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Martin M. Barillas Martin M. Barillas Follow Martin

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Film industry gives R-rating to ‘Unplanned’ film about Abby Johnson’s pro-life conversion

Martin M. Barillas Martin M. Barillas Follow Martin

LOS ANGELES, February 22, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) gave the soon to be released film “Unplanned” an R rating, citing “some disturbing/bloody images.” MPAA states on its website that the R-rating (Restricted) means that the film cannot be viewed in theaters by anyone under the age of 17 unless there is an "accompanying parent or adult guardian." The film tells the story of former Planned Parenthood manager Abby Johnson’s pro-life conversion.

“UNPLANNED is an ‘R’ rated film which has no MPAA cautions for profanity, nudity, sex or violence … except for violence directly associated with the abortion process,” said writers/directors Cary Solomon and Chuck Konzelman, reported Movieguide

“Ironically, the MPAA seems to be indirectly endorsing the pro-life position: namely that abortion is an act of violence,” they added. They do not plan to contest the rating.

A double irony of the rating did not go past Solomon and Konzelman.

“Even more ironically, as a result of the MPAA’s decision to give us a ‘Restricted’ rating, many teenage women in this country who can legally obtain an actual abortion without parental permission will be prohibited from going to see our film containing simulated images of abortion, without obtaining parental permission,” they said. 

"We are pushing the boundaries of what has never been before on such a wide scale by showing America exactly what abortion is -- and abortion is disturbing. It's violent," said Abby Johnson, whose life and true story the film is based upon. "No one will walk away from seeing this movie and say 'I didn't know.'" 

“Unplanned” is based on the real-life story of Abby Johnson, a former manager of an abortion facility who became a pro-life advocate. The film is an adaptation of Johnson’s best-selling 2010 autobiographical book of the same name. “I thought I was helping women,” said Johnson, who promoted abortion for Planned Parenthood and was celebrated for her work. 

“But I was doing more harm than good. It wasn’t until I saw a child fight for its life that my world came crashing down and I understood the enormity of my actions. I had to leave. No one will be able to walk away after seeing this movie and say ‘I didn’t know,’” she added.

“Unplanned” was written and directed by Soloman and Konzelman, who were the writers and co-producers for “God's Not Dead,” “God's Not Dead 2” and “Do You Believe.”  Filmed in secret and under a different name because of its content, the producers struggled to find a distributor for the film. Major record labels refused to license mainstream pop songs in the movie. 

Last week, the trailer for "Unplanned" reached the top spot on iTunes. Distributed by PureFlix, it will reach 800 screens across the U.S. next month.

The $6 million cost of making the film was partly financed by Mike Lindell, the multimillionaire founder of My Pillow. Lindell is a pro-life Christian who plans to continue supporting Christian films. 

Feb. 23, 2019 update: This story was updated to include MPAA's description of what "R-rated" means.

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