“Unplanned” movie exposes the planned denial of reality surrounding abortion
Recently, a movie about the grotesque reality of abortion, named “Unplanned” has become a surprise niche hit. It is the conversion story of Abby Johnson who was the Clinic Director of the Planned Parenthood clinic at Brian, Texas, America. What makes this story especially riveting is that it describes how a person who had facilitated 22,000 abortions becomes an anti-abortion activist and campaigner.
Abortion has been positioned in today’s mainstream media as a right of woman or an issue of female reproductive health. In today’s media, movies which give a message opposite to the dominant leftist narrative centered on feminism are systematically sidelined. This movie, produced by the Christian equivalent of Netflix called “Pureflix”, was denied trailer advertisements on all mainstream networks except Fox News, and it was banned by critics not so much for its cinematic flaws as for its core message.
To deny the ghastly reality of abortion so that people can go about uninhibitedly – and to present it as a right of a woman – is a great wrong. The very name of the global organization that propagates and facilitates abortion –”Planned Parenthood” – points to the deceptive cover-up of the reality. It is a systematic plan to not only prevent unwanted parenthood, but also to deter any deep thought about the choice of abandoning parenthood through abortion.
The women who go for abortion are not allowed to see the sonographic pictures of what is there in their womb. The sonography is done so that the clinic can determine the size of the embryo, and accordingly the charge for the abortion. However, women are given sanitized messages that actually neither they nor the embryo at this stage will feel any pain.
The magnitude of the denial present in the abortion industry is seen through the fact that Abby herself has never encountered the unvarnished reality of abortion, despite working in the industry for nearly a decade, including several years as the clinic director. Due to a staff shortage, one day she is unexpectedly called to assist in a sonography-guided abortion of a thirteen-week-old unborn child. When she sees through the sonography on the computer screen, the child is desperately trying to get away from the suction machine, which inserts a cannula into the womb and dismembers and drags the remains of the child out. The child struggles frantically as its finely formed backbone is crushed with diabolical precision. Then it becomes motionless as the tiny pieces are collected and brought out. And where there was a throbbing life in the uterus just a few minutes earlier, now there is a dark empty space. This experience is so jolting that she soon resigns as the clinic director and decides to become an anti-abortion activist.
Eventually, she wrote a bestselling book about her personal entry into and out of the abortion industry, which has the same name “Unplanned.” This motion picture is an adapted version of that book. In America it has an R rating. Some abortion films try to avoid this “R rating”, so that they can reach a greater audience. So, they don’t show the horrific blood and gore that are intrinsic to the act of abortion. But such sanitization numbs the impact by further continuing the denial of reality that enables people to embrace abortion as a default choice, whenever the pregnancy test shows an unwanted positive.
Of course, condemning those who conduct abortion or those who have done abortion themselves is not the solution. We need a bigger dialogue and deliberation in society, about how we have arrived today at a place, where in America alone, 926,000 documented abortions take place every year. This is not just because the technology to do abortion has become more widespread and accessible. It is also because the responsibility associated with sexuality has been increasingly dwindled, which is because of the ever-increasing glamorization of casual sexuality in the name of sexual freedom.
The sexual revolution started in the 1960’s, and has had many unwanted consequences such as the breakdown of the families and the neglect of the children. One effect is the alarming increase in the number of abortions.
To deal with abortion at the root, we need to stop the denial first. Many to-be-mothers, if they see their baby through sonography scans, change their minds about having it aborted. But unfortunately, they are never given access to that, and they are given misleading anodynes, including the canard – the deliberately fabricated lie that abortion is painless for both them and their fetus. But as the movie graphically shows, it can be horribly painful on occasions for the mother, and it is of course murderously painful for the infant. By confronting the reality of the life in the womb, and speaking for the rights of the embryo, and not just the rights of the mother in whose womb that embryo is, we can rise beyond the casual sexuality, to see sexuality and its product, life, with greater sanctity and spirituality.
And the rectification of this has to begin by acquiring a more spiritual world-view, wherein we see all life as sacred. Bhagavad-gita, the ancient guidebook of spiritual wisdom, indicates that life comes not from the biochemical combination that is the body, but from the spark of spirit, the soul.
Srimad-Bhagavatam (3.31), another time-honored guidebook for spiritual living, describes how the soul enters into the mother’s womb and is conscious while there – it is certainly not a mere tissue to be removed. With such spiritual understanding, we see our sexuality as a sacred gift to be used for bringing new life into the world; and we recognize the dangers of casual sexuality for everyone involved.
“Unplanned” is an important reminder of the darkness and gruesomeness toward which society is increasingly headed because of casual sexuality. No living being aborts its progeny with the systematically designed technological mechanisms and equally systematically designed denial mechanisms as do humans today. Society urgently needs the course correction of a more spiritual world-view and lifestyle.