'Unplanned' actress launches scholarship for college students facing unplanned pregnancies

A scene from 'Unplanned,' in theaters March 29, 2019.
A scene from "Unplanned," in theaters March 29, 2019. | Photo: unplanned

The actress who portrayed Abby Johnson in the pro-life film 'Unplanned' has launched a scholarship fund for college students facing unplanned pregnancies. 

In a video posted on her Facebook page last week, Ashley Bratcher announced that she was partnering with Heartbeat International to offer scholarships to mothers facing unplanned pregnancies "so they can continue pursuing their dreams while raising their children.” 

The actress said in a news release that she had received "an overwhelming number" of messages from women impacted by "Unplanned" after its release earlier this year.

"Some described the sacrifices they made in choosing life, and some were currently facing unplanned pregnancies that they feared would interfere with completing or attending college. It was then that I realized the need to reverse the negative stigma surrounding unplanned pregnancies,” Bratcher said on the fundraising site for the scholarship fund.

“Women CAN pursue their careers, live out their dreams, and have richer, more fulfilling lives while balancing motherhood," she added. "Sometimes, it just takes a little help. I wanted to be a part of empowering mothers to chase their dreams and to provide a means for those who chose life to continue their educations.”

The opening date of the application process for potential candidates has yet to be announced.

Bratcher went on to say that many women are not aware of the support and resources available to them through pregnancy centers and other agencies. And the scholarship is another way to show them that they are not alone.

“Heartbeat International is an organization that represents the essence of all that I believe the pro-life movement should be. Women are supported, empowered, loved, and never judged. Working with Heartbeat is an opportunity to direct women to the support that so many of them are seeking. Not only will the scholarship financially support the decision of mothers to continue their education but it will also connect them to an organization that will support them throughout their pregnancy and beyond,” she said.

Jor-El Godsey, president of Heartbeat International, is lauding partnership. 

“Tucked into 'Unplanned' is a vivid reminder that education can present an obstacle to accepting the new life within,” he said. 

“The Unplanned Movie Scholarship will be a lifeline to a young mom’s future as she makes the brave choice to embrace motherhood.”

The movie 'Unplanned,' which is based on Abby Johnson's 2013 memoir of the same name, was filmed in Stillwater, Oklahoma, last year and was released in March. 

Johnson now leads And Then There Were None, a nonprofit organization that helps abortion clinic employees leave the abortion industry and find other employment.  

Filmmakers Chuck Konzelman and Cary Solomon spent approximately $6 million to make the movie. Box office tabulations as of mid-July indicated the film has grossed nearly $20 million in ticket sales.

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