Actress Ashley Bratcher, the star in the upcoming pro-life movie "Unplanned" about famed Planned Parenthood defector Abby Johnson, has her own history with abortion. Actually, she would have no history at all had her mother made a different choice while she was pregnant.
Speaking with "Fox & Friends" this week, Bratcher opened up about how her role in "Unplanned" ultimately led her down a path of discovery about her own origins. Though she had pro-life leanings prior to the role, she had no idea who Abby Johnson actually was.
"I was given just six pages. Six pages that ignited my curiosity," she said. "How could this incredibly [devoted] woman one day change her mind about everything she believed in? There had to be more to the story."
After joining Planned Parenthood in 2001, Abby Johnson rose to become the Clinic Director of the Bryan, Texas, facility and was one of the abortion chain's top employees. In 2009, however, she experienced a change of heart when she aided in an ultra-sound-guided abortion procedure on a 13-week old fetus. In her memoir, she recalled how the baby squirmed in fright as the vacuum tore it from its mother's womb.
"For the briefest moment," she wrote, "the baby looked as if it were being wrung like a dishcloth, twirled and squeezed. And then it crumpled and began disappearing into the cannula before my eyes. The last thing I saw was the tiny, perfectly formed backbone sucked into the tube, and then it was gone."
The traumatic event caused such a stir in Johnson that she resigned from her post at Planned Parenthood and never looked back. Today, she is one of the most passionate figures in the pro-life movement.
The more Bratcher learned of Johnson's story in preparing for the role, the more she became "convicted" about the project's mission. Later, when she finally talked to her mom about the film's plot, she learned the truth about her own life's preciousness.
"I need to tell you something that I've never told you before. I was going to abort you," Ashley claims her mom told her over the phone.
Ashley's mother already had an abortion three years prior. She went all the way to the clinic to have it performed before changing her mind. "I was at the clinic sitting on the table when the nurse who was very pregnant came in to talk to me. I felt sick. I couldn't do it. I got up and walked out ... and I chose you," Ashley says her mom told her.
Ashley is grateful to God that she was allowed to live so that she could tell her story.
"I'm grateful that God, through His providence, planted me here to tell my story — and that I have the privilege of sharing this film with the world," says Ashley. "And yes, I do secretly hope that one of the outcomes of all of these 'coincidences' is that many will find the courage my mother found when she listened to her conscience and made the choice that gave me life."