An abortionist claims the abortion in the movie “Unplanned” is inaccurate. But he admits he hasn’t even seen the movie.
The pro-life movie “Unplanned” finished in the Top 10 after a surprisingly strong 8th place finish at the box office this weekend.
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. Despite a media blackout, a ‘R’ rating designed to discourage viewers and little coverage outside conservative media circles, “Unplanned” opened in 4th place during its first weekend and it expanded to movie theaters this past weekend.
But Jennifer Villavicencio, an abortionist, told The New York Times she thinks the film is inaccurate.
“If you watch an ultrasound, certainly there is movement, but it’s not kicking its legs or recoiling,” she says.
Villavicencio adds that she thinks babies at 13 weeks can’t feel pain.
“There is no neurological capability for awareness of danger — that part of the brain is simply not there yet,” Villavicencio told The New York Times.
But experts disagree.
Maureen Condic, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor of Neurobiology and Anatomy at the University of Utah and obtained her Ph.D. from University of California, Berkeley. She is a widely published scientist whose works have appeared in a wide variety of peer-reviewed journals. In 2013, she told a Congressional committee that unborn babies have the capacity to feel pain as early as 8 weeks.
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“The earliest “rudiment” of the human nervous system forms by 28 days (four weeks) after sperm – egg fusion. At this stage, the primitive brain is already “patterned”; i.e. cells in different regions are specified to produce structures appropriate to their location in the nervous system as a whole,” she told lawmakers.
Dr. Condic explained, “Over the next several weeks, the brain will grow enormously and generate many complex connections, but the overall organization of the nervous system is established by four weeks. This is significant because it shows that even at this early stage, the brain is not anything like a mere collection of cells or a “blank slate” to be written upon by later developmental processes. Like all embryonic organs, the structure of the early brain “anticipates” the function of the mature system.”
When it comes to pain specifically, scientific evidence is very clear that pain can be experienced by 20 weeks of pregnancy. But Condic said unborn children have a capacity to feel pain much earlier.
“The neural circuitry responsible for the most primitive response to pain, the spinal reflex, is in place by 8 weeks of development,” she explained. “This is the earliest point at which the fetus experiences pain in any capacity.”
At that point, the scientist confirmed “a fetus responds just as humans at later stages of development respond; by with withdrawing from the painful stimulus.”
Former abortionist Anthony Levatino plays the abortionist in the movie and vetted the scene for accuracy. He has done over 1,200 abortions.