Given the content permitted in some PG-13 movies these days, one has to wonder what it takes to receive an R rating from the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA). Multiple F-bombs, graphic nudity and violence, or extreme gore are usually required to be rated R.
But now we can add telling the truth powerfully and effectively to the list.
The upcoming movie “Unplanned” has no F-bombs. No graphic nudity or violence. Nor any simulated sex or extreme gore. However, it contains plenty of truth — the truth that Hollywood, which celebrates death while coddling sexual predators in the name of political correctness, doesn’t want you to see.
I’ve seen the movie, twice now, and can testify firsthand that the film is a neutron bomb dropped on the child-killing industry. I recently screened it for popular conservative host Glenn Beck, who said afterwards “this is the most impactful” pro-life film he’s ever seen. The film isn’t gratuitous. Its medical realism isn’t even as graphic as the “Dr. Pimple Popper” show on TLC, where audiences watch the doctor take down the most awful-looking cysts in all their surgical glory, bodily fluids included. Common Sense Media only rates that show the equivalent of PG-13.
But “Dr. Pimple Popper” is no threat to the death cult. It doesn’t defy the spirit of the age. I can promise you this, “Unplanned” is all of those things and more. It doesn’t set out to check those boxes as much as tell the story of a strong, independent woman named Abby Johnson. She was once the youngest Planned Parenthood clinic director in the country.
You see her buy all the lies of the sexual revolution and the solutions offered by Planned Parenthood, even when they threaten to be her undoing. Yet the lure of “protecting women” is so strong that she keeps getting drawn back in. Until one day, as the movie’s tagline claims, “what she saw changed everything.” And it’s the fact the audience will see that moment, too, that has one of Planned Parenthood’s Hollywood allies reeling enough to give the movie an R rating, knowing that part of its core audience simply won’t see it because of the rating.
Don’t let them get away with it.
We can argue later whether believers should see R-rated movies or not, or whether such self-imposed bans should include national treasures like “Schindler’s List,” “The Passion,” and “Hacksaw Ridge.” This movie doesn’t approach any of the depictions or content of those three films. It’s just that this movie steps on the neck of one of the shibboleths of the damned in our culture, and they’d rather be damned then let the truth come to light.
“Unplanned” is a light shining in the darkness, and I pray we dare not let the darkness conceal it. This is truth-telling done boldly, with compassion. This movie has the chance to be an “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” for a 21st-century abolitionist movement.
My own mother could have been Abby Johnson, or any of the thousands of women she counseled to terminate their children, 46 years ago. She was pregnant and 15, and suddenly Roe v. Wade gave her permission to end her fear by ending me. But when confronted with the realization that I was her baby, she couldn’t bring herself to do it. Forty-six years later, she’d tell you I was the best mistake she ever made.
Sadly, too many other women fell for the lie. They’ve been carrying that shame and self-loathing with them for far too long. This movie has a message of hope for them, too.
Our culture is careening towards history’s cliff. We have so few opportunities left to turn back the tide. I truly believe this film could be one of them, and that belief is only affirmed by its R rating. The enemy always attacks what he really fears.
For decades, R ratings have mostly been associated with content that requires audience restrictions. Here’s our chance to make that R rating stand for content that inspires audience redemption instead.
Steve Deace is broadcast nationally every day on BlazeTV. He is the author of the book “Truth Bombs: Confronting the Lies Conservatives Believe (To Our Own Demise).”