Later this month, the “Unplanned” movie will open in theatres in the U.S. This film tells the story of Abby Johnson, former Planned Parenthood director, now vocal pro-life advocate. The film, based on a book of the same name, tells how Abby’s first involvement in an actual abortion procedure caused her to quit her job and become an advocate for life.
Before reaching theaters, the film needed a rating, and the Motion Picture Association of America gave the film an “R” rating, meaning minors cannot go to the movie without parental consent.
Seem strange? An R-rating makes sense – abortion is deliberate, calculated violence, and surgical abortions are horrific to witness. We don’t want our young people exposed to the dismemberment of born children, so we shouldn’t want them exposed to the graphic dismemberment of pre-born children either.
But this rating reveals a double standard. This means that a 15-year-old girl can, without her parents’ consent, choose to have an abortion – but that same girl cannot see this film about abortion. On the one hand, we allow minors to have an abortion without parental consent, or even notification. On the other hand, we tell them they are too young to handle the reality of abortion. And then we add society telling them abortion is the answer because they are too young to be a mother. It’s no wonder they’re confused and overwhelmed when facing an unplanned pregnancy.
This should cause us to seriously question what kind of consent these young people are giving when they consent to abortion. Consent should be informed, but if young people are unready to see the reality of abortion, how are doctors ensuring they recognize what they are agreeing to? We continue to work on the idea of parental involvement laws because young people should not be left to make this choice uninformed and alone.
This film has the potential to open eyes to the reality of life in the womb, life that deserves protection regardless of outside circumstances. But many will not see it because abortion is horrific and graphic and ends a life – the very reason this story needs to be told.