“Women need to tell their stories”
By Brittany Smith
When Ashley Bratcher found out she had landed the lead role in the movie Unplanned, she considered herself “personally pro-life,” but admits she didn’t know much about the issue. As she read the script, which tells the story of Abby Johnson, a Planned Parenthood director turned pro-life advocate, Bratcher began to see a different side to the issue.
Then four days into filming, she was on a call with her mom. As her mom listened to Ashley explain the plot of the movie, she began to cry.
She then told Ashley something she had never said to her before.
“When I was 19-years-old, I was at an abortion clinic for the second time in my life. I was sitting on the table when a nurse, who was very pregnant, came in to talk to me. I felt sick and I couldn’t do it. So I got up, walked out and chose to have you.”
In that moment, Ashley was shocked. Here she was telling someone’s pro-life story without ever having known her own before that moment.
She called her father to process what she had just been told and he sobbed on the phone.
“You, being there, making Unplanned is proof to me that God is so real. That he has a plan for your life,” he said.
Ashley knew she had to share her story with the world and encourage more women to tell their own stories.
Save the Storks spoke with her in-depth about why she is so passionately pro-life and what she wants other women to know about the pro-life movement.
Tell us about that moment on the set of Unplanned.
Doing the movie [Unplanned] and finding out four days into filming that my mom had been intending to abort me, that was a near-death experience. I looked back at my life, my family, my friends, and my child’s life and realized it almost never happened. That puts things in perspective and makes [the abortion issue] tangible and real to other people.
When I first heard Abby’s testimony and how she described the [abortion] procedure I felt devastated, because at that point in my life I had a child. I was thinking about my own pregnancy and it wrecked me. I felt angry because Planned Parenthood does a great job of deceiving people. When you learn the facts of the procedure – that compelled me to speak out. I felt lied to. I felt other people needed to know too.
Plus, knowing my life story and the testimony God has given me, I can’t stop talking about it. It proves to me how precious life is.
Why do you think more women should be involved in pro-life?
We often feel like we’re in the minority because the other side is so loud. Planned Parenthood has brilliant marketing and so much money. They convince us [women] you can’t achieve your dreams without having an abortion. It’s important to share our stories because I’ve never met anyone who regrets having their child. More women can share their stories and the beauty of life to show other women they’re not alone.
What do you want other women to know about being pro-life?
Being pro-life has to be rooted in compassion, love and truth. We have to share the truth in a way that is loving and compassionate because no one can argue with that. Root the conversation in empathy, ask questions, be interested in them and the conversation, but also know the facts and why you believe what you believe.
What’s next for you?
I am committed to telling stories about women – especially women overcoming adversity. Me and a friend started a production company called Simple Jane Films. We want to highlight the “simple Jane’s” of the world who have stories that really changed culture – stories rooted in truth and justice. Women who are overlooked in history but have made incredible contributions to society and culture. We have a few true stories in the works about strong women who have changed and impacted culture and how motherhood is part of that.
Read more stories of strong women in pro-life here.
Learn more about Unplanned here.