Hopes pro-life movie can make impact in Ireland

Hopes pro-life movie can make impact in Ireland Ashley Bratcher, who plays Abby Johnson, is pictured in a scene from the movie Unplanned. Photo: CNS

A hugely-successful pro-life film is set to hit Irish cinema screens by the end of September, pending talks with distributors here.

The film Unplanned has been viewed by about two million people according to producers and has been screened in 12 countries including Canada and the US.

Starring Ashley Bratcher it tells the story of Abby Johnson, a former Planned Parenthood clinic director, and her decision to join the pro-life movement.

Ms Johnson was one of the youngest Planned Parenthood directors in the US and worked in Texas and was involved in tens of thousands of abortions. She even won the Planned Parenthood Employee of the Year Award.

It was in September 26, 2009, she was asked to assist with an ultrasound-guided abortion, her involvement in the process changed her life and values and she decided to embrace the pro-life movement.

In the US, the directors of the movie criticised a decision by the Motion Picture Association of America to rate the film as ‘R’ meaning restricted.

“We had hoped that (the rating) would be different, but due to the political climate, and the fact that we’re in Hollywood, it doesn’t surprise us,” co-director Chuck Konzelman told Catholic News Agency in an interview.


Co-director Cary Solomon agreed, adding, “we’ve made a pro-life film in a pro-choice town. We’re very aware of that.”

By giving the film an a R-rating, Mr Konzelman said that he believes the MPAA is inadvertently supporting the belief that “anything that has to do with abortion is an act of extreme violence.”

“Ironically, that’s (also) our viewpoint,” he said.

In the US, a film that is rated R by the MPAA is restricted to those over the age of 17 unless accompanied by a parent or another adult guardian.

C.J. Williams, who is working to promote the film in Ireland, said she is hopeful that the producers will be able to work with potential distrutors in Ireland to get the movie screened in cinemas across the country.

She said they were hopeful that they could also reach out to parish groups to gauge levels of interest in the film from amongst the pro-life community. However, she stressed that the hope was to get the film as wide a distribution as possible in a bid to change hearts and minds about abortion.

“Our goal is going to be to get it here by the end of September,” she said.