James Hirsen spent his March 25 Newsmax column gushing over the then-upcoming movie "Unplanned," cheering on the story it tells:
The movie boldly tells the true story of Abby Johnson, one of the youngest individuals in the country to ever have served as a Planned Parenthood clinic director.
After working at an abortion clinic for eight years and winning an “Employee of the Year” award, Abby had the enormously disturbing yet incredibly enlightening experience of having to assist with an ultrasound-guided abortion. What she witnessed was absolutely horrendous: a tiny baby inside the womb, who was in the struggle of his or her life, having to suffer through the gruesomeness of dismemberment.
Following the experience, Abby summoned up the courage necessary to leave her financially lucrative position and extensive employment stint. She walked away from the nation’s largest abortion provider and set out to launch a ministry that would help other former Planned Parenthood employees to transition out of abortion related work.
Except that's not the "true story" at all. As we documented, Planned Parenthood has stated that there were no ultrasound-guided abortions on the day that Johnson claims, Johnson did not assist on any abortion that day, and the only abortion patient that day who comes closest to the person described in Johnson's story was too early in her pregnancy to require the use of ultrasound. (Johnson stands by her version of the story and suggested Planned Parenthood doctored records to make her look bad.)
The rest of Hirsen's column is straight PR for the movie as well, parroting the producers' complaints that the film got an R rating for graphic scenes and complaining that "a teenage girl can obtain an actual abortion without her parent’s permission, but the same teenage girl is not allowed admission into a theater, minus the supervision of an adult, to view a film that includes a scene that merely depicts the real life procedure." Sticking to the script, Hirsen doesn't dare ask why the producers couldn't simply make cuts to the scene to achieve a PG rating.
Hirsen concluded his column with an over-the-top endorsement: "In honor of all the babies who have had to endure the procedure that Abby witnessed and worse, let’s all go see 'Unplanned,' and perhaps we can escort some teens and other youth who are secondary victims in this whole abortion tragedy."