A Canadian hit piece on “Unplanned”

By Dave Andrusko

We’ve posted twice [here and here] over the controversy about whether Unplanned should even be allowed to be shown in Canada. Opponents tried everything possible to prevent the movie about Abby Johnson’s conversion from a Planned Parenthood Employee of the Year to pro-life activists from being shown, including death threats and a promise to boycott any theatre that does have the spine to show Unplanned.

It’s been my experience over the years that the Canadian pro-abortionist is even more vicious than their American counterparts. They have won every battle and what few “barriers” remain do so not for want of trying.

With all that in the bag (including the remains of millions of dead babies), rather than a cause for celebration, it motivates them to uncontrollable levels of outrage.

I give you (gladly, take him) Barry Hertz, writing the Globe and Mail under the headline “Anti-abortion film Unplanned is a disgusting piece of propaganda that may endanger the health of women.”

If anything stands out in the hysteria-mongering of the Hertzes, besides the personal viciousness, it is condescension. The tone inevitably is, “We allow you knuckle-dragging conservatives of faith to walk the same planet, so why can’t you keep your simplistic, right-wing drivel to yourselves?”

Here’s a typical paragraph:

If Unplanned were merely preaching to the converted – as is the case of its U.S. distributor Pure Flix’s other “faith and family” titles – then it would only be a bothersome nuisance. Just another treacly, prayer-driven affair like Do You Believe?, In the Blink of an Eye and the God’s Not Dead series–cheap, relatively harmless pseudo-movies that rarely escape the evangelical market.

But no!

Unplanned is designed to go further than that. The writing and directing team of Chuck Konzelman and Cary Solomon use their slickly produced and handsomely shot film to spread outright lies that could endanger the health of women.

I’ve seen Unplanned, admittedly not through the lens of abiding hatred Hertz employs. Three quick points.

First, Hertz is angered (to put it mildly) by Ashley Bratcher’s performance as Abby Johnson. Bratcher is “wooden.” To the contrary, Abby’s transformation/conversion would not have been nearly as effective if Bratcher had not convincingly conveyed how deeply Abby had imbibed Planned Parenthood’s recruiting pitch. And when she is expelling the remains of the body of the baby she has chemically aborted, the audience can almost feel her incredible pain, later followed by the shock of recognition.

Second, Planned Parenthood “is brazenly sketched as a greedy for-profit behemoth whose bottom line relies on selling abortions, with one villainous character hissing to Johnson that ‘abortion is what pays for your salary, abortion is what pays for all of it!’ Yet the organization, which has decried Unplanned’s ‘many falsehoods and distortions,’ is in fact a non-profit whose abortion services account for just 3.4 per cent of its mostly free sexual and reproductive treatments, according to its 2017-18 annual report.”

Where to begin? Planned Parenthood has systematically reduced virtually every non-abortion related activity—something you’d know if you compared annual reports. Abortion IS where this $1.6 billion dollar “non-profit” makes its money. And, oh by the way, every time Planned Parenthood is caught in the act, its go-to defense is that it is the victim of “many falsehoods and distortions.”

Third, according to Hertz, “The film never explicitly asks its audience to meet violence with violence, but it doesn’t exactly instruct the righteous to forgo such tactics, either.” Only someone whom had been primed to find imaginary softness on violence could dream up this nonsense.

In the end, Hertz is calling for—at a minimum—self-censorship. How dare any theatre allow an audience (any audience) to decide for itself whether it will watch Unplanned? It’s simple-minded but “slick,” Hertz tells us, and who knows what evil it will produce in the minds of the unwary.

After all, Unplanned “fundamentally,” Hertz writes, “suggests, through fictionalization and manipulation, that cruelty lies behind the act of abortion, rather than a deep respect for the uncomfortable choices women sometimes have to make.”

I plead guilty to the charge of believing that abortion is cruel. But neither I nor Unplanned have to “manipulate” anything.

Here’s his attempt to shame any theatre into not showing Unplanned.

Would Cineplex, or Landmark, or the handful of independent theatres hosting Unplanned this weekend, program a film that specifically mounts a campaign to roll back the rights of one race, or ethnicity, or sexuality? Women’s rights, it appears, are cheaper and easier to ignore. Give it to Unplanned for revealing one undeniable truth.

A better way of putting it is “Give it to Barry Hertz for revealing one undeniable truth: there is only one side to the abortion debate [his] and anyone who disagrees should and must be ridiculed, lampooned, and parodied into submission.”

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