The movie “Unplanned” presents a deceptive depiction of what occurs during a 13-week abortion procedure, according to a specialist in OB-GYN.
The film tells the story of former Planned Parenthood clinic director Abby Johnson, who worked at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Bryan, Texas, and left the organization after assisting in an ultrasound-guided abortion of a 13-week-old unborn baby.
The movie shows Johnson in anguish as she recounts assisting with the procedure, saying, “It [the unborn baby] was like it was twisting and fighting for its life.” The film’s trailer shows part of the scene.
“If you watch an ultrasound, certainly there is movement, but it’s not kicking its legs or recoiling,” Jennifer Villavicencio, a fellow at the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, told The New York Times, contesting the film’s depiction.
ACOG is a nonprofit “premier professional membership organization dedicated to the improvement of women’s health,” according to its website. Its fellows are board-certified OB-GYNs “whose professional activities are devoted to the practice of obstetrics and/or gynecology, who possess unrestricted licenses to practice medicine, and have attained high ethical and professional standing.”
While the head and body of a 13-week-old fetus will likely be visible on an ultrasound image, it will not squirm and kick around to get away, Villavicencio said.
She added that there is wide agreement among doctors that unborn babies cannot feel pain at 13 weeks gestation and will not recoil from a medical device as the film depicts.
“There is no neurological capability for awareness of danger — that part of the brain is simply not there yet,” Villavicencio said.
Villavicencio said she has not seen “Unplanned.”
The film’s writers and directors Cary Solomon and Chuck Konzelman defended the ultrasound scene as true to Johnson’s personal testimony, TheNYT reported. Retired OB-GYN and pro-life activist Anthony Levatino vetted the scene, the directors said. Levatino performed more than 1,200 abortions in his early career.
Levatino plays the abortion doctor in the film.
“I clearly saw a baby on that screen. When the abortion instrument brushed that 13-week-old fetus, it obviously recoiled. The abortionist told me that’s what they always do. I was shocked. Then I saw that baby die before my own eyes,” Johnson told The Daily Caller News Foundation.
Johnson was Planned Parenthood’s youngest director of a clinic in the nation. She helped more than 22,000 women have abortions during her time at the clinic. Planned Parenthood named Johnson employee of the year in 2008.
She worked at the abortion provider for eight years before leaving the group in 2009. Johnson had two abortions before leaving Planned Parenthood. (RELATED: ‘Unplanned’ Hits Theaters, Recounts The Em0tional Story Of A Former Abortion Clinic Worker)
The movie nearly tripled box office expectations, bringing in $6.1 million opening weekend, despite a temporary Twitter suspension of its “UnplannedMovie” account because Twitter thought the account was associated with a user who violated platform policy. The ban was lifted after pushback from fans and media.
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