In a dim-witted Christian drama part-financed by the disgraced founder of a pillow manufacturer, a woman discovers abortion is evil

It’s been five years since the evangelical Christian production studio Pure Flix had their runaway hit God’s Not Dead. (Listen, when Kevin Sorbo is playing your elitist, latte-drinking, Christ-denying college professor, you can expect success!) The Arizona-based outfit pumps out profitable movies each year, but this Easter season, with Unplanned, they’ve taken a page out of the Hollywood playbook they claim to despise: more sex and gore!

Don’t get too excited. The sex is off-screen, but results in a lot of out-of-wedlock pregnancy. And the gore doesn’t come from action-adventure sequences, but from grisly abortion complications in which chunks of bloody fetal tissue slap against cold tile floors. It’s disgusting, and could even work as effective anti-choice propaganda if it wasn’t so ham-handedly stitched together. Abortion is a serious topic. This movie is ridiculous.

Based on the anti-choice activist Abby Johnson’s memoir (which, it may not surprise you to learn, has been contested), Unplanned is a step backwards for Pure Flix in terms of sheer storytelling and production values. (I’ll be first to concede that God’s Not Dead 3: A Light In Darkness, while ludicrous, at least holds one’s attention.) Unlike recent productions such as Do You Believe?which actually had a slew of well-known performers, there’s only one recognizable face here, Robia Scott (Jenny Calendar on Buffy!) who is quite delicious as Cheryl, the Cruella DeVil-esque division head of the Texas Planned Parenthood.

Cheryl is Abby’s (Ashley Bratcher) boss, and it’s through Abby, the wide-eyed volunteer-turned-administrator looking to “keep abortion rare” that Unplanned gets us inside the demonic, bloodstained halls of America’s most heinous baby-killing factory. (One which the film says, and I swear I’m not making this up, is “backed by Soros”.)

Abby is drawn to Planned Parenthood at a college recruitment drive for its women’s health services. (“We discovered someone has cancer today!” is a weirdly cheery line in this film.) Of course, once part of the machinery, Abby learns the awful truth. “Non-profit is a tax status, not a business model!” she is scolded. We also get a convoluted lesson in weird economics. “Fast-food outlets break even on their hamburgers. The french fries and soda are the low-cost, high-margin items. Abortion is our fries and soda!” If Abby wants to keep her 401K and health benefits, she’s gotta keep the abortions coming at all costs!

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