Controversial message of ‘Unplanned’ shocks viewers


Creative Commons image through Wikimedia Commons by Etnernalsleeper

Through protests, signs and organizations, anti-abortion ideas have been cycling throughout America. Since the release, signs like these have been propped up on personal properties.

One of the most controversial issues in American society, abortion, has been shown in the newly released, low-budget film, ‘Unplanned’. With its release on March 29, immediately both political parties were on the run to post their remarks on the disputed film. Some said the film is ‘unrealistic and extreme’, while others said it ‘shows the truth’. With the involvement of politics rising, the film was nonetheless a risky film to release to the general public.

‘Unplanned’ is based on a true story of Abby Johnson (Ashley Bratcher), the youngest clinic director in the history of Planned Parenthood. While working in such a clinic, she had to push past the anti-abortion protesters on a day-to-day basis into work. Abby had two abortions herself and assisted in many during the eight years she worked with the organization.

The critical turning point in the film happens when she is asked to assist in an abortion at 13 weeks gestation, claiming she saw the fetus ‘fighting for its life’. Without delay, she resigned from her job and became an anti-abortion activist.

The film tries to push a political agenda relating to the Republican party. With a society very involved and active in politics, the film was a bold move to present in theaters. Since “fake news” has become a part of American culture, releasing a film with such an opposing viewpoint from the popular view in America, was surprising to see.

Junior Lauren Caywood explains she felt the movie is trying to bring awareness to the fact that every baby conceived is a potential life no matter how developed and also trying to show viewers that women should have a right to a backup option, but should be more aware of what they are doing when they are thinking about abortions.

Although the film is receiving strong aversion, it has made a huge impact on Planned Parenthood and people’s thoughts on abortion. Over 500 abortion workers left their jobs shortly after the movie was released and resulted in people switching their view points and opinions; this was the goal of the movie after all.

The movie fuses melodramatic manipulation and cold calculation. It may look like it’s preaching, but it’s really campaigning,”

— Owen Gleibermann

Nurse Kris Lecuyer said that she is “not surprised” people have left their jobs after the film was released and that “something has touched their hearts” on where they want to work.

The film is considered a drama, but ultimately pushes an agenda. Politics are fun and also truly frustrating to take part in, but watching a movie should be time spent relaxing. No matter what party, Republican or Democrat, this movie will give viewer’s undesired emotions.

“The movie fuses melodramatic manipulation and cold calculation. It may look like it’s preaching, but it’s really campaigning,” Owen Gleiberman from Variety said.

‘Unplanned’ is overall a well produced film that will put you on an emotional roller coaster. Although it had severe backlash from major online sources, the film is still one to go out and see. In spite of the fact that the appealed audience is Republican, Democrats should still watch the film, even if they rent the movie on Redbox for $1.