By Mack Rights
I viewed this movie at a special early showing at the Frederick Douglass Foundation’s Leadership Summit last week at The Family Research Council building in Washington D.C. Going in, I had no idea whatsoever what this movie was about, other than that it was a pro-life movie by the same folks who produced Fireproof and Courageous.
For the last week, I have agonized over how to review it without giving up some of the details I found so unexpected. These are details that made the movie even more compelling than one might consider possible.
I went in thinking it would be a movie about a high school girl who gets pregnant by some rich guy who rejects her and pressures her into getting an abortion. Then her middle-class Pretty-In-Pink-Ducky-like friend steps up, saves the baby, and they live happily ever after as pro-life advocates. Instead it was about an adopted abortion-survivor (based on the story of real abortion survivor and pro-life activist Gianna Jessen) with health problems who, upon finding out, sets out to find her real mother. But before she does find her, she meets the abortion-clinic nurse who took the mother to the hospital where she was born. Along the way, she has the support of her loyal friend who is secretly in love with her so much that he honors her in a Christian manner that in no way violates her pre-marital purity. Her father is played by John Schneider, and the nurse is played by Jasmine Guy.
This is a movie that looks at the consequences of abortion through several perspectives, and in doing so, it makes clear that abortion isn’t just about a pregnant woman who wants to be free from the responsibility of her choices. It affects the baby she didn’t want. It affects the parents who adopt the baby she didn’t want. It affects the nurse who witnessed the abortion. It affects the friends and family that learn to love and adore the baby that was to be aborted but that survived the abortion. And lastly, it does indeed affect the woman who chose to abort her baby. This movie looks at all of those aspects.
I take this personally because my wife almost aborted our youngest child before I had met her. At the time, she was a single mother with two girls, and she was pregnant with a third. By the grace of God, she came into contact with some Christian pro-life folks at Rescue Rochester the day her abortion was scheduled, and they changed her mind. As a result, I have three girls whom I consider my daughters, all of which I love more than I need to describe. When I think about how dreary the world would be without my youngest, were those divine events not to take place, I am forever thankful that God is good. So this is very personal to me.
As well, it was personal to others who viewed it with my wife and me. The room was filled with folks who’ve been very personally influenced by abortion in one way or another. While most black conservatives started out as liberals, and most Christians have sinned to the extent that salvation in Christ is all the more special as a result of those sins and the forgiveness that Christ offers, abortion is a sin that sears the heart more than most. Even for men whose wives, mothers, sisters and/or girlfriends have had abortions, it is a soul-shredding event. For that reason, I doubt there was a dry eye in that room, male or female. Even the several former military men wept at multiple times during this movie.
I could end my review right here, and say, “Look, it’s a powerful movie that touches the heart in a way I didn’t expect it to, so go see it.” But I’m not done.
I read Christian Toto’s review of some liberal reviews of this movie at Big Hollywood dot com in an article titled, “Liberal Film Critics Call ‘October Baby’ Pro-Life Propaganda … and Much Worse.” Then I read the reviews he linked to. By all means, please read them, and read the comments. Some of the comments are demonic in their reaction to the idea that someone would make this movie.
At AVClub.com, for example, Alison Willmore, wrote in her review, “This only makes its offensiveness more startling—it’s a film with the pretense of being about forgiveness that’s really about blame, when neither is justified.” I disagree that it’s about blame, but here are some comments on her review I found interesting. Bondfool writes: “Sounds to me like the message isn’t ‘don’t get abortions,’ it’s ‘make sure it sticks, otherwise you’ll have some self-righteous teenager up you’re a$$ in a couple of decades.’” And Nebbish-Cat writes: “That’s what I took away from this, too. It’s like those bumper stickers that say ‘Abortion stops a beating heart;’ I always think, ‘Well, it da##ed well BETTER, that’s what I’m paying for.’”
Clever stuff I’m sure, but what makes a liberal so antagonistic about a movie that explores the consequences of abortion, other than its mere existence? I’ve written over and over that, while a conservative understands that one needs to take individual responsibility for one’s actions in order to be able to consider himself honorable, a liberal wants to live in a world without the need for individual responsibility or consequences. Christianity is the main obstacle to this world, and as a result, a liberal will despise anything Christian.
The liberal wants to use the government and the laws of man to alleviate the need for guilt over moral issues that one must contend with while tending to the soul throughout life. In fact, the liberal has trouble even thinking there might be a need to tend to the soul. Whether atheist or agnostic, they will hope to enter the life-after-death phase of eternity with the hope that they can get off on an ignorance-of-the-soul technicallity.
So when a movie like October Baby illustrates for them a Christian reality that shoots bullets of consequence at their souls that they’d prefer and wish didn’t exist, they react as though they’re vampires exposed to sunlight. To them, an unplanned pregnancy should be the equivalent of spilled milk- nothing to cry over.
Watching October Baby, and finding it impossible not to cry, awakens in the liberal an aspect he or she would prefer to keep asleep. Christians call that the soul. But this movie is not about shame and guilt. Those elements are there, but it’s about forgiveness.
And that’s why there’s been such a vitriolic reaction from liberals to this movie. Many liberal folks, especially those with great writing gigs, had to work very hard to get where they are. Working hard while young doesn’t leave room for raising a family in many instances, and abortion may be a part of the lives of many liberals- both men and women.
Post-abortive guilt is something both men and women feel. It’s also something that those, who don’t want to live in a world where there are consequences for neglecting the tending of the soul, would rather have repressed. They’ll go to any lengths whatsoever to hide their guilt and to try and convince others to ignore the need for that guilt at all costs.
This movie is like holy water on their vampire skin. It shows the consequences, but even better, it shows one how to deal with those consequences through Christ. For that, my wife and I give this movie four thumbs up.