“Planned Parenthood exists because America wants abortions.” A statement made by a corporate rep in the movie “Unplanned,” and an unfortunate truth that should cause every Christian in the country heartache. For those readers who are unaware of the movie and it’s content, “Unplanned” is a movie recounting the career of Abby Johnson with Planned Parenthood and her decision to resign and become one of their greatest critics with firsthand experience of the atrocities of abortion and the nations greatest critic advocate of infanticide.
The movie opens with an active abortion scene, the procedure is shown through the ultrasound. It’s gruesome and real and every single believer in the world ought to see the evil that it shows. Ultimately the need for a movie like this is unfortunate because we have become so desensitized to the issue of abortion that it takes something as shocking as watching the representation of one to wake us out of the complacency that has settled in as a whole concerning the topic.
We must begin with the truth, and the truth is that life is not only valuable to God as He is its creator, but the human was made in God’s image and to destroy a human being in this way is nothing less than to rebel in the most despicable way against Almighty God. Psalm 139:13 “For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.” Every embryo, fetus, and Infant is God’s own gift of life, uniquely knitted together for God’s own purposes. To destroy a life God has given is to rage against God in defiance and to commit the heinous act of murder.
During the film, it was made evident that Abby experienced discomfort during various stages of her involvement from the very moment she decided to volunteer for Planned Parenthood, and I’m so glad that they included the internal conflicts, but the reality is that every single human being has these conflicts when it comes to supporting or participating in an abortion. Romans 2:15 says, “They show that the work of the law is written on their hearts, while their conscience also bears witness, and their conflicting thoughts accuse or even excuse them.” The movie clearly demonstrates the Biblical truth during Abby’s journey. God gave us a conscience, and while we can indeed sear it as scripture states, it is there nonetheless, and thus every person ultimately knows that abortion is wrong, even while they openly deny it. Not only that, but let’s be real, the idea that it’s about “woman’s rights over her own body,” is simply a Strawman argument designed to justify what is known to be wrong. In some sense I also believe a woman has rights over her own body, the problem is that we aren’t talking about her body, are we? Nope, we are talking about the body of another human, the child’s body, and no one has right over that body except God himself. If a woman becomes pregnant, regardless of the situation in which it happened, and before someone says, “But what about rape?”, well, that is included in “regardless.” One horrific sinful act does not justify an even worse sinful act, and yes, in human terms, the abortion of a baby due to rape is worse than the rape itself, both are horrible, but the murder of an innocent child is worse than the violation of one’s own body. Make no mistake, both are sinful and wicked in the sight of God, and neither should be tolerated in society.
The movie presents two questions for the believer in Christ. Firstly, how ought we to respond to the abortion industry and secondly, how ought we respond to those taking advantage of the services the sector provides? The right answer to these questions could, in fact, change the course of abortion in our country. While watching the movie, I thought back to a time where I sat in front of an abortion clinic with the express purpose of observing those who were picketing outside of the fence. It was a valuable lesson and a hard one. What I witnessed, at this particular location was one of hatred and anger and not just toward the act of abortion, but also towards those women who were there to partake in operation. What I realized was that those people, at least a large number of them, were not there to help, but merely to criticize and attack, and all that I could see were representing churches. I was both disgusted at the existence of the clinic, as well as those picketing. They were all committing evil as far as I could tell. “That’s awfully harsh,” you might be thinking, and I agree it is. However, we have to ask ourselves as followers of Jesus Christ, is hatred towards the people engaging in abortions really the example Christ left us? I would argue not. Don’t misunderstand me, I HATE the abortion industry and EVERYTHING that Planned Parenthood stands for, but my heart aches for those tricked into its evil clutches because I believe just that, like Abby Johnson, who opens the movie talking about how naive and ignorant she was to the truth, these young ladies are the same. They are ignorant of the truth, and they have been deceived by the evil one, not without responsibility but deceived nonetheless. This is where we get to step in and change the picture. What these women, and their partners, need is the Gospel. The real Gospel message that lovingly confronts the sin, offers redemption through Christ and a way to an everlasting relationship with God the father. They do not need to know they are going to hell or that they are baby killers. Let’s be real clear here, according to scripture, they know what they are doing is wrong, what they don’t know is the Gospel, and that is the ONLY solution to this issue. Law’s can change and they should, but the heart is deceitful and desperately sick (Jer.17:9), and only the Gospel has the Power to change the heart problem.
I opened this blog with a quote from the movie, “Planned Parenthood exists because Americans want an abortion.” Someone once said, “the only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing,” so what can the church do to help? We don’t need people picketing. We need people offering to help pay for the pregnancy. We don’t need people telling young women they are going to hell. We need people lovingly preaching the Gospel and then offering to adopt the child. We don’t need church representation in front of the clinic. We need churches that have a budget to help women who believe they can’t afford their child to see it through to birth and then we need the church to help raise that child in a Christian community. Until the church does this, we can’t say we really care, we can’t really say we hate abortion, we can’t really say we believe it’s evil until we show that the Gospel controls us in our actions we are nothing but liars and hypocrites ourselves. As James tells us “faith without works is dead” of course every person cannot adopt a child, but we can all share the Gospel message in a loving way. Every church can purpose to never allow a member to abort without offering to assist in every way humanly possible to make sure it doesn’t happen. Last, and certainly not least is prayer, real, dedicated and heartfelt prayer. In the movie there were two groups of people outside of the clinic, there was a group that was there, one group praying, and offering real tangible help to young ladies entering the clinic and another group that had people yelling, holding horrific signs and undoubtedly not displaying Christian character. We are not called to be advocates, or picketers, or rioters, or aggressive in any way, we are called to preach the Gospel and to make disciples and to imitate the character of Christ, we call sin, sin, and we show the way to truth and forgiveness, the Gospel of Jesus Christ.