Serving Calgary, Red Deer, Edmonton and surrounding areas


by Flyn Ritchie


Why isn’t the movie Unplanned being shown in Canada? More than 200,000 people have signed a CitizenGO online petition demanding that Cineplex “Bring Unplanned to Canada and the World.”

The petition, sponsored by National Campus Life Network, in partnership with Kelowna Right to Life Society, LifeCanada and Respect Life Ministry, states:
Unplanned is a powerful new blockbuster film that chronicles the life of Abby Johnson, a former abortion clinic director whose life and career were turned upside-down by what she saw one day in her clinic.

This is a powerful and eye-opening film that has been piercing through the abortion narrative in the United States. Unplanned has actively moved individuals to the pro-life perspective.

Most notably, in the first two weeks of the movie release, 94 Planned Parenthood workers have contacted Abby Johnson’s organization, And Then There Were None. Also, Unplanned brought in over $6 million US in its opening weekend [now over $18 million], far exceeding Hollywood expectations.

Unplanned was released in the US on March 29, 2019. However, if you live in Canada, you will not be able to view this new film. It appears that the controversial nature of this film is impacting its release. There are no public screenings scheduled anywhere across the nation.

Canadian movie distributors have de facto censored the movie Unplanned from screening in theatres here, says the movie’s producers.

“We have been effectively blocked from distributing the film in Canada,” says producer Lisa Wheeler at an Ottawa news conference May 8.

“What we’re seeing is that the film industry in Canada mirrors the film industry in the United States, in terms of being more politically progressive, left-leaning and pro-choice than the population at large,” says Chuck Konzelman, the film’s writer/producer/director in an email interview. “So our project is essentially anathema to them, and they see excluding us from Canada as ‘positive good’ . . . effectively enacting de facto censorship, without right of appeal.”

The two largest distributors in Canada cited ‘content’ as the issue, “not lack of consumer demand,” Konzelman said.

Cineplex Canada is attracting lots of negative comment on its Facebook page from potential viewers about the fact that it is not showing the film.

A question by John Crane asked, “why Unplanned is not scheduled to be shown in Canadian Cineplex Theatres.”

Their response: “Hello John, when and where a film is shown depends on contractual agreements we have with the film studios. At this time we don’t have any info on their plans to release Unplanned in Canada.”

The producers of Unplanned have not given up on Canada though. The main page of the Unplanned website makes this statement May 14, in a bright red bar across the page:

Unplanned is not coming to Canada. Theaters have refused to allow the movie to be seen. WHAT IS YOUR RESPONSE?”

That statement links to a Canadian Inquiry Form, which encourages interested groups to bring in the film for a special showing. So for now, the best bet for seeing the movie will be at a private showing, but if the petition achieves its aim, it may end up in movie theatres after all.

Canada is a democracy, with open access to a wide range of media. Yet there are limits to tolerance, apparently, when it comes to the issue of abortion.

Mary Wagner has spent five years in jail for peacefully demonstrating outside abortion clinics. The Liberal Party of Canada won’t allow you to run under their banner if you’re a pro-lifer, and they prevented groups which wouldn’t sign on the dotted line from receiving Canada Summer Jobs grants, until forced back by public opinion. Responding to restrictive new abortion laws in the southern States, Tyee writer Dorothy Woodend wrote a strongly-worded article, helping to create an atmosphere which makes it difficult to discuss the issues. She concluded, “But it’s no longer a struggle. Now it’s a war.”

None of these reactions offer any recognition that Canada has no protection whatsoever for human life until birth. Asking for a fair hearing will not get any easier.

Reprinted from