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Sunday, 26 May 2019 02:42

"This is real and it is happening in our own communities"

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The story of Abby Johnson's shock turnaround from abortion advocate to vocal pro-lifer is changing the minds and hearts of people from all persuasions in the US. The film has just been shown in private pre-screenings here in Australia; I caught up with producer, Daryl Lefever, to ask him some questions about Unplanned. 
What has been the response from people who've seen your movie: from pro-lifers, pro-abortion people, post-abortive men and women?
People that are already pro-life are put into action.  We have received reports from many pro-life organizations that volunteerism is up, as well and donations.  We also had the Unplanned Challenge, where pro-lifers take an pro-abortion friend and as a result we have received many comments that people have changed their opinion and joined the pro-life cause.  Some pro-abortion folks have tried to discredit the accuracy of the film, but our own doctors and Abby's testimony, as well as the testimony of the more than 500 people that have left the abortion industry, confirm the films true to life depiction.  And we have received countless reactions from women and men that are post abortion and have finally felt freedom from shame to talk about their choices and find forgiveness.
Unplanned has been credited with affecting legislation in the US. Is there any evidence of this being the case?
We have screened the film for several state and federal legislators and in some of those states the legislation has recently changed.  We would like to think that the timing is more than coincidental.  We hope to see more states limit and eventually end abortion.
The abortion scenes are very graphic: I found them extremely confronting, especially the medication abortion scene. How do you justify including such bloody scenes in a movie that you want to appeal to a wide audience? 
We discussed just how graphic we wanted to depict the abortion scenes.  And we felt that unless people see what Abby saw, they won't have a change of heart either.  Having said that, the reality is that the scenes are no more graphic than one might find on prime time television, the difference is that we know this is real and it is happening in our own communities.
Can you talk about some of the experiences people had on set regarding their abortion experiences?   
During filming we had several people open up about their having had abortions in the past.  Some never telling anyone previously.  We knew we were going to help people with the film, but it stared even before the films release.
What would you say to the well-meaning Christians who plan to wait until the movie is out on DVD? 
Theatrical Box Office decides everything.  Opening weekend literally determines how many weeks it will be in theaters, how many screens and down to the detail of the start times of showings.  When the DVD comes out, stores base their inventory on the theatrical box office numbers and how to advertise the film.  It is so important that films get a solid opening weekend in order to even get a wide dvd release.
Daryl and the other members of the production team say they have been inundated by requests from Australians to screen their movie in this country, and are determined to find a way for this to happen.
For more information: click here to watch the Unplanned trailer.
Click here to watch Tim Wilms' (of the Unshackled) interview with Daryl Lever and click here to watch Dave Pellowe's interview with the writers/directors of Unplanned.
One concrete step we can all take in order to help Unplanned come to Australia is to sign and share this petition. The petition is evidence to film distributors that there is a huge Australian market for this powerful pro-life movie. Over 20,000 people have already signed and the next goal is to get to 25,000! Show the @Unplanned movie in cinemas around Australia


Kathy Clubb

Founder and Editor of The Freedoms Project

Kathy has been active in pro-life work for 6 years and was involved in a constitutional challenge to Victoria’s exclusion-zone laws. She is the Melbourne co-ordinator for Family Life International and is a member of the Helpers of God’s Precious Infants. Kathy began writing about pro-life and Catholic issues at Light up the but broadened her range of topics as she came to learn more about the many threats to freedom which are common to all Christians.

Kathy home-educates her youngest 6 children and considers her family to be her most important pro-life work.