If you’re first just hearing about this movie, what are you waiting for, ‘Go watch it’! Unplanned is the story of former Planned Parenthood Clinic Director Abby Johnson and how she went from overseeing 22,000+ Abortions to becoming a huge activist in the Pro-Life movement. Abby Johnson was also nominated as the best Employee of the year before ‘What she saw’ would change her view on abortion forever and make her an enemy in the eye’s of Planned Parenthood.
Pureflix’s ‘Unplanned’, has done an amazing job telling the story of Abby Johnson and exposing the truth about Planned Parenthood and what goes on inside their facilities. From book to movie the story, was a story; done right. Megan Harrington came up to the would be Directors of ‘Unplanned’ Chuck Konzelman & Cary Solomon, giving them the book and suggesting they turn it into a movie. A couple of the team read the book including Daryl Lefever (producer) claimed it was “a powerful story” and as soon as he read the book decided he was on board. A year and a half ago now Chris Jones (producer) tells us they were praying for direction and discussing ideas. “We felt specifically at this time, it was time to make unplanned” Chris said to viewers on the Unplanned Sneak Peak edition. Chuck Konzelman would later go on to reach out to Abby Johnson and create ‘Unplanned’.
The making of the movie could be described as faith based and it definitely struggled in the beginning. The team wasn’t sure if they’d even be able to pay people all through prep. They didn’t know if they’d even have the money needed for the movie until they got close to shooting. Some employees that were on for 10 weeks didn’t know if they’d have a job by the next week, there was a lot of commitment involved within the making of this movie. Despite being faced with some challenges everyone stayed. They were committed, hard working, and wanted to see the project through as much as Daryl Lefever who said “We moved forward in faith”. With a week left, shooting on a Monday morning, in a 400 sq ft set, 200 people working, and millions of dollars on the line; by Thursday night they still didn’t have a lead to play Abby Johnson. Cary Solomon & Chuck Konzelman started going through the list “literally one by one” Carl said, “the last person on my desk was this person, Ashley Bratcher”.
Unplanned released March 29th 2019, with amazing reactions across the board. I personally went to watch the movie myself and I definitely suggest that whether you are Pro-Life or Pro-Choice you go and watch it as well. The movie does not condemn pro-choice thinkers and it doesn’t attack Planned Parenthood or anyone who has gotten an abortion. It simply tells a story we should all be familiar with, it simply exposes the truth. In the theater I noticed tissues in the hands of most people, tears are guaranteed with a purchase of a ticket; I know I cried. Everyone clapped when Abby finally said she’s quitting her job at Planned Parenthood and after winning the lawsuit against them. Cheers, Cries, and loud applause’s filled the entire auditorium as the movie came to a climax and even when it ended people sat patiently as credits rolled down, wanting more.
In the social climate we currently live in where the conversation of abortion can be really difficult to have, the team behind Unplanned struggled to get movie ads. They faced many oppositions creating the movie and as we all know were bound to clearly make some big enemies in the world of Hollywood. In fact Ashley Bratcher (Lead Role Playing Abby Johnson) said “I was warned by multiple people, even people who knew I had auditioned and just read the script said, you’ll never work again, I wouldn’t touch it with a 10 foot pole, don’t do it” and she responded “There’s no way that I can’t, not do it”.
TV Networks have been refusing to sell Ad time to Unplanned, in fact when I wen’t to watch the movie at Empire 25 here in New York City not even one poster was found. The auditorium for the movie was on the last floor all the way at the end of the hall next to the bathrooms and again not one poster or advertisement for Unplanned. Upon release, the movie was met with a lot of hate and push back from the opposite isle regardless of the fact the movie doesn’t attack anyone. Even before it’s release the MPAA gave Unplanned a targeted R-Rating yet the movie doesn’t include even one sex scene, vulgarity, or violence. The sad part is that in many states a girl can be as young as Thirteen to get an abortion without parental consent, but some how can’t watch a movie about abortion.
Social media platforms have refused to verify the official Unplanned pages, Instagram being the only one to finally give them a badge. Twitter on the other hand has deleted their page mysteriously and claimed it to be an “error” relating to another account that has nothing to do with Unplanned. After twitter brought back the page they must have not liked the fact Unplanned received a lot of attention after being mysteriously deleted; jumping from 7,000 to over 140,000 subscribers. Suddenly Twitter began to automatically unfollow the Unplanned page from people’s accounts and blocking them from following or finding the page again.
The Unplanned team has been able to combat against attacks through Prayer and gaining the support of some influential people. If you haven’t joined the Unplanned Prayer Team feel free to join now. Vice President, Mike Pence said he felt good seeing movie theaters across America showing Unplanned and embracing the sanctity of life. Unplanned has the support from a threshold of influencers and conservative voices like: Joy Villaus, Brittany Martinez, Emmanuel Matos, Jason Wesley, Anomaly, Fleccas, Live Action, Always Right, Elisa Love Steele, Graham Allen, and Autumn Lindsey.
None of this has stopped Unplanned from succeeding! They are doing amazing in the Box office and currently Rank at #4 only 3 days after releasing. The film opened in 1,059 theaters across the country on Friday March 29th. Since then the movie by writer/directors Chuck Konzelman and Cary Solomon, distributed by PureFlix, earned over $6,110,000 through Mar. 31 after three days of release, according to Box Office Mojo. This movie was meant to happen and this was the perfect time for this story to be told. When Abby Johnson told her story to Jeff Paradowski, the attorney that represented her and Shawn Carney (40 days of Life co-Founder) he said he was blown away. Jeff told her “this is probably going to be a book one day. They might even make a movie out of this”. Matthew West (song writer/singer) who sings ‘Unplanned’ said “you’d think its a film about life ending, but in many ways it’s a film about life beginning again”. Lila Rose (founder of Live Action) tells viewers “You actually get to encounter what women go through, you actually get to see what the reality is. I think that’s going to be huge for people and mind changing”.
Ashley Bratcher has also shared her personal story about her own mother and how she almost aborted Ashley, but then turned around and chose HER. Although hard for Ashley, she also has mentioned in an interview that she had to have that conversation on abortion with her son which brought her to tears. Truly it seems like nothing can stop this movie from succeeding and the numbers clearly don’t lie, like Walter Hoye (Issues4Life Fondation) said “What this film does, is allow us to look behind the curtain. Look behind all the social media, see what’s really happening in the clinics from an insider perspective.” and I think he’s right, everyone should definitely go watch this movie.
Written by Emmanuel Matos