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The IFRL is the largest grassroots pro-life organization in Illinois. A non-profit organization, that serves as the state coordinating body for local pro-life chapters representing thousands of Illinois citizens working to restore respect for all human life in our society. The IFRL is composed of people of different political persuasions, various faiths and diverse economic, social and ethnic backgrounds. Since 1973 the Illinois Federation for Right to Life has been working to end abortion and restore legal protection to those members of the human family who are threatened by abortion, infanticide and euthanasia. Diverse though we are, we hold one common belief - that every human being has an inalienable right to life that is precious and must be protected. IFRL is dedicated to restoring the right to life to the unborn, and protection for the disabled and the elderly.   Click here to learn more about the IFRL.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

"Friday Night Lights" And the Two Most Important Things

How's the old saying go? Good things come in threes? Well, actually, when it comes to the entertainment field, good things are coming in bunches.


What do pro-lifers look for in a film, or a play, or a television program? Obviously, we'd prefer the right ending, one in which the gravity of abortion sinks in, and a woman--and hopefully the baby's father--together choose life.


But we understand that death chosen over life is a fact of life, in real life and in dramatic presentations as well. So our bottom line is that the case for the humanity of the unborn is made--and occasionally the father is not portrayed as an unfeeling jerk.


Enter the February 8 episode of NBC's "Friday Night Lights," a series that has habitually been on the precipice. Why? Largely because of people like me, who loved the show in the beginning but who, for whatever reason, stopped watching.


I was alerted to the unplanned pregnancy element of last Friday's show by a colleague. She told me this was the last episode put together before the writer's strike. So "Friday Night Lights" is in double jeopardy.


What makes the program even more poignant is that what the young woman--Erin -- will do is left dangling. We can't tell from her expression whether this 18-year-old will abort.


A constant storyline that began with the first episode is of the star quarterback who is gravely injured and left a paraplegic. Fast-forward a couple of years: That he could have fathered a child is, as Jason put it, a "miracle."


What makes dramas like this so powerful--and great television-- is that many of the elements that surround any real-life crisis pregnancy are addressed, often with brutal candor. For example, when Jason tells a friend that Erin is pregnant, his friend responds like many immature young men would--degrading Erin and mocking Jason's concern.


Jason's first attempt to affirm that they should have the baby goes very badly. It's all heart and no brains on his part. But his second conversation is remarkable:


Jason: All I'm asking you is to not make a rash decision, to just think about it, for a little bit.


Erin: I have thought about it, every which way. It's so weird, I already feel my body changing. I've got cramps, and I'm tired all the time. I mean, it sucks.


Jason: I understand what you're saying. But it makes sense, think about it. There's a little, there's a little baby in there. A little person's in there, with little fingers, little toes, a little heartbeat, you know? He's got his eyes all scrunched up, he's in a  ball…maybe he's got a wee-wee, maybe he doesn't. I mean, aren't you a little curious? You've got a human life in there.


Erin: You're not one of those people who blows up clinics, are you? [laughter]


Jason: No, I'm just saying…that little person could be the next Bill Gates. Or the next Peyton Manning… Or…


Erin: Or Britney Spears…with a learning disorder. Like that's not redundant.


Jason: No way. Not on my watch. Look, Erin…I understand. This right here… this could be the most important decision you'll ever make. And if you choose to give this a chance, I will be there with you…every day. You won't be the only one living with it.. 100%, anything you need, anything you ask, I will be there.


Erin: Really?


Jason: Just give it some time, give it a shot. Please. Pretty, pretty, please. Give it a chance.


Between conversations, Jason talks with the football coach who is the series' star. Coach Taylor is not some articulate pro-life spokesman, but a regular guy who, like most men, readily admits he knows next to nothing about women.


But after telling Jason  "I can't give you any answers," and adding, "You have to make the answers," Coach Taylor tells the young man, "I can tell you [this]--your children and the mother of your children are the two most important things in your life."


Amen, brother.


You can watch the episode if you go to the NBC website at


Contact: Dave Andrusko

Source: National Right to Life