I know that this doesn’t have anything to do with our family’s art, but it is something I feel strongly about. This is not an argument for or against abortion, it is simply where I stand and how this movie impacted me.
I just watched Unplanned on April 2nd. It was not what I expected.
You have to understand, I am extremely pro-life. I can’t remember not knowing what an abortion is. My entire life, from the moment I was able to form an opinion for myself (which, knowing me, was probably before I was born), I have felt strongly that every life is precious and begins at conception. I grieved horribly when my Mom miscarried at about 10-12 weeks along because that baby was already a person that I loved. I still grieve and miss that baby even though it was twelve years ago in Feb. And, although I tell people that I am one of ten kids, I really consider myself one of eleven.
The sanctity of life issue is very personal for me. I always knew that I had been a surprise; it is a part of my birth story that I hear every year. One day though, it suddenly occurred to me how I could have easily not been born. You see, my Dad wanted two, maybe three, and my Mom wanted four, but I am number five. They already had their family. They were content. They were happy. And to be quite frank, they really couldn’t afford another child. I was not a part of their plans. As I thought about it, I realized that if my parents had not been so passionately pro-life themselves, I might have never been born. That realization has deeply impacted my life. It is impossible to take your life for granted when you are forced to acknowledge that if circumstances had been slightly different you, too, could have been one of those nameless babies whose lives here on earth were ended before they could truly begin. The thought of never seeing the blue sky, feeling the warmth of the sun against my face, or having the comfort of my Mom’s arms around me is sobering. But knowing that that is the reality for many is devastating.
This is a topic that I have given a lot of thought to and feel strongly about, so when I heard about Unplanned I knew that I needed to go.
I wasn’t expecting it to be an enjoyable, lighthearted movie. I knew it would be difficult and painful to watch, and I knew that I wouldn’t be able to make it through without tears. I have seen pictures of aborted babies. I have heard the process described. I have seen timelines of an unborn baby’s development, when their heart starts beating, and when they can feel pain. And I am familiar with Abby Johnson’s story. Really, there was nothing in that movie that I didn’t already know. I should have been prepared. And I guess I was, in one sense. But I wasn’t prepared for what would actually break my heart.
It wasn’t the blood and the graphic abortion scenes. It was the pain of the women involved. It was the girl who was pushed into having an abortion by her dad, a dad who obviously loved her and thought he was doing what was best for her. It was the mom pleading with her daughter to not go through with it. It was the uncertainty, the fear, the vulnerability, and the grief on the faces of the young women who felt they had nowhere else to turn. It was the confusion as Abby fought to justify to herself what she was doing. And later, it was the weight of guilt as she realized the magnitude of what she had been a part of.
I was prepared for the pain of watching an unborn baby’s life destroyed, but I wasn’t prepared for the pain of seeing a young mother’s heart crushed. I wasn’t prepared for the agony of watching a grandma desperate to save a grandchild’s life. And although I was aware of the story, I wasn’t prepared for the devastation of watching an abortion provider struggle with the guilt of doing what she had thought was right.
I went into that movie theater expecting to grieve the unborn who will never be able to tell their own story. I left grieving for the women who felt they had no choice, for the family members who are helpless to protect the child that they already love, and for the abortion providers who truly want to help women and don’t know what else to do. And yes, I grieved for the aborted babies too. But that night, I found myself thanking God that those babies are now safe with Him and that their pain is over, and praying for those lives that have been impacted by abortion and who now live every day with the devastation of that decision. That is what I wasn’t prepared for- the overwhelming pain I felt for those women, those girls. It wasn’t what I expected.
I would love to hear your opinion on this movie, what touched you, or even what you disagreed with. If you haven’t watched Unplanned yet, I would encourage you to do so, even if you are not pro-life. I think this movie can help us each to see where the other side is coming from, even if it doesn’t change our minds. And for those concerned about the rating, I don’t think it deserved an R rating. I have watched many PG13 movies that are more graphic and have way more language than Unplanned.