Africa Christian Action and pro-life groups Africa Cares for Life and Mater Domini, last week hosted the first screenings in South Africa of the powerful new pro-life film, Unplanned.
Unplanned is the incredible, true story of Abby Johnson, former director of a Planned Parenthood abortion clinic in the USA and her conversion to being a pro-life activist. Despite an attempted media blackout, the film exceeded expectations in its reach, impact and earnings in the US and Canada.
The film shows how Abby got drawn into working for Planned Parenthood because she thought that their goal was to help prevent pregnancies. The longer that she stayed at the Planned Parenthood clinic in Bryan, Texas, the more she learned that, far from helping anyone, they taught employees to lie to women to sell as many abortions as possible.
The movie starts with Abby being asked to go where she’s never gone before, into the operation room to hold the ultrasound device so the doctor can suck out the baby. To read Movieguide’s full review, click here.
Unplanned was written and directed by Cary Solomon and Chuck Konzelman, the writers/co-producers of God’s Not Dead and God’s Not Dead 2, also distributed by Pure Flix Entertainment.
Christian Liberty Books will be stocking the DVD, as soon as they are available. You can pre-order a copy from: firstname.lastname@example.org or 021-6897478.
Please also help to bring Unplanned to the big screen by contacting Ster Kinekor and Numetro to request that they screen it: email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org. (Please inform them that as the DVD is not yet available in South Africa, there is still time for them to screen the film, and that we are in contact with the producers/distributors in the USA to make this possible).
Audience responses at the Africa Christian Action screening in Cape Town last week included: “brought me to tears”, “anyone who is considering abortion should watch this movie first”, “brilliantly exposes the evil of the abortion industry”, “a real eye-opener, it will get everyone thinking about abortion”.
The Director of Africa Christian Action, Dr Peter Hammond, commented: “Unplanned has a powerful pro-life message on many levels. Every church, youth group, and campus society should host a screening. Abby Johnson’s story of recruitment into Planned Parenthood, despite describing herself as being from a ‘pro-life, Christian family’ is a stinging indictment on all too many churches and their lack of teaching on pro-life issues.”
Melissa Hertz, Director of Project Life, who herself had an abortion as a teenager, said: “I believe this movie will prevent many women from having an abortion. It will make them think twice about the baby inside of them. Women who have had an abortion may find healing from the strong message of God’s forgiveness in the film.”
Vaughan Luck, founder of Student Pro-Life Movement, said: “Every so-called pro-choice person should watch this movie! They will be challenged to rethink their view on abortion.”
Encouragement to those in pro-life ministry
Volunteers from Africa Christian Action who are involved in regular outreaches outside abortion clinics in Cape Town said that the film was inspiring as to the long-term effectiveness of prayer vigils and witnessing to those considering abortion.
When Shawn Carney, campaign director of 40 Days for Life, commented to Abby that they often wondered if their praying at the fence outside Planned Parenthood was achieving anything at all, Abby Johnson reported that it is was well known within Planned Parenthood that whenever there were pro-lifers praying on the sidewalk outside, “the no-shows soared up to 75%!”
A big negative about the movie for myself, however, was that the 40 Days for Life activists who befriended Abby and encouraged her to leave PP, did not share the Gospel with her. The deep regret about the reality of abortion she was feeling when she walked out of the PP clinic and into the 40 Days for Life office, would have been the perfect opportunity to share with her about the bad news of how she had grieved God through participation in the murder of over 22 000 babies, but also the real forgiveness found in Christ whose blood could wash her clean from the innocent blood she had shed.
Upcoming Marches and Life Chains
The discussion after the ACA screening included what we can all do, now, to save lives and stop abortions. This includes the upcoming National March for Life in Durban and Life Chains in East London and Cape Town on October 6.
The success of Unplanned in North America, despite an attempted media blackout, is remarkable. Over 1 700 movie theatres screened the film in the USA and Canada, despite many theatres refusing to screen it, and two movie theatre owners in Canada cancelling the film showings after receiving death threats.
In April, Lifenews.com reported that: “Despite a media blackout, a ‘R’ rating designed to discourage viewers and little coverage outside conservative media circles, the new movie Unplanned opened in 5th place this past weekend and it will expand to even more theatres next weekend. The film doubled its projection for expected box office earnings – bringing in $6.1 million in its opening weekend despite a projection of $2-3 million.”
The movie stayed in the top 10 in its second week at the box office. It became the number-one-selling DVD on Amazon on its first day of sales.
Inspired to leave the industry
Since leaving Planned Parenthood, Abby Johnson started the organisation And Then There Were None to help abortion clinic workers leave the industry and find jobs elsewhere. Since then, over 500 abortion clinic workers have left the industry. Since the film premiered in America, 94 additional abortion clinic workers have contacted Johnson’s organisation wanting to quit their jobs.
Watch movie review of Unplanned