At least one producer of the new “Unplanned” movie says he is OK with the R rating because the film shows “a baby being murdered” in an abortion.
The film, which opened in theaters nationwide last week, follows the true story of Abby Johnson, a former Planned Parenthood director who became pro-life after watching a baby be aborted on an ultrasound screen.
Several weeks ago, many pro-lifers expressed outrage when the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) gave the film an R rating, even though there is no nudity, sex or swearing and little violence. Many pointed out that, in some states, an underage girl can get an abortion without a parent’s permission but cannot watch the film.
But producer Joe Knopp told PJ Media this week that he was not opposed to the R rating. He described two disturbing scenes from the movie that showed women’s abortion experiences.
“For me, as a pro-life believer who believes life begins at conception, when I watched those scenes — the opening scene with the procedure room and then the second one with the shower — I know that in front of my eyes, a baby is being murdered,” he said.
“I see the blood, I hear the music, the baby lose the battle with life before my eyes. For me, that’s R rated,” he continued.
The MPAA said it gave the film an R rating due to “some disturbing/blood images.” In one scene, a young woman nearly dies along with her unborn baby because the abortionist perforated her uterus. Another scene shows Abby (actress Ashley Bratcher) bleeding profusely in the shower during her second abortion. A third scene shows Abby helping with an abortion procedure and watching the unborn baby squirm and twist on the ultrasound as the abortionist killed it.
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In February, film writers/directors Cary Solomon and Chuck Konzelman reacted to the R rating similarly in an interview with Movieguide.
“Ironically, the MPAA seems to be indirectly endorsing the pro-life position: namely that abortion is an act of violence,” they said.
Though there are a few graphic abortion scenes, many people have reported taking their teenage children to watch the film. Knopp said he and his wife discussed for a while whether to take their 14-year-old daughter but eventually agreed.
“There was part of me that thought it would be PG-13, because they thought the violence was not against human beings,” Knopp said. Referring to the MPAA reviewers, he said, “I’ve got to believe when they watched the movie, they thought it was actually violence against a human being to the point where they also felt it deserves an R rating.”
“Unplanned” earned $6.1 million and came in fifth place overall in its first weekend at the box office. The film is opening in even more theaters this weekend.