is a new hit movie about former Planned Parenthood director Abby
Johnson’s journey to the pro-life cause. Gritty and heart-wrenching this
film has defied expectations to land in the top 4 at the box office,
even though it is showing at a fraction of the theaters of bigger budget
Recently, I sat down with Doug Johnson, husband to Abby Johnson, as
he gave us an inside look at the story behind the film, Johnson family
life, the powerful prayers behind the film’s production, and more. We
were interrupted several times by Doug and Abby’s adorable children—the
Johnsons’ are truly living a culture of life!
My anti-abortion views solidified in 1976 when I bought a copy of Esquire magazine.
There was something in it by or about George Plimpton that I wanted to
read, but thumbing through the pages I came to an article titled “What I
Saw at the Abortion” by Richard Selzer, M.D.
I’d been a Catholic for about three years and knew what I was supposed to believe about abortion. I’d recently read Humane vitae for
the first time and been deeply impressed by its clarity: “all direct
abortion, even for therapeutic reasons, [is] to be absolutely excluded.”
But it was when I read Dr. Selzer’s article that my view was forever
What knocked me for a loop was Selzer’s reference to a “flick,” a resistance, the fetus defending itself against its murder. Read it for yourself (The Human Life Review has reprinted it here), but here’s the good doctor’s conclusion:
I am not trying to argue. I am only saying I’ve seen. The
flick. Whatever else may be said in abortion’s defense, the vision of
that other defense will not vanish from my eyes. What I saw I saw as
that: a defense, a motion from, an effort away. And it has happened that you cannot reason with me now. For what can language do against the truth of what I saw?
So, it seemed to me before I watched the new movie, Unplanned,
that the defining scene would have to be just such a moment, one in
which Abby Johnson (played by Ashley Bratcher) witnessed the abortion
that changed her life. (The film is based on her book of the same title.)
That moment is set up nicely in an earlier scene in which Abby, the
youngest clinic director at Planned Parenthood, banally counsels a young
woman not to worry: “The one thing that all experts agree on is that,
at this stage, the fetus can’t feel anything.”
But then she witnesses a “procedure” during which she sees (via
ultrasound) the child “twisting and fighting for its life” against the
abortionist’s cannula, which causes her to look anew at her
participation in the 22,000 abortions that happened during her tenure.
This begs the question of how one could ever not have known what the
hell was going on, but that’s life, I guess. We must suppress what we
believe we must not accept.
As the Psalmist says (34: 14-15), “Keep your
tongue from evil, your lips from speaking lies. Turn from evil and do
good; seek peace and pursue it.” And that’s what Abby Johnson did, a
change of heart and mind, however, made more difficult for her because
she’d had two abortions herself.
The scenes in which Ashley Bratcher acts through Abby Johnson’s
descent into abject misery and ascent into pro-life glory are very fine
By Grace Carr
Published on January 30, 2019 • 2 Comments
Virginia is considering a bill allowing women to abort their unborn child until the moment the baby is born.
Democratic Delegate Kathy Tran introduced HB2491, or the Repeal Act,
which seeks to repeal the state’s current restrictions on late-term
abortions. If passed, the measure will do away with the state’s
requirement that second and third-trimester abortions be performed only
to preserve the health or life of the woman. A woman seeking to abort
would no longer need to obtain an ultrasound before having an abortion,
under the proposed law.
Currently, three physicians must conclude that
a third-trimester abortion is necessary to preserve the health or life
of the woman. Those requirements are stripped under the proposed
legislation, which also removes the state’s mandate that second and
third-trimester abortions be performed in hospitals.
“The third trimester goes all the way up to forty weeks,” according to Tran, The Republican Standard reported. The bill would allow a doctor to perform an abortion when a woman is dilating, meaning she is about to give birth.
The proposal saw its first subcommittee hearing Monday and has
received support from Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam as well as a number of
Democratic lawmakers, according to the Standard.
“This bill creates abortion, virtually on demand, up until the point
of birth,” Family Foundation President Victoria Cobb said, condemning
the proposal, the Standard reported. The group’s mission is to
“empower families in Virginia by applying a biblical worldview and
founding principles to culture and public policy,” according to its website.
The proposal comes after New York passed a bill Jan. 22 expanding abortion access and codifying a woman’s right to abort under state law. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed the Reproductive Health Act, removing abortion from the state’s criminal code and allowing women
to have abortions after 24 weeks in cases where “there is an absence of
fetal viability, or at any time when necessary to protect a patient’s
life or health,” according to the legislation.
Nurse practitioners, physician assistants and qualified health care professionals can provide abortions under New York’s new law.
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….Evil grows when good men do nothing……….. We must pray for the souls of the unborn, the women aborting their children, and those killing the unborn. May God forgive us all. Then we must stand up and say NO MORE to our elected officials.
