I had followed the build up to the movie, and its release in the United States through Instagram, and the buzz had been very positive. I had been especially impressed from comments made by people working in abortion clinics about how realistically and sensitively abortion workers had been portrayed. Also noted were the comments from mothers that it was safe to bring children of high school age to the movie.
Apart from knowing that it was the story of how a former Planned Parenthood clinic director had an experience that changed her into an incredibly effective pro-life activist, and that it had been one of the fruits of the 40 Days for Life campaigns, I really didn't know the details of the story.
Before the movie started we were warned that the first 15 minutes of the movie would be the toughest part of the movie to watch. There is some truth to that if you are only counting scenes where there is depiction of blood, but not if you are counting moments of moral horror.
I am grateful for the opportunity to have seen the movie for many reasons.
•to understand the many good yet misguided motivations of those who work in the abortion industry
•to begin to understand how horrendous a chemical abortion (RU486) actually is
•to rejoice in this modern day Damascus Road conversion experience and the story of God's grace, providence and bigger-than-could-have-been-imagined plans
•to be reminded that God does answer long term 'will it ever happen?' prayers in a spectacular manner
•to see the background of the story that I had experienced in real time at broad-brush level through the 40 Days for Life emails during the post World Youth Day 2008 campaigns
•to add another layer of determination and commitment to eradicating abortion from our world
I have no reservations about recommending the movie to anyone:
At the first opportunity after the movie, I read the book which was the source for the screen play. The book is even better than the movie, but I am glad I saw the movie first; and the movie is very faithful to the book.
Since then I have watched the two Journey Home episodes that interviewed Abby Johnson about part of her story that the movie and book do not touch upon, ie her conversion to Catholicism. The first one is from 2014 soon after the release of the book, and the other is from 2019 not long before the movie was released. Both are worth watching.
Her website is worth browsing:
Abby Johnson has a subsequent book of compiled stories from former abortion workers. I have yet to read further than the first 10% of it, but that has been enough to get it onto my purchasing wish list.
This latter book is one of the fruits of Abby's ministry to those who want to leave the abortion industry. The 2019 Journey Home episode talks about how that ministry came to be.
Here is the website for it:
For another redemption story of God's mercy following the experience of abortion:
This story depicts how much coercion plays a part in abortion.
Something that strikes me about these stories is how often women are put in the role of Pontius Pilate, faced with an innocent life that influential people and the crowd are insisting receive the death penalty; and yet the greater guilt is found with those who put the women in this role. What of the boyfriends, husbands, sexual opportunists and sexual predators who have been either active or passive in this coercion? What of their souls? Is there anyone calling them to redemption and conversion?
Dear God, please may we soon see abortion as illegal and unthinkable as slavery. Amen.