Irin Carmon, a former Washington Post contributor and fierce abortion supporter, found a novel angle from which to attack the surprise hit pro-life movie Unplanned, “A Hit Anti-Abortion Film Is Inspiring Real-World Harassment.”
No, it isn’t -- and if it is, Carmon failed to present any evidence to support that headline, under her story for New York magazine’s “Cut”:
Calla Hales has been getting the cards, handwritten and preprinted alike, for years. “We can help you QUIT.” “We will help you legally, financially, and emotionally. We know you didn’t grow up wanting to work in an abortion clinic.” The 29-year-old director of four abortion clinics in North Carolina and Georgia once ripped them all up and mailed them back to their sender.
How mature! They continued:
Lately, though, Hales says she’s seen an uptick. The cards now include information on how to see the anti-abortion movie Unplanned for free, and protesters have started standing outside Hales’s clinic in Charlotte with signs that simply read, “See Unplanned.”
“Since Unplanned has come out, I’ve heard more, ‘You can still be like Abby, you can still walk away,’” Hales told me.
Is that the “harassment” Carmon was talking about?
She found some hard-left Abby Johnson truthers (click “expand”):
“Abby” is Abby Johnson, whose memoir is the basis for Unplanned. Johnson herself was a 29-year-old director at a clinic providing abortions -- a Planned Parenthood in Texas -- when she walked into the embrace of the protesters who regularly posted up outside her workplace. In an account that has since been disputed by multiple journalists as well as her former employer, she claimed an ultrasound-assisted abortion and pressure to ramp up procedures had driven her away, and she eventually founded an organization, And Then There Were None, to replicate her own flip.
Among anti-abortion activists, Johnson, like the crisis pregnancy centers at which she regularly speaks, presents a softer, kinder, notably female face. “We’re not protesters,” Johnson told me in an interview this week. “We simply offer help.”
Hales, who says Johnson has been on the sidewalk outside her Charlotte clinic, sees no such distinction. “While Abby thinks it’s not savvy to align herself with the more aggressive harassment,” she says, “she’s not taking responsibility for the harassment her words encourage.”
The story fails to finds the hysterical “harassment” the headline blames on the movie:
Unplanned is slicker, with higher production values than earlier outings. It delights in showing blood and gore and flouting medical facts, like when it suggests a 13-week fetus can feel pain. (Not if you ask the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.) “This movie is ridiculous,” said a Guardian film critic....
And as the hard-left Guardian goes, so goes the hard-left Guardian. In addition, the ACOG is proudly pro-abortion, hardly an objective source on the topic.
Carmon relied on other left-wing journalists to make her case and to assure readers Abby Johnson is lying:
Nine years ago, reporters undermined key parts of Johnson’s story, most crucially her claim that she quit because of a crisis of conscience after witnessing an ultrasound-assisted abortion. In fact, Salon reported that Johnson feared she was about to be fired by Planned Parenthood, which had placed her on a “performance improvement plan,” and Texas Monthly reported that on the night Johnson quit, she posed on Facebook, “They have the nerve to tell me that my job performance is ‘slipping.’ WHAT???!!! That is crazy. Anyone that knows me knows how committed I was to that job. They obviously do not value me at all. So, I’m out and I feel really great about it!” Johnson told the magazine that the post was a cover story as she made her plans to quit.
Near the end, Carmon noted she herself has earned money for speeches at Planned Parenthood affiliate events, talking about her book. (She cowrote a biography of the hot new abortion-rights heroine, Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg.)