By Rebecca Downs
One of my favorite parts of going to the movies is the trailers. I didn’t know what I was in for when I saw a trailer for Gimme Shelter.
From the beginning, it looks intense. A nearly unrecognizable Vanessa Hudgens narrates how she had to leave her drug-addicted mother, and we see that she isn’t very welcome at her father’s home, where he has his own family. Then, we find out that she is pregnant. Hudgens’ character of Apple leaves her father’s house, because she actually wants to keep her baby. Apple then almost kills herself in a car accident, but after a hospital chaplain shows her love and attention, she finds comfort and a home in what became one of the first pregnancy centers for young mothers.
The beginning of the trailer just seemed so sad and destructive. I didn’t know if I would be able to bring myself to see it. But when midway through the trailer we see the hope through someone caring about Apple, and her being able to find her way, I could see real inspiration in this true story.
There have been pro-life movies before; October Baby, for instance. And I’m certainly not knocking that movie. I feel like with Gimme Shelter, though, this is a particular instance where a pro-life film can reach a large audience with its marketing and a wider release this month, on January 24. Naturally, pro-life news sources are already running stories about Gimme Shelter. But so are mainstream and local media outlets, including Express in the United Kingdom and 9news.com in Colorado. That news coverage will only grow when the film is released.
The sources mentioned above, including the ones that are not necessarily pro-life, feature a bit of an explanation into the pregnancy center from the film, which came to be Several Sources Shelters.
Pregnancy centers such as Several Sources Shelters do some really great work. And while facilities that provide abortion, like Planned Parenthood, “help” women by getting rid of the child in a crisis pregnancy rather than the crisis, pregnancy centers are the ones to really help women with many of them providing housing, parenting classes, supplies, assistance with employment, and other opportunities. Yet guess which of these the federal government found worthy of receiving $540 million a year, or $1.5 million a day? Meanwhile Planned Parenthood’s non-abortion services, like breast examinations, are on the decline. Abortion is their cash cow.
It is not enough that Planned Parenthood receives tax dollars from you and me, though. Planned Parenthood and other abortion advocates have tried valiantly to smear the good work that pregnancy centers do. They regard pregnancy centers as deceptive, and claim that pregnancy centers routinely lie to or mislead women, just because they don’t provide abortions and because they seek to educate women on the harms of abortion.
It is not just Planned Parenthood which has targeted the centers. NARAL Pro-Choice America has an ongoing campaign urging action against them. There is also an organization called the Crisis Project which is devoted solely to opposing pregnancy centers. The National Abortion Federation is opposes pregnancy centers. There’s an HBO documentary, 12th & Delaware, targeting these centers. And that’s just scratching the surface; most every abortion advocacy group is opposed to our efforts to care for women who choose life.
There have even been lawsuits involving pregnancy centers in the cities of San Francisco, New York City, Baltimore and Austin, as abortion advocates in local government attempt to impose unconstitutional restrictions on the centers’ right to freedom of speech.
For organizations like these, it is not enough to promote and provide abortion; they must also stomp out the pregnancy centers that give women other options. That’s hardly pro-choice; that’s pro-abortion.
Hopefully this new film, which tells an inspirational true story, will shed some light on what the pro-life pregnancy center movement is really about, and open hearts and minds.
Editor’s note. This appeared today at blog.secularprolife.org