The makers of the hit movie “God’s Not Dead” are coming out with a new film about the life of Abby Johnson.
A former Planned Parenthood director, Johnson became a pro-life advocate as a result of a 40 Days for Life outreach in her community. Now, she runs an organization called And Then There Were None that helps abortion clinic workers leave the industry.
Compelled by her conversion story, film writers/directors Chuck Konzelman and Cary Solomon of “God’s Not Dead” and “I Can Only Imagine” fame decided to turn Johnson’s book “Unplanned” into a film of the same name, the Daily Wire reports.
“Unplanned,” a drama based on Johnson’s memoir, is scheduled for release in the spring of 2019.
Shawn Carney, president of 40 Days for Life and a friend of Johnson’s, said he has been working with the film directors for years, but they did not announce anything publicly until now. A Hollywood Reporter article leaked news about the film earlier this week.
“Needless to say, Planned Parenthood is not happy about this movie, so please keep this project in prayer as there is much going on behind the scenes,” Carney wrote on 40 Days for Life’s blog. “You don’t need me to tell you that the media portrays many pro-life people as violent or judgmental. This movie will show the love, mercy, and joy that have helped save thousands of babies and helped hundreds of abortion workers leave their jobs.”
The film will follow Johnson as a director of Planned Parenthood and later as a pro-life advocate with a strong desire to help women. Johnson, played by Ashley Bratcher (“War Room” and “90 Minutes in Heaven”), oversaw approximately 22,000 abortions at Planned Parenthood before she witnessed the ultrasound of an unborn baby that changed her life.
Konzelman and Solomon said Johnson’s story is compelling because she experienced both sides of the abortion battle.
They told the Daily Wire:
“The one thing that was always true for Abby was that all she ever wanted to do was help women. And the great thing is it’s not only true, but it’s endearing in terms of creating audience empathy. It’s something that female viewers in particular should be able to relate to: Here’s a young woman who underwent two abortions herself… then served as a volunteer escort, counselor, and clinic director, becoming one of the youngest clinic directors in the country, and ultimately winning ’employee of the year’ award for her entire affiliate, before switching sides. But when she saw the real-time image on an ultrasound screen of one child fighting for its life, against the intrusion of the suction catheter that was about to end its existence, it changed her entire belief system in the space of a few seconds. Because she realized that what she was looking at was undeniably human and very much alive… until suddenly it wasn’t.”
Though the film is not a documentary, the writer/director team said they worked hard to portray everything accurately, touring the former Planned Parenthood facility where Johnson worked and having Dr. Anthony Levatino, an abortionist-turned pro-life advocate, portray an abortionist in the film. Johnson also spent time on the set.
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“Ironically, this authenticity also means that pro-lifers are going to feel uncomfortable for portions of this story, because they’re going to be watching Abby say and do things they don’t agree with,” they told the Daily Wire. “But the truthful intensity of her conviction helps make those things relatable: we understand what she’s doing, even if we don’t agree with it.”
The filmmakers hope the film will spread the truth in a loving way and help others see the reality of abortion, as Johnson did.
“After seeing Abby’s transformation from running a Planned Parenthood clinic to joining our efforts to help women and save lives, I believe that anyone can change their mind on abortion.” Carney said.
Learn more at UnplannedFilm.com.