New York State Downgrades From ‘Nineveh’ to ‘Sodom’ With New Abortion Law
Lucas van Leyden, “Lot and his Daughters,” detail.
On Tuesday, New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, delighted that the New York legislature passed the Reproductive Health Act which would allow mothers to kill (pardon me, abort) their babies up until birth, celebrated this legalized murder by ordering that the spire at One World Trade Center, the Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge, the Kosciuszko Bridge and the Alfred E. Smith Building in Albany all be lit in pink on Tuesday night.
So the bridge named for a Catholic Revolutionary war hero, and the building named for the first Catholic presidential candidate lit up to celebrate infanticide. And the Freedom Tower, which stands on the graves of 3,000 New Yorkers, glowed pink to welcome the deaths of thousands more.
The bridge named for Gov. Mario Cuomo? There’s no irony there. The father of the current abortion fanatic governor of my home state, old Mario did indeed serve as a bridge. He provided the bad arguments and phony lofty rhetoric that gave Catholics permission to endorse the death of children. He had the sheer gall to make such a speech at the University of Notre Dame, and even quote St. Thomas More. (A statesman who died rather than put Caesar’s power over God’s.)
And Democrat Catholic intellectuals, how they praised Mario for his “nuance.”
Abortion Right Up Till Birth, in the State Constitution
There’s nothing nuanced about the bill his son shoved through the NY legislature. How bad is this law? LifeNews explains:
The so-called Reproductive Health Act goes beyond Roe v. Wade, allowing unborn babies to be aborted even when the U.S. Supreme Court has said states may restrict abortions. Late-term abortions, which currently are illegal in New York, would be allowed, and non-doctors would be allowed to perform them. …
The law appears to restrict late-term abortions, but it adds a broad “health” exception for abortions after 24 weeks. The exception would allow women to abort unborn babies up to nine months of pregnancy for basically any reason, including “age, economic, social and emotional factors,” according to New York Right to Life.
It also redefines a “person” as “a human being who has been born and is alive,” and describes abortion as a “fundamental right.”
The legislation poses serious dangers to women’s lives and rights as well. By removing protections from illegal abortions, the law will open the door for abuses. According to New York RTL, back alley abortionists, abusive partners or parents and others no longer will face charges for illegally killing an unborn baby – even if the mother wants her child.
“In early December, a resident of Saratoga County was arrested for punching the stomach of a woman who was 26 weeks pregnant in an attempt to cause a miscarriage. The man was charged with abortion in the second degree, but under the RHA, the attacker would not have been charged with a felony,” according to the Catholic News Service.
Here’s how the New York legislature greeted the passage of the bill:
Now all this legal and medical talk can be quite abstract. I think we need to see and hear exactly what we’re talking about. Please watch the Live Action video below, which illustrates what a late-term abortion entails. Its narrator? A penitent former abortionist.
Seriously. Stop reading and watch the video. But have a rag or a box of tissues ready. Because if you’re not a sociopath, you’re going to weep.
A Return to Pagan Cruelty
I’ll give you time to recover. Now think of the Freedom Tower, the office building, the bridges, all burning with pussyhat pink to celebrate that happening.
That is what the Democratic party stands for.
We have indeed returned to the ways of pagan Rome. In Rome, a child was not considered human unless he was wanted. By his father, who had to pick up the child and acknowledge it. Otherwise it got sold into slavery or left outside to die. The only difference now is that it’s the mother who must want the child. And the Romans were too squeamish to outright murder the child. They left that to the elements. Often, Christians or Jews would come and rescue the kids.
We can’t do that now. Such progress, in 2,000 years.
New York’s Catholic bishops are rightly condemning this evil law. But they did little to stop it. For decades, they’ve let “Catholics” like the Cuomos pose as faithful members of our church. Even let them receive Holy Communion.
When I grew up, pro-life politicians had a fighting chance. The Right to Life Party (I was a member) even had a slot on the ballot. That was before a massive wave of low-skill immigration flooded the state with new pro-choice voters. The bishops welcomed that flood, trotting out phony moralistic complaints about any enforcement of borders. Their coffers fattened with federal contracts to serve those immigrants, who also filled their otherwise emptying pews. Did the bishops make any effort to convince these new Catholic Americans to vote in defense of life, instead of more government giveaways? Not that I ever heard from the pulpit.
This tragedy is theirs, too. They should own it. They should light their cathedrals in pink.
Men of God as the leader of your family are you fully engaged. This would be a good sermon to hear from the pulpit.
