There is No Such Thing as Unplanned

Printed from:

Unplanned is a movie that you will never forget after watching.  I can say that from a very personal level as it managed to pierce the thick skin of skepticism that I have developed over the years of civic and political activism.  It certainly shows that while there are many things that are unplanned to us humans, there is nothing that is unplanned according to G-d’s will.

Unplanned tells the story of a Planned Parenthood clinic director in Bryan, Texas who converts to the pro-life cause after seeing a preborn baby on an ultrasound that the “doctor” subsequently killed in the womb.  The first eight minutes of the movie depict that event in Abby’s life and the rest of the movie summarizes Abby’s life from when she first encountered Planned Parenthood to when she left Planned Parenthood and joined the pro-life cause.

One important takeaway from this movie is that one should never give up on helping the people they care about change for the better.  Abby’s parents and husband did everything they could do to try to persuade Abby to do something with her life other than serve as the perfect instrument of Planned Parenthood’s corporate policy, as did Shawn and Marilisa from the Texas Coalition for Life.  G-d answered their hopes and prayers by arranging for clinic co-worker Megan to request Abby’s presence to help oversee the abortion procedure, which prompted her to resign from Planned Parenthood and seek out pro-life leaders Shawn and Marilisa to talk about what transpired.

Mark Fisher, who ran for governor of Massachusetts in 2014, emphasized during his campaign the need for pro-lifers to apply love and compassion to defeat our culture’s attachment to abortion-on-demand. This movie helps pro-lifers demonstrate the wisdom of Mark’s observations.

A key precursor that helped germinate Abby’s change was the scene where Abby’s boss Cheryl bluntly explains Planned Parenthood’s business model:  “Fast food outlets look to break even on the hamburgers they sell … do you know how they make their money? On the French fries and the soda, the low-cost high margin items. Abortion is our fries and soda. But somehow you’ve just decided that it’s no longer your priority. Abortion is what pays your salary and benefits. … Corporate policy is simple:  we are an abortion provider.”  If one looks at Planned Parenthood’s annual financial reports, it also pays for the collective $1 billion portfolio of cash and investments held by Planned Parenthood and its affiliates.

The aforementioned scene speaks to me because like Abby, I have been in numerous instances professionally and politically where people holding high-level positions engage in behavior that is contrary to their claimed mission statements.  Abby joined up with Planned Parenthood because Planned Parenthood ostensibly claimed to want to reduce abortion (at least according to its mission statement and its winsome campus recruiter).  Abby thought that Planned Parenthood was supposed to effectively serve as a pro-choice middle ground between those who want abortion-on-demand and abolitionist pro-lifers by serving as a trusted provider of high-quality, affordable, reproductive health care services as well as advocating for reproductive health and education. Even today, the Who We Are section of Planned Parenthood’s web site says nothing about abortion. I can sympathize with Abby based on personal experience as she found her idealistic devotion to the organization’s ostensible mission come into conflict with the dollar-driven diktats of her boss, which never come up during her new employee orientation.

A key moment in the movie is when pro-life advocates in Bryan ramp up their activism with a 24-hour vigil for 40 days and 40 nights, which leads to a worldwide movement. I attended a 40 Days for Life demonstration outside the Worcester Planned Parenthood abortion nearly four years ago, along with Mark Fisher, former state representative candidate Karen Anderson, former Athol Tank the Automatic Gas Tax town captain Jason LeRay, and former Athol-Royalston School Committee member Bobbi Newman.  This film inspired me to look into taking part in Operation Rescue Boston’s Tuesday sidewalk counseling in Natick as well as working with MassResistance to see where they can help defeat the ROE Act legislation proposed in the Massachusetts legislature.  I believe I could help persuade women facing a crisis pregnancy to choose life for their unborn baby given my background as an adoptee, the fact that my mother became pro-life after adopting me, and my desire to #AbolishHumanAbortion — coupled with my soft-spoken, solutions-driven demeanor.


Joshua Norman is an Auburndale resident.  See his other NewBostonPost columns here.