New Abortion Documentary Premieres at Sundance Film Festival

Fr. Thomas Euteneuer

Commentary by Fr. Thomas Euteneuer, President, Human Life International

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 actually premiered.

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 the film!

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.

Fr. Thomas Euteneuer
Publish Date:
February 10, 2010
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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.