Unplanned: Abby Johnson’s journey from pro-choice to pro-Life advocacy

Fr Leonard E Dollentas

To enhance Catholic and public awareness to treasure the value and dignity of life, the Macau Diocesan Commission for Life has organized various events and seminars to promote pro-life values education. One of the highlights of the program was the gala premiere of the pro-life movie Unplanned, held on 14th May 2022 at Cineteatro Macau.

Unplanned is a powerful, touching movie based on the memoir by Abby Johnson, a former Planned Parenthood clinic director, who now is an outspoken advocate for the pro-life movement. While pro-abortion (and even some Christian) media refused to advertise the film, and Twitter suspended the movie’s account, the film shocked everyone on opening weekend by bringing in more than $6 million in March 2019.

Beginning with Abby Johnson’s commitment to the pro-choice community, the movie shows how she transitions throughout the story, completely changing her beliefs.  The movie made me recall a haunting experience of a parishioner, who formerly worked overseas as a school counselor.  She had a 16-year-old girl come to see her after an abortion. She was bleeding profusely and needed surgical intervention. When she called the doctor who performed the abortion, he refused to see her because doing so would verify that abortion does have complications, and she did not want to be sued. So, she called another doctor, an OB/GYN, but she did not want to get involved either.  She did not want to be in the middle of a mess that she had not created. Finally, after many phone calls, she found someone to care for the girl. My parishioner was at the girl’s side until she fully recovered. The girl’s horrifying abortion experience made her promise to resolve to change her ways and embrace her faith.

In the movie, the “moment that changed everything” for Johnson was the scene where, after years as a Planned Parenthood volunteer as well as a woman who herself had had an abortion two times over, she witnessed a preborn child die in an abortion on an ultrasound screen. This scene in the movie was so horrific and heartbreaking to watch.

Unplanned should be a movie all women contemplating abortion should watch. It is a movie for irresponsible boyfriends or husbands, and indeed for all men; for them to understand the struggle of a pregnant woman before suggesting abortion. Pro-choice persons should see this movie to widen their understanding of the gruesome truth behind abortion. Pro-life persons should also see the movie, so they may be more committed to the belief that all humans, including the unborn, have a right to live, and that having the human genome is enough for a developing organism to be called a living human being.

I highly recommend seeing this movie whatever your faith may be. Unplanned will be showing at Cineteatro Macau from May 19 to August 31, 2022, from 09:00 AM – 01:00 PM.

(Photo: Ivan Leong)