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'At 13 She Can Get an Abortion... But She Can't See This Movie': What's The Deal With R-Rated Pro-Life Film 'Unplanned'?


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"Unplanned," the highly anticipated film about former Planned Parenthood director turned pro-life activist Abby Johnson was assigned an "R" rating last month by the Motion Picture Association of America.

Supporters of the film attended a premiere screening in Los Angeles Monday, including singer and songwriter Joy Villa.  

"I am a pro-life woman," Villa said in an interview with CBN News. "I had an unplanned pregnancy when I was 20-years-old. Domestic violence situation. It was rough. I was pressured by everyone, including the nurse who did my pregnancy test, to give my child an abortion. To murder my child. I said no. I'm not going to do that. I didn't know what I was going to do. I cried. I prayed to God. And he showed me adoption as the option."

She continued, "And I know my daughter today. She calls me Momma Joy. It is the best thing I've ever done. So, I support this movie. The healing, the education. The beauty of this film. The realness. The rawness. People need to see it whether they are pro-life or pro-choice, they need to see this film and get educated on the horrors of what abortion really is."                        

Abby Johnson recently wrote a letter to parents who are concerned about taking their children to see the R-rated film. 

"I'm a parent of a 12-year-old daughter who has seen the film and I was getting a lot of questions," Johnson told CBN News. "I think that we have a responsibility to protect children but also to be very open with them about these sorts of issues. And I think especially with the R-rating there were a lot of people coming to me and saying, 'Abby is this ok for my 14-year-old because people wanted to bring their children, but they needed some guidance."    

The film's writers and directors, Cary Solomon and Chuck Konzelman, who also wrote "God's Not Dead" and "God's Not Dead 2," believe the R-rating is purely political.

"Hollywood is about politics," said Solomon. It's not about making movies. It's sad. It's about propaganda with Hollywood. And we are pro-life guys in a pro-choice town.  And so we are not liked, and our movie is not going to be liked. So, to expect that they would give us a fair rating, ok, not going to happen. And so, we kind of knew that. We wished for the best, understood that the worst could possibly happen. When we got the R, didn't surprise us." 

Konzelman commented, "We have three sequences in the movie that deal with the issue of abortion." We've had some political leaders, some faith leaders review the film and come out and give recommendation. Very recently Rev. Franklin Graham has come out strongly in support."

The filmmakers are hopeful the R-rating will actually encourage more people to see the film.

"I think so in the long run because there's this whole issue of people of faith can recognize, 'I live in a country where my daughter can go out, at 13 she can get an abortion without parental consent, but she can't go see this movie,'" Konzelman said.

"We wanted to show the truth," said Solomon. "We wanted to show the humanity of the abortion world. Both sides of it. And I think we did that. I think what we went for was the truth. We didn't embellish. We didn't fabricate. It is exactly what it is. And it's a violent act. Anytime you kill something it's a violent act. What we did was, we determined from the beginning, we felt the Lord put on us, just tell the truth. That's all we want."

Both Solomon and Konzelman believe with radical abortion laws in New York and other states, "Unplanned" is the right film "for such a time as this."  

"This is sort of our last wakeup call I think politically because these laws are being enacted now," said Konzelman. "We as Americans, as people of faith. One of two things is going to happen. We're either going to rise up and say this is wrong or we're going to become accustomed to it and it's going to become the new norm."   

"Abortion is an impediment to revival. I believe that in the long run as a nation we can either covet the blessing of God or we can covet abortion. We cannot crave both simultaneously," said Konzelman.

Cary said when it comes to abortion in America, "We've been trained to want it. We've been indoctrinated. All these young kids have been indoctrinated that it's not real."

Actress Robia Scott, who plays the head of the Bryant, Texas Planned Parenthood clinic in the film said, "This isn't your normal R-rated movie, because it doesn't have nudity, it doesn't have extreme sexuality, it doesn't have foul language. This is the kind of imagery and truth that I definitely believe young teenage girls and boys as well as adults need to see because it's not gratuitous. It's just honest."


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About The Author

Charlene Aaron

Charlene Aaron serves as a general assignment reporter, backup news anchor, and co-host of The Prayerlink on the CBN News Channel. She covers various social issues, such as abortion, gender identity, race relations, and more. Before joining CBN News in 2003, she was a personal letter writer for Dr. Pat Robertson. Charlene attended Old Dominion University and Elizabeth City State University. She is an ordained minister and pastor’s wife. She lives in Smithfield, VA, with her husband.