Documentary Premieres at Sundance Film Festival
Commentary by Fr. Thomas Euteneuer, President, Human Life
Honestly, the last place I ever imagined seeing my face was on the big
screen at the Sundance Film Festival. But I actually appeared in a
documentary film last week called "12th and Delaware," which attempts
to show the struggle between life and death in the real-life scenarios
of abortion-minded women.
The name of the film derives from the street names on an ordinary
corner in Ft. Pierce, FL where extraordinary things happen every day.
On one side of the street is a death camp (i.e., an abortion mill) and
on the other side is a center of life, the Pregnancy Care Center (PCC),
which I helped found in 1999. I still serve on the Board of the PCC,
and my greatest privilege is listening to the first-hand accounts of
the miracles that happen there everyday. Hundreds, perhaps thousands,
of babies have been spared from a violent death at that abortion mill -
and their mothers spared the agony of suffering from an abortion
because of the work of Pregnancy Care Center.
The film did not win any Sundance honors or Academy nominations, but
then again, the greenie avatars that frequent these rarified
environments were not likely to be thrilled with a subject that most of
them just want to go away. After all, abortion is an ugly business and
even the most avid abortionists and left-wing radicals don't want to
draw too much attention to it.
We agreed to do the documentary for the purposes of telling the story
of the heroic work of crisis pregnancy centers all over the world. As
in all dealings with those who favor abortion, however, a cloud of
deceit blanketed the film project right from the very beginning even
though the directors came dressed as "objective" reporters. They
promised us that the film was to center solely on the ministry and good
work of the Pregnancy Care Center, but they began secretly filming at
the abortuary across the street in order to get a "balanced"
perspective, and of course they did not tell us of it until the movie
Since the abortion center and its workers knew from the beginning that
the PCC was being filmed, their responses, attitudes and actions were
of course well-constructed to present a Hollywood-type view of
abortionists as compassionate helpers of women. In one scene, for
example, the abortion clinic owner hastily decides on camera to give
one of her clients a $50.00 discount on her abortion. Can you imagine
an abortionist giving away her profits? Now that is genuine acting.
Despite the mendacity of the pro-abortion media, the story of the
heroism of the women who work in pregnancy care centers needed to be
told. The extraordinary commitment of the women in the crisis pregnancy
ministry undoubtedly makes them the unsung heroes of the pro-life
movement. Best of all, the film highlights the uniquely creative and
positive response of the movement that loves both the woman and the
baby but does not make a single cent helping them. No one in the
abortion business can say that - something else curiously left out of
Anne Lotierzo, the director of the Pregnancy Care Center was the
protagonist of the story and could not have given a better example of
the profound zeal for the welfare of the abortion-minded women and
their babies that is typical of pregnancy center directors. She told me
once about a young woman who came into the PCC in error, thinking it
was the abortion clinic where she had an appointment to abort that very
morning. When Anne told her it was not, she began to sob. Through her
tears she looked up and cried, "I was up all night talking to God. I
haven't lived a good life, I have ignored Him but I knew He would
listen. I said, 'God, give me a sign, just give me just one sign that
you want this baby!' This is it, this is the sign." The young woman
went on to make a complete change of life, returned home to another
state into the loving embrace of her parents who were thrilled with
their new grandson.
Anne and her team are there on the front lines of the battle between
life and death, and they meet women in the last desperate moments
before an abortion to let them know that it's not too late to choose
life. That's reality, not a reality show. The pregnancy care ministry
is a real-life drama, not a documentary, and I know that God rewards
them for all their heroism.
By the way, I forgot to tell you about my scenes in the film. The
filmmakers came to a pro-life Mass and talk I did in IL last year and
filmed me giving my main stump speech about the role of the devil in
the grisly abortion business. I can only imagine the faces of the movie
industry big-wigs when they were forced to listen to one of my homilies
at Sundance! Come to think of it, maybe that's why the documentary
didn't win any awards: the people in the rabidly pro-abortion movie
industry don't like anyone saying bad things about their boss.
Contact: Fr. Thomas Euteneuer
to a friend.
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.