need to do this? Is there another way to help women? Couldn’t we, shouldn’t we be doing more to support community health centers that don’t have so much to do with abortion?

There are so many other questions Unplanned raises: Do we love one another? Truly, in beautifully painful ways? Across a fence? I may believe there’s evil happening inside, but do I love the people anyway? I may pray for their conversions, but do I also pray for their families, and pray that they know love? You may think I’m a hack writing about abortion again, but can we respect one another and see the good in one another? Can we work together on something?

The other day I was at a press conference where Catholics in New York reaffirmed a pledge to help any woman who finds herself pregnant and in difficult circumstances and without support. And testimony from a mother from Ethiopia whose young daughter was running around the press made clear that the love that the Sisters of Life have given her and her daughter did not stop when she gave birth. The sisters remain a part of the lives of both the girl and her mother.4

A few hours before I saw the movie with Abby and actress Ashley Bratcher and producer Jones, I went to confession. As I walked out of the confessional, I saw a man who seemed to have all his belongings in a busted suitcase blow a kiss inside the church. The movie does something similar. It’s a love letter across the fence of our miserable politics, a fence that in recent years has strained family relationships and broken up friendships. Obviously, if you work for Planned Parenthood or, like the governor of New York, apparently, among others, you wake up in the morning motivated by abortion rights and their expansion, you’re probably not going to be delighted by it, or even bother to see it. But people do change their minds. We watched Unplanned on the anniversary of the 2011 death of Dr. Bernard Nathanson, who changed his mind after performing 75,000 abortions and having helped found the National Association for the Repeal of Abortion Laws. Unplanned could help viewers consider a fresh start, so I hope many consider seeing it. I don’t expect a thousand Nathanson-like conversions—perhaps nudges, though, toward something better. Watch it with humility, whoever you are. We all have something to learn from it, about the power of love.

This column is based on one available through Andrews McMeel Universal’s Newspaper Enterprise Association.

https://www.nationalreview.com/2019/02/unplanned-movie-pro-life-message-love-hope-redemption/


Related

https://www.unplannedfilm.com

https://dailycaller.com/2019/01/31/abortion-movie-unplanned-trailer/