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Movies with sex, violence get rated PG-13. Why does pro-life ‘Unplanned’ get an R?

Tony Perkins Tony Perkins

March 19, 2019 (Family Research Council) — The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) doesn't mind slapping a PG-13 label on movies with sex, language, and violence. But when it comes to a film about abortion? They'll give it an R-rating, whether it deserves one or not! Anything to keep more people from knowing the truth about a procedure taking millions of lives a year.

The makers of Unplanned, the true story about former Planned Parenthood worker Abby Johnson, learned that the hard way. A few weeks before their film is set to debut, producers got the shocking news that Hollywood decided the film needed to be restricted to people 18 and older. They insisted it was for "some disturbing, bloody images." But co-director Chuck Konzelman thinks the reason is simpler: politics.

"We made a pro-life movie in a pro-choice town," he told Breitbart. Just as the film industry did with Gosnell, Hollywood seems intent on doing everything it can to limit the impact of their message. It's so hypocritical, fumed Unplanned author Cary Solomon. "The standard used to rate our movie is being applied inconsistently as it relates to bloody images on-screen," he said. "In fact, Happy Death Day 2U (a "slasher" film with several violent murder scenes) has far more blood and gore than our film, and it received a PG-13 rating."

Like Konzelman, he's worried the rating will scare families away — and at exactly the wrong time. After what happened in New York and the new nationwide debate over abortion, Americans have never been more primed to hear and see the truth. Movies like this one are exactly what we need to keep the conversation going. In an open letter, a mix of 29 conservative leaders, actors, and Academy Award-winners ask parents not to be deterred by the MPAA's rating. "... [We] are urging our fellow citizens to, just as they did with The Passion of the Christ, ignore the MPAA's Restricted rating and watch the film anyway when it is released in theaters March 29th."

Who decides what's appropriate for your family to watch, we ask? "Is it a group of unelected parents from Beverly Hills who meet together, watch a film and vote, and ultimately decide for you what is appropriate for your family and what's not? Or is it you, your family, your pastor or priest, and other leaders you respect? Let's not project the values of the 90210 zip code upon the rest of America."

"Abortion is the great evil of our time, resulting in the loss of 50 million–plus of our fellow citizens — and we believe this film has the potential to be what Uncle Tom's Cabin was to slavery: the catalyst for ending it. While we have tremendous respect for the work of the MPAA, in this case we agree with the film's distributor — that R stands for Recommended. And while we don't think this film is for young children, we strongly recommend that this film be seen by as many Americans as possible — including older children."

For a sneak peak at the film, watch the trailer below. Then, for theaters and movie times, check out the Unplanned website.

Published with permission from the Family Research Council.

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