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One of America's Most Contentious Issues Brought to Theaters in Three Important Upcoming Films

Josh Shepherd : Jul 11, 2018 :

With a battle looming over the Supreme Court, three pro-life films are set to release in coming months. These include a biopic on Planned Parenthood whistleblower Abby Johnson, a crime drama on convicted abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell and one on the pivotal Roe v. Wade case.

[] One's already controversial and it isn't even out yet. Few seemed to have noticed the other two. Over the past five years, three teams of filmmakers have been working to tell true stories that reveal the humanity of lives in the womb. All three are on track to release in the next seven months. (Images: Wikimedia/ Collage: The Stream)

"Unplanned" is based on the memoir of former Planned Parenthood director Abby Johnson. "Gosnell: The Trial of America's Biggest Serial Killer" is a crime drama set in urban Philadelphia. Linked closely to pro-life leaders, these films appear to be a step up from past efforts "Bella," "Voiceless" and "October Baby."

Those are the two [that] the mainstream—and pro-choice—media hasn't yet noticed. The media have noticed Nick Loeb's "Roe v. Wade." And they don't like it.

Unplanned Journey of Planned Parenthood Whistleblower

In October 2009, one Texas woman caused a national uproar when she quit her job. Abby Johnson had worked at the local Planned Parenthood near College Station, Texas, for eight years. She started as a volunteer and worked up to clinic director.

Heart-Connecting Stories

"Stories have a way of disarming people and connecting with them on a heart level," says Christina Marie Bennett. A Connecticut activist, she starred in the short film Pro-Life Feminist.

"They go past defense mechanisms and straight into their hearts. Films allow us to empathize and relate on a human level with another person," she says. "You can't argue with someone's testimony."

She thinks having three very different films release can be a good thing. "There's all this variety in the pro-life movement. We're a diverse group—there are secular and Christian pro-lifers, people of every ethnicity. Oftentimes our stories are not being told on CNN and MSNBC."

Long involved in pregnancy care outreach, Bennett thinks the best stories are born from personal experiences. "We don't have to doctor anything up or try to make an appealing story. What we do is beautiful. It brings hope to peoples' lives. All we have to do is just tell it."

"The more we do that, the more people's eyes will be opened," she concludes. "It will counter the lies that are out there."

As told in her memoir "Unplanned," the women's rights advocate found the work "wonderfully rich and satisfying" at first. Johnson took pride in how their team efficiently distributed forms of contraception to avoid more costly clinical abortions. For years, she never saw an abortion procedure firsthand. Then a visiting doctor asked Johnson to assist him in the exam room.

A remarkable series of events followed, including a clandestine meeting with pregnancy help leaders next door, a shocking local TV interview and a legal gag order from Planned Parenthood. The abortion rights group lost their statewide spokesperson, while the pro-life movement gained a new perspective.

She made public in 2014 that Cary Solomon and Chuck Konzelman, writers of the $60 million independent blockbuster "God's Not Dead," had inked a deal to produce her story as a major motion picture. "Unplanned" is slated to release February 22, 2019.

Details have been scarce, though the producers of this spring's surprise hit "I Can Only Imagine" are reportedly involved.

'Superman' Brings Serial Killer Gosnell to Justice

In early 2010, disturbing reports of an abortion center in west Philadelphia became too numerous for authorities to ignore.

When the FBI and Philadelphia investigators raided the offices of Dr. Kermit Gosnell, what they found shocked them. Unsanitary exam rooms reeked of blood. Baby body parts were kept in jars.

Gosnell was convicted of three murders and more than 200 counts of violating state abortion laws. He is serving three life sentences in a state prison. After being partially told in the documentary "3801 Lancaster: American Tragedy," a scripted version of the story will finally hit theaters this fall...

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