[Editor’s Note: This weekend, the film Unplanned defied expectations and came in #4 at the U.S. box office. The movie tells the story of Abby Johnson, a former Planned Parenthood clinic director who resigned after watching an abortion on ultrasound. Afterwards, she became a pro-life activist and now runs an a pro-life ministry, And Then There Were None (ATTWN), which helps people working at abortion clinics leave the industry. She spoke to Charles Camosy about the film, which is based upon her book of the same title.]
Camosy: So, “Unplanned” is off to a great start…a six million dollar opening! Three times what was projected. How do you feel about it?
Johnson: I could not be more happy with the opening and am just amazed at the work God has done. There were obstacles put up at every turn – the R rating, the Twitter suspension, the refusal to run ads – and every one of them made the film opening stronger.
One thing I appreciate about the movie, and it is consistent with your “Love One Out” approach to people who work in the abortion industry, was the care to get our opposition’s views correct. The movie treated them as people to be loved and understood rather than monsters to be attacked and destroyed. Did you have anything to do with that? How much impact did you have on the movie overall?
I give a lot of credit to Chuck Konzelman and Cary Solomon, who co-wrote and directed the movie. They asked for and accepted my input throughout the whole process and I’m thrilled with how the movie came out in the end. I’ve seen a lot of positive feedback on how the movie treated the abortion workers and women seeking abortions and how viewers really appreciated that. We cannot dehumanize the very people we claim are dehumanizing the unborn. We have to treat everyone – the abortion workers, the abortionists, the women seeking abortions – with unconditional love.
For years now defenders of Planned Parenthood have contested your version of the facts. And their views, unsurprisingly, have found themselves into some of the movie’s reviews. Anything you care to say about this
Planned Parenthood did not keep track of whether a procedure was ultrasound-guided or not. They just wanted it done. Planned Parenthood has a long history of fudging records, doctoring reports, and blatantly lying to cover their crimes. Look at any video Lila Rose has done or any of the lawsuits against Planned Parenthood for Medicaid fraud – they have had to repay millions and millions of dollars for defrauding the government.
I was their most prized employee the year before I left and the youngest clinic director for Planned Parenthood at the time – they wanted me discredited because they knew my story would turn away women from Planned Parenthood, which it has. The judge in the gag order case against me scolded Planned Parenthood for their frivolous and ridiculous lawsuit against me, saying that they wasted his time. Planned Parenthood and their supporters are welcome to scrutinize my story.
Through my ministry And Then There Were None, which has helped nearly 500 abortion workers leave their jobs and find life-affirming ones, the stories they tell back up mine. Many are even more gruesome. I have learned never to underestimate God’s redeeming grace and forgiveness. My story can seem untrue because God’s mercy is so vast that even someone like myself, who was complicit in over 22,000, was able to turn around and leave Planned Parenthood after seeing for myself that life in the womb indeed does exist.
It appears Twitter blocked the account for Unplanned around the time of its opening. Is that right? Have we found out why that was the case?
They did. Then they stopped people from following the account and took away thousands of followers without explanation. It’s actually helped the movie out a lot because it’s been such a boost in publicity that has drawn tremendous attention to the film. The tech giants are finally being exposed for their shutting down of conservative and pro-life viewpoints.
I’ve heard some people say this movie has the capacity to change the world. I agree, but I’d like to hear from you. Best case scenario: How would you like this movie to change the world?
I want abortion to become unthinkable. I want everyone who sees the film to see how God’s love and mercy can change their lives. And I want people to understand that love is the only way we are going to win the war against abortion.