Dear Parishioners, +JMJ
I wonder if all of you realize that a very significant pro-life movie was released in the last couple of weeks. The movie is Unplanned. It’s the personal story of Abby Johnson, a young woman who was managing the largest Planned Parenthood abortion clinic in Texas. There came a day when a doctor performing abortions at that clinic needed a staff person in the room with him. Abby was the only one available. She had never witnessed an abortion, so this was the first time. Although she had been told for years (including Planned Parenthood staff who prepared her for her own two abortions) that the child in the womb could not feel anything, Abby witnessed first-hand that the very opposite was the truth. She watched the ultrasound images as the child was aborted, and this led her to become one of the strongest pro-life advocates in the country today.
The movie had to go through many hurdles in order to reach final stage. Even its “R” rating was a trial. The producers were aiming for PG-13. Isn’t it so ironic and alarming that in our country a 14-year-old can undergo an abortion procedure, without parental consent, yet a movie like this has to receive an “R” rating because of it’s abortion content?! Another hurdle was simply the fact that most major networks would not even advertise the movie, because it was anti-abortion, pro-life. (That’s why I’m not sure how many of my own parishioners would even know the movie was released.) Despite the many hurdles in production, the movie grossed more than $6 million at the box office. It was predicted that the movie would gross only $3 million in its opening weekend.
Here’s a snippet from the official website of Unplanned:
Unplanned is the inspiring true story of one woman’s journey of transformation. All Abby Johnson ever wanted to do was help women. As one of the youngest Planned Parenthood clinic directors in the nation, she was involved in upwards of 22,000 abortions and counseled countless women about their reproductive choices. Her passion surrounding a woman’s right to choose even led her to become a spokesperson for Planned Parenthood, fighting to enact legislation for the cause she so deeply believed in. Until the day she saw something that changed everything, leading Abby Johnson to join her former enemies at 40 Days For Life, and become one of the most ardent pro-life speakers in America.
Every once in a great while a priest will run into a mother in the confessional who says she counciled her unmarried daughter to get an abortion…. and she still thinks perhaps they made the right decision. I respond to them that, “Your daughter was definitely severely wounded by that abortion, even if none of you realize it yet…, and it was gravely wrong in God’s eyes. But Jesus can heal that wound, if you and everybody involved can admit it to Him and ask for forgiveness. Here are some resources to help your daughter (Project Rachel contact info from the Diocese of Toledo, etc.) in the aftermath of abortion.” And the conversation continues. The world is so wrong about this grave sin against humanity. I pray that all of the Catholics in Paulding County get it right. I hope everybody sees the movie!
I have not yet seen this movie, but I plan to do so, soon. I have heard Abby speak in person a number of years ago. Her story is sad, but also inspiring, when we realize the grace of God at work in Abby’s life – and now her pro-life ministry. I spoke with a close priest friend who saw the movie, as well as a layman who saw it twice already (!)…. and both of them said it was very good.
Have a blessed week!
In cordibus Iesu et Marie,