In a country where politicians either espouse abortion as a human right to be promoted on a global scale or promise never to bring up the issue again, Unplanned has sent some much-needed shock waves into the Canadian conversation. Unless you’re involved in the pro-life movement, Canadians don’t talk about abortion much. So, with voices out in force on both sides of this issue, we need to take a moment to consider the irony at play in this debate, as well as check a couple of facts.
When it comes to irony, one prominent theme gets first place. Abortion activist Joyce Arthur raised concerns that the film Unplanned could incite viewers to violence against abortion providers, and her quote to the effect ran in nearly every piece of news coverage prior to the film’s release. After it’s release, this theme continued full force. In fact, however, the movie was not run in some locations due to threats of violence by abortion activists. This is much more in line with recent history, as pro-life activists have come under assault by abortion activists.
One might be excused for their confusion when Joyce Arthur’s organization, the Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada, had a post on their Facebook page this week about theater workers’ rights. After staying silent on the threats, they speak up for an employee unhappy that she has been told not to share her pro-abortion views while selling tickets. This anonymous employee now feels traumatized and unsafe at work. They say, and I quote, “We are very concerned about worker’s rights, and what it means to have a safe workplace.”
I’m confused. Do they care about worker’s rights, or don’t they? Does it depend on the worker, and their beliefs? Because pro-lifers care about human life, full stop. Race, gender, religion, morals, employment – none of these come into play when declaring the inherent value of human life. For abortion activists, the dehumanizing of pre-born children seems to have extended in their thinking to born humans as well: some are simply more worthy of protection than others.
Aside from theoretical physical violence, journalist Barry Hertz writes that “[i]n a climate where the rights of women are being actively rolled back …this movie feels particularly weaponized.” Well yes, this film is being used in the fight against complacency, apathy, and evil. The fact that it is recognized as a weapon indicates the awareness that we are in a battle when it comes to the abortion debate.
Hertz continues: “Those who want to deny women abortions may genuinely believe a murder is taking place, or they may just be driven to control women’s bodies.” These are two very different reasons for wanting to end abortions. It matters very much which one is true. Does Hertz, or anyone in favour of abortion, keep their mind open to the possibility that a murder actually is happening when an abortion is performed?
Then there are the accusations of inaccuracy. Even a biased watching of the film, and the most basic awareness of Planned Parenthood as an organization, should have put these arguments to rest. Planned Parenthood was willing to fight Abby Johnson with all they had. They had nothing, and a court recognized that in less than an hour. They still have nothing. This film isn’t the first we’ve heard from Abby Johnson: she wrote a book by the same title, Unplanned, and if it had been slanderous or libelous, or in any way dangerous to women or wildly inaccurate about the truth of abortion, Planned Parenthood would have shut it down long before it ever got to the big screen.
The truth is, biographical stories aside, abortion is bloody and ugly, and ends the life of a weaker human being for the benefit of a stronger human being. Those who value life have always valued information because science has always been on their side. The abortion propaganda machine paints itself as the protector of women’s rights, while simultaneously trying to deny them full information. Never has this been clearer than right now, in their panicked reaction to a fringe film that shows both a chemical and a surgical abortion for exactly what they are.