Police in Canada are now investigating alleged death threats made to theater owners who plan to show the pro-life film Unplanned. The film is scheduled to premier in Canada on July 12.
Unplanned tells the story of former Planned Parenthood clinic director Abby Johnson. Johnson transformed from Planned Parenthood’s “employee of the year” and an abortion clinic manager into a pro-life activist after witnessing an ultrasound-guided suction aspiration abortion.
At least two Canadian independent theater owners have reported receiving death threats over their decision to screen the pro-life movie. The death threats have caused the film’s producers to remove a comprehensive listing of all 46 theaters across Canada where the film was scheduled to appear.
Another theater owner was reportedly “harassed to the extreme.”
The producers removed the theater listings from their website owing to a request by B.J. McKelvie, a pastor and the president of Cinedicon, the film’s Canadian distributor. According to McKelvie, the threats were aimed at independent theater owners rather than large chain theater operators. “They didn’t get anywhere with Cineplex, or they didn’t get anywhere with Landmark,” McKelvie noted.
“It’s unfortunate it’s come to that,” McKelvie said. “It’s just a movie. The topic is certainly a hot topic. However, it is just a movie. I find it ironic, they talk about choice, pro-choice, pro-choice, pro-choice, but they’re not giving people a choice to go see the movie.”
At least one theater has chosen to cancel public showings of Unplanned out of fear for the safety of staff and management. In British Columbia, the Salmar Classic has pulled its scheduled five-day run of the film.
Salmar Community Association board member Chris Papworth explained: “We have a track record of showing things from a variety of points of view…. We try not to preclude things because of whatever personal opinions may exist on our board or something like that.”
Papworth noted that it’s not unusual for people to complain about the subject matter of films showing at the Salmar theaters. “What’s different here.… Certainly in the past, there hasn’t been an effort to dox employees, or, specifically, the general manager by releasing their personal information on social media and then encouraging people to go after them as the one responsible for some heinous act.”
“We just aren’t prepared for those levels of hostility towards our general manager,” Papworth concluded.
Some theaters in Canada have arranged for increased security during screenings of Unplanned.
Canada’s mainstream media has joined the Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada (ARCC) in bashing the film’s release, calling it “propaganda” and “dangerous.”
In a statement, the AARC, which refers to itself as “Canada’s only national political pro-choice advocacy group,” gave their unique spin on the film:
The American film "Unplanned,” soon to be screened in a few Canadian theaters, is a dangerous piece of anti-abortion propaganda. It preaches an absolutist and extreme case against abortion that has nothing to do with reality. Because of the film’s demonization of abortion providers, pro-choice advocates fear that the movie could incite fanatics to commit acts of harassment or violence against clinics or doctors.
In other words, the film might provoke pro-lifers to act the same way that abortion apologists are acting because a film they disagree with is being shown. The AARC’s statement crosses the line of irony into complete absurdity.
Also, does 46 theaters nationwide qualify as just a “few”?
But the ARCC did get one thing right. Unplanned and Abby Johnson’s story is “dangerous” to them. A former star employee of Planned Parenthood, one of the largest infanticide providers in the world is exactly what the pro-abortion movement — which covets secrecy — doesn’t need.
Despite an active and hostile campaign against it, Unplanned, with a budget of only $6 million, reached number four in the United States at the box office and has thus far earned at least $18 million dollars. And now, Abby Johnson has announced plans to open a Canadian chapter of her ministry to abortion workers, And Then There Were None.
Abby Johnson told supporters during a July 2 webinar, “I think people in Canada … their pro-life voices are absolutely being silenced. Bringing Unplanned to Canada was sort of a way for them to feel like they’re getting their power back. They’re getting their voice back.”
Photo: andresr / E+ / Getty Images Plus