“Unplanned” Movie Producers Use Film to Fight CA College Abortion Bill

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Unplanned, a film about a Planned Parenthood abortion clinic director turned pro-life activist, is not only converting the hearts and minds of moviegoers around the country, but it is being used as a catalyst for pro-life legislation in states like Georgia, Alabama, and Kentucky. Recently, the producers of the film have turned their attention towards California and released a clip of their movie to help defeat an abortion bill pending before the state legislature.

California State Senator Connie Leyva (D-San Bernardino) has spent the last two and a half years trying to get approval for a bill that forces public university health centers to dispense RU-486, an abortion drug that kills an unborn child up to 10 weeks old. She has repeatedly mischaracterized chemical abortion as easy and convenient, with side effects no different than those of Aspirin or Ibuprofen. 

The story of Abby Johnson’s own RU-486 abortion, as shown in Unplanned, reveals a very different tale. In a movie scene that is hard to watch, actress Ashley Bratcher, who plays Abby, receives the first dose of the abortion drug from a Planned Parenthood clinic. She’s told the drugs would “gently empty out her uterus” with a little bleeding comparable to a “heavy period.” That is not what happened.

Abby Johnson’s RU-486 Abortion Unplanned scene.

The cramping and bleeding were so bad Abby thought she was going to die. Critics have disputed this part of the film as an exaggeration, but according to one of the producers, Chris Jones, the scene actually had to be “dialed back” a little bit for the movie. Jones said Abby was very involved in the film and he remembers her saying, “That is what happened to me, but it was worse.”

Unplanned Project Manager Beverly Warren said many women attest to the accuracy of the film’s depiction of a chemical abortion. “We have so many confirmations that this is exactly the way it is, and sometimes it is even worse,” she said. “They make it sound like it is no big deal, but it is a huge deal. You are actually miscarrying the baby. Anyone who has gone through a miscarriage knows what that is like. It is horrific.”

Jones said the goal of the film was to be bold regarding the horror of abortion, but compassionate towards those who have had an abortion and to those in the industry. “Abby is that way; she is very bold and she is very compassionate,” Jones explained. “The movie itself is very sympathetic. It is not mean spirited… and she is very relatable.” So if people come to the movie with “an open mind and an open heart, they can see themselves in the story.” 

According to Jones and Warren, this approach to Abby’s story is having a profound change on those who see the movie. Stories like this are common: “I went into it totally pro-choice and came out of it saying never again; totally pro-life, 100 percent conversion,” Jones said. There are also story after story of healing and finding forgiveness. They even had two women on the movie set who had been friends for 40 years who finally had the courage to share their own abortion stories. “There is something about [the film] that allows people the space to talk about it, and to bring it up and to bring it to the surface.”

And women aren’t the only ones affected, Jones explained. Teenage boys want all their friends to see it. The movie is sparking deep conversations between parents and teens. Men come up after the movie and confess how they drove their girlfriends to a clinic to get an abortion decades ago. “Grown men are crying.” It is really humbling. Men are saying, “In my mind, I knew God could forgive me, but now in my heart, I know that He has,” Jones said.  

Unplanned has also been instrumental in motivating state legislatures to pass stricter abortion laws. Before Georgia outlawed abortion after a baby’s heartbeat can be detected on May 7 of this year, the producers of the movie did a private showing for legislators. The same thing happened in Alabama and Kentucky. Abby testified before the Kentucky legislature before they passed their pro-life bill. She had nine minutes and “knocked it out of the park,” Warren said.

Abby Johnson’s speech before the Kentucky legislature.

Countries around the world are now requesting Unplanned to be shown to their government leaders to influence laws related to abortion. Plans for the movie’s release are now happening in Australia, Russia, Eastern Europe, Korea, the Philippines, and all over Central and South America.

Warren believes strongly that God wants to use Unplanned to change hearts and minds in California as well. “California leads the way on everything,” Warren said. “What happens in California, the US will follow. What happens in the US, the world will follow. I feel strongly that we need to use this movie in Sacramento to change hearts and minds for legislative matters.” Future plans include having a showing for legislators and pastors in the Sacramento area, and using the film to educate the church and the culture regarding the truth about abortion.

  • For more information about Unplanned watch this 15-minute documentary.
  • Visit here to find out how to show Unplanned in your church.
  • Buy a copy of Unplanned to view yourself here.

Action Steps

Call members of the Assembly Appropriations Committee
SB 24 is now in the Assembly Appropriations Committee. The bill’s future is in the hands of Committee Chair Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego), who will make a decision next week. If approved, the bill will go before the Assembly for a vote, and then the governor’s desk for a final decision.

Share the Unplanned RU-486 abortion clip with friends and family and have them call their own member of the Assembly and say “Vote No” on SB 24. (Find your member here.)