Ashley Bratcher in the pro-life film
Ashley Bratcher in the pro-life film "Unplanned".

Women weep as they are confronted by death 'industry'

In darkened cinemas across Australia, the grief is palpable.

Crowds of mainly women are crying, reeling in horror as they watch the hidden side of the world's biggest 'industry' of death being depicted.

The movie is Unplanned, a film about a naive young university student who signs up to volunteer at Planned Parenthood to help women terminate unwanted pregnancies.

Abby Johnson ultimately becomes the youngest director of the organisation, working to enable an estimated 22,000 abortions over the next eight years.

The movie is confronting and disturbing because it shows young women being herded into abortion as the 'best' and only solution.

It paints Planned Parenthood as an organisation which profits from these procedures, rather than offering women alternative choices. The 'villain' of the film urges clinic bosses to hit abortion targets.

The movie received an R-rating in the US, was reportedly the subject of death threats in Canada, had its Twitter account briefly suspended, and has been thwarted from being advertised on many TV stations, despite big marketing budgets.

Despite all this, its opening weekend reportedly exceeded $6 million.

Across Australia right now, pro-life groups, ordinary women and churches fighting against abortion are organising FanForce screenings of Unplanned.

Left-wing critics describe it is a 'propaganda' film, distorted and medically inaccurate

Unplanned takes you behind the scenes of an abortion clinic.
Unplanned takes you behind the scenes of an abortion clinic.



The film is based on the the memoir of Johnson who worked in the Planned Parenthood clinic in Byran, Texas.

Johnson, who comes from a Christian home with parents completely opposed to abortion, starts out by volunteering, helping women from their cars, past the protesters at the gate.

Among the protesters are a mixture of people including the goons dressed up as the Grim Reaper and shouting 'baby killer'.

The film focuses though on the more genuine and compassionate Christians staging prayer vigils and begging women to consider other options.

A young couple, involved in the pro-life group that became 40 Days for Life, continue to reach out to Abbey through the movie, and other women who have the most difficult job to do.


Johnson continues to justify her work as helping women until a turning point when she is called in to assist in the ultrasound-guided abortion of a 13-week-old fetus.

It is the first time she has actually seen an abortion procedure and is horrified when she sees the baby reacting to what's being done to it.

She runs out of the room, rushing to the toilet where she throws up and is wracked by grief.

The  106 minute movie then flashes back to her own abortion experiences - the second involving prolonged bleeding and agonising pain after she takes the RU-486 pill.

Unplanned tells the story of Abby Johnson's transformation from being pro-choice to pro-life.
Unplanned tells the story of Abby Johnson's transformation from being pro-choice to pro-life.



Unplanned also shows a scene where a high school girl, brought the clinic by her father, experiences severe bleeding after complications and then head of the clinic refuses to call an ambulance, amid fears the drama would be captured by protesters and used against the clinic.

My wife, who works in childcare and loves children more than anyone I know, kept her eyes closed during the bloody scenes and abortion depictions, finding it too hard to handle.

But she, like many others in the cinema, believed it's a movie that she needed to see. Among those in the cinema are those who have had abortions themselves years earlier

Unplanned tells the story of Abby Johnson's transformation from being pro-choice to pro-life.
Unplanned tells the story of Abby Johnson's transformation from being pro-choice to pro-life.



For some Christians, it's something like watching the Passion of the Christ - the brutal depiction of Christ being beaten by Roman soldiers and then crucified on a cross. It's extremely hard to watch but has a message that is powerful.

I thought of Schinlder's List, the 1993 Holocaust movie depicting the Nazi's efforts to wipe out the Jewish race.

My wife did also, but as she pointed out, Unplanned is even more disturbing because it shows something continuing to happen today.



Beneath the gore of Unplanned is a much more powerful message - one showing the determination of people to stand up for the rights of the unborn in the face of a majority who believe that women's rights are far more important.

As NSW politicians agonised and debate for hours over laws to decriminalise abortion, there's a growing movement around the world questioning whether we have gone to far.

Since the historic Roe v. Wade decision in 1973 in the USA, its estimated there have been more than 50 million abortions in America alone - and that's just up until 2015.

TARGETED: A still from the American anti-abortion film Unplanned by Cary Solomon and Chuck Konzelman.
TARGETED: A still from the American anti-abortion film Unplanned by Cary Solomon and Chuck Konzelman. Michael Kubeisy



In Australia, each year there are now more the 65,000 abortions each year with the rate actually declining in recent years.

Yet we have thousands of couples each year desperately trying to adopt - or spending a fortune on IVF to have their own children.

If there's one central message in Unplanned, it is that we need to provide women with real choice in dealing with unwanted pregnancies.

Talking to a colleague on the issue this week, who is very much pro-choice, she made the point that young women, particularly teens, see little alternative than abortion unless they can be given support to go through with a pregnancy.

That would mean food, accommodation and help with the costs of raising a child.

There's no simple solution to unplanned pregnancies. One thing, is for certain, is we have to move beyond just talking
about abortion in the frame of 'women's rights' or a 'women's health issue'.

Half of the lives being terminated are our future women, and we would be naive to think that abortion itself doesn't impact on women being herded to that one 'solution'.

It was Mahatma Gandhi who once said  'the true measure of any society can be found in how it treats its most vulnerable members'.

There can be no more vulnerable than the unborn.

News Corp Australia

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