Is abortion right, or is it wrong? It’s the big question that’s lost in a societal debate that’s mostly focused on legality. But, really, whether it’s right or wrong is the most important question about abortion. Donate today to PragerU! http://l.prageru.com/2ylo1Yt
When I tell people I’m an ex-feminist, some seem shocked and offended, as if I were suggesting the world isn’t round. Others get a look of joy upon their faces, as if they’re thinking, “Oh, how wonderful that someone else feels the same way I do!”
I’m certainly not opposed to women going to college, nor do I think women should be prohibited from pursuing their dreams, whether that means motherhood, medicine, or meteorology. As someone who lived the feminist agenda for many years, however, I can attest that giving women more access to education and careers is the mere tip of the feminist iceberg. If you dig a bit deeper, you find a soul-numbing array of lies.
The first lie took me years to see through. Although I’d been raised in a staid Catholic household, during my junior year in college I abandoned the Faith as well as my moral principles. By the time I was in graduate school, the Women’s Liberation Movement was rumbling through campus, and one of the rallying cries was “free love.” This saying had nothing to do with the reality of the behavior, which involved engaging in loveless sex with strangers, as if it were just another ordinary activity.
As a budding feminist, I bought into the mistaken notion that casual sex caused no harm to men, and thus it should be perfectly fine for women as well. After all, feminists were intent on leveling the male/female playing field, which meant dismantling traditions like marriage and commitment, and, in the process, encouraging women to imitate masculine behavior.
It was emotionally painful becoming intimate with men whom I hardly knew and trying to pretend I didn’t expect a relationship – or even another date – but I assured myself that my emotions would eventually change. Despite the fact that my female friends and I kept getting our hearts broken, we didn’t arrive at the obvious conclusion, which was that feminism had it all wrong.
Women are created by God to connect sex with commitment and love, since we know in the deepest recesses of our hearts that a baby is the obvious purpose of sexual intimacy. Since I was too naïve to see through the lie, I concluded that I had to give the new experiment more time, and I would eventually achieve true “liberation.”
I was also ensnared in the web of the second big lie of feminism, which proceeds directly from the first. Feminists are well aware that casual sex can lead to pregnancy, even when a couple is using contraception. There simply is no device or chemical that can completely guarantee a pregnancy won’t result from sex.
Feminists, however, don’t see this obvious fact as a good reason to avoid pre-marital sex. Instead, in their continued attempt to break the God-ordained tie between sex and babies, they propose another “solution,” one that has led to the deaths of millions of innocents since abortion was legalized.
Tragically, I was one of the women who bought into this deception. I truly thought that a woman’s freedom to pursue education or a career trumped an innocent baby’s right to be born. Thus, when I found myself pregnant but unmarried, I chose what I thought would be a simple solution. In all the feminist articles I pored over – and there were quite a few – no mention was made of the emotional repercussions that so often result when a woman ends a pregnancy.
I made the appointment at a feminist clinic, walked in, and signed the paperwork. In my mind, what was about to happen was as matter of fact as a tooth extraction. What I didn’t realize was that I was about to experience the first chink in my feminist armor, because the “procedure,” as I referred to it, was horrifyingly painful, both physically and emotionally.
In truth, as I left the clinic that day, I felt a rush of relief because the immediate “problem” was over. What I didn’t realize was that I would be facing many years of much more serious problems, as my womanly emotions reacted with horror and regret over what had really happened that day.
I began experiencing flashbacks and nightmares. I would see a baby in a mall and feel tears stinging my eyes. I also felt terribly alone because even my feminist friends, many of whom surely had undergone the same “procedure,” studiously avoided any mention of their own abortions.
As the years passed, I was filled with a bitter, unending regret. No matter what the feminist pundits claimed in the scholarly articles they churned out, the truth of the matter became blatantly clear: I had taken a life and I would never quite get over it.
When I returned to the Catholic Church in my forties, I finally freed myself from feminism’s many deceptions. I saw that it is impossible to claim to be pro-woman while also being anti-baby. I realized that in the feminist game plan, children are the big losers. And it was only through a mature understanding of Catholicism that I discovered what it means to be pro-woman in a sane and beautiful way.
Looking at a figure of Mary gazing with love at the Christ Child in her arms reveals the truth that triumphs, once and for all, over the lies of feminism. There is a deep, abiding connection between mother and child – and taking babies away from their mothers leads to devastating results for both.
I found forgiveness through the sacrament of Confession, and finally experienced emotional healing through a Catholic ministry called Post Abortion Treatment and Healing. The deep scars left from feminism, however, will never be completely gone.
If I could turn back the hands of time, I would let that little baby thrive. Like millions of other women who regret their abortions, I’d give anything to gaze on the little face of my precious baby, who never saw the light of day.
*Image:Madonna and Child by Giovanni Bellini, 1510 [Pinacoteca di Brera, Milan, Italy] This was among Bellini’s last paintings, completed when he was 80.