A new pro-life movie has been deemed inappropriate for young people. The film Unplanned, set for release March 29, recently received an R rating from the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA). The R rating means those under 17 cannot be admitted to the film without an adult. The MPAA's reasoning for the restricted rating was due to "some disturbing/bloody images." Unplanned is the true story of Abby Johnson, a longtime Planned Parenthood employee who left the organization in 2009 and is now a pro-life activist.
The film's producers say it is appropriate for teens of all ages, and that the only violent content is related to actual incidents Johnson suffered from during her own abortions. The film contains no profanity or nudity, they say. "It wouldn't surprise me if some people are motivated to not allow folks to see this movie, or lessen their ability to see it," says Jonathan Saenz, president of Texas Values. "But I don't think that's going to work."
Saenz tells KTRH the film is more topical now than ever, with the recent push by states like New York to legalize late-term abortion. "I think a lot of hearts and minds are going to be opened up, and the movie is going to have an impact, no matter what efforts people engage in to stop or try to discourage people from seeing it," he says.
As for the R rating, Saenz believes it simply reflects the film's realistic depiction of abortion. "I don't think it's a surprise to people that abortion is a very disturbing and a very violent procedure, as viewed by many of us," he says.
Ultimately, the film's strong rating amounts to a cruel irony. "Abby Johnson said it best," says Saenz. "Teenagers can get abortions without parental consent, but they can't go and see this movie without a parent."