Unplanned, a recently produced movie about abortion, has been rated “R” by the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA).
Now, just what could be R-rated in a Christian movie about abortion?
MPAA gives the following guidelines about the R-rating for movies:
“R: Restricted – Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian. Contains some adult material. Parents are urged to learn more about the film before taking their young children with them.”
Of course, the adult material means that the film may contain abusive language, graphic violence, nudity, sex scenes, drug abuse, etc.
Unplanned does not contain any of these elements. The movie is the story of Abby Johnson, a former Planned Parenthood clinic director who resigned after witnessing an abortion at the clinic.
In her memoirs, Unplanned, she recalled being asked to assist in an abortion at 13 weeks gestation. That was in September 2009.
Before that time, she had believed that a foetus could feel nothing while being aborted.
But that day, observing – via ultrasound – the foetus squirming and twisting to avoid the vacuum tube changed her beliefs forever!
She writes: “For the briefest moment, the baby looked as if it were being wrung like a dishcloth, twirled and squeezed. And then it crumpled and began disappearing into the cannula before my eyes. The last thing I saw was the tiny, perfectly formed backbone sucked into the tube, and then it was gone.”
Johnson resigned a few days later, on October 6, 2009, and has since become a very ardent and compelling pro-life activist.
Of course, the powerful Planned Parenthood organisation and its pro-choice allies in Hollywood were not about to welcome a film that railed against abortion.
Their influence reaches far and wide, and they intended to do everything in their power to stop, or at least discredit, this new movie.
It is quite amazing that while the filmmakers thought they were certainly making a PG-13 film, the MPAA viewed the movie differently.
The association informed the studio that the film would be given an R rating for “some disturbing/bloody images”, unless it removed or altered all the abortion scenes.
However, the producers do not intend to change anything about the movie before its release on March 29, 2019.
Cary Solomon and Chuck Konzelman, the co-writers and co-directors of the film, issued the following statement:
“We consider the MPAA’s current standards to be deeply flawed, insofar as they allowed scenes of remarkably graphic sex, violence, degradation, murder and mayhem to have a PG-13 rating, whereas our film, highlighting the grave dangers of abortion in a straightforward manner, is considered dangerous for the American people to view.” (Article by Leah Marie-Ann Klett, Christian Post February 25, 2019 www.christianpost.com).
Clearly something is afoot here.
“A 15-year-old girl can get an abortion without her parent’s permission but she can’t see this movie without adult supervision? That’s sad,” says the executive VP of Pure Flix, the film’s distributor. (Hollywood Reporter).
MPAA took particular issue with a number of scenes. One showed a doctor looking at a computer screen showing the image of a foetus post-abortion. Another was the “grainy, black and white sonogram images” of a baby in the womb.
However, by giving this film an R-rating, the MPAA is unwittingly supporting the belief that “anything that has to do with abortion is an act of extreme violence”. (Konzelman, in an interview with the Catholic News Agency www.catholicnewsagency.com).
Ironically, this is the viewpoint of the movie’s producers; and their purpose is to inform the public of the disastrous consequences of abortion.