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Hollywood is a place of endless stories.
Part of what @davesussman does at Whiskey Politics is cover movie premieres when we get the chance, and the other night Dave and I met at the TLC Chinese 6 (formerly Grauman’s Chinese theater in Hollywood) for the red carpet premiere of Unplanned. The film opens with an emotionally shocking gut punch, then unravels the true story of Abby Johnson, the young director of a Planned Parenthood clinic in Texas. UPDATE: Dave Sussman talks about the emotional impact of the movie on radio.
It’s a film that needs to be digested over a period of time. I’ve never had an abortion, never been in a “crisis” pregnancy, and have never even set foot inside a Planned Parenthood clinic. Much of what was explored in the film is beyond my personal experience but rings true with my friends’ stories about their abortions.
For as long as I can remember, abortion has not been discussed unless you are seated comfortably either from a position of “women’s right to choose” or “life begins at conception”. If you follow the logic consistently, you are left either with babies who have life rights conferred by virtue of being “wanted” by the mother, or that abortion is always murder.
That human rights are conferred to a child only by the mother at a time of her choosing is the left’s definition of a woman’s right to choose, but that repugnant conclusion is seldom explicitly stated. Arguments for pro-life can fly out the window when a 12-year-old child becomes pregnant if a fetus is diagnosed with a disease like tay-sachs, or when the mother’s life is truly endangered, as with an ectopic pregnancy. It’s difficult to have conversations about abortion because, in the end, you can only agree that nobody wants one, but rarely, they are necessary to save life.
Unplanned is based on the true story of a woman who has experienced all sides of the controversy; as a patient, then as an abortion center director (who believes she can thread the needle of “safe, but rare” abortion policy), and finally as a pro-life activist. Her shattering, painful epiphany is the conclusion of a journey along the bloody path of the death industry and the culture and profit motive that accompany it.
I asked a friend who is a famed pundit about what he thought left-leaning movie reviewers would report about it. “Nothing”, he said. “They’ll ignore it because they don’t want anyone to know.” As always, our concept of truth is based on the stories we choose to listen to; because I wasn’t feeling well, I was tempted to leave after the red carpet interviews were complete, but I’m grateful Dave convinced me to stay for the film.