1. Horton Hears A Who
This bigscreen adaptation of Dr. Seuss’s classic children’s story packs a powerful punch. Horton hears what the other forrest animals are deaf to: tiny life no larger than a dust speck. When the other creatures refuse to acknowledge its existence and desperately try to kill it, Horton goes to great lengths to protect it, repeatedly uttering his famous line: “A person’s a person, no matter how small.”
Jason Reitman’s quirky film about a high schooler’s unintended pregnancy ends up affirming life and adoption. Initially she decides to have an abortion. But after a pro-life protester outside the abortion clinic comically tells Juno that her “baby has fingernails,” the teenager decides to bravely carry her baby to term and give the child to a loving adoptive family. The film demonstrates that Juno doesn’t need abortion to be a “strong” woman.
3. It’s A Wonderful Life
Frank Capra’s Christmastime classic shows the irreplaceable value of every human being. When Jimmy Stewart’s character George Bailey wishes he’d never been born, an angel shows him what the world would have been like without his life. It’s A Wonderful Life teaches us that life is precious and that no one is better off dead, expendable, or replaceable. One life can make a difference in so many others.
4. Knocked Up
Perhaps the most unexpected film on this list, Judd Apatow’s Knocked Up portrays abortion in a surprisingly negative light. When a pot-smoking slacker hooks up with a smart TV personality, they face an unexpected pregnancy. Seth Rogen’s man-child pal tells him to get something that starts with “A” and rhymes with “smortion” and another buddy is horrified, declaring that it would be killing an unborn child. Kathryn Heigl’s mother encourages her to get an abortion and chillingly tells her to “have a real baby later.” The unlikely couple choose life for their child, decide to get married, and give birth to a beautiful baby girl.
5. What To Expect When You’re Expecting
This flick features five different couples as they navigate the excitement and “bumps” of pregnancy. Two of their stories are particularly life-affirming. Rosie (Anna Kendrick) becomes pregnant after a fling with a high school friend. Although worried at first, they eventually become excited about becoming parents and eagerly await the birth of their child. Tragically, Rosie miscarries and a heart-rending scene shows the grief of losing an unborn baby.
Holly (Jennifer Lopez) and her husband Alex cannot conceive children, so they decide to adopt. Although Alex doesn’t think he’s ready for children, the “Dude’s group” led by Chris Rock shows him it’s cool to have kids. They eventually adopt their adorable baby boy Kaleb from Ethiopia.
6. August Rush
In August Rush, a single mom facing an unplanned pregnancy chooses life for her child. When she gives birth prematurely, her father puts the baby up for adoption without her knowledge. Eleven years later, Evan has grown up a bit and “follows the music” to New York City to find his family. Son searches for mother, mother searches for son, and father searches for mother until the family is again reunited in bliss.
7. Cheaper By The Dozen
Cheaper By The Dozen shows the joy of having children. Lots of children. While the large family is sometimes discriminated against and everyone doesn’t always get along, the family grows stronger together through their tribulations and adventures.
The original 1950 film version of Cheaper By The Dozen, includes a priceless scene where Mr. and Mrs. Gilbreth ridicule a stuffy local representative of the Planned Parenthood Federation. The portrayal of Planned Parenthood’s representative as a bitter child-hater reflects the widespread cultural view towards the organization.
Jenny is an unhappily married waitress who finds herself pregnant. She instinctively rejects abortion as an option declaring, “I respect this little baby’s right to thrive.” Becoming a mother forces her to grow as an individual. By the film’s end, she leaves her abusive husband, ends her illicit affair, and turns over a new leaf by opening her own pie shop.
9. The Island
Michael Bay’s sci-fi thriller is a morally provocative artistic work that condemns human cloning and reminds us that human beings are persons, not expendable property.
[SPOILER ALERT] The Island is an inside glimpse at the life of clones who are harvested for their organs. Eerily reminiscent of modern struggles over embryonic stem cell research and cloning, the film shows life should never be created just to be destroyed. One of the bad guys tells the clones: “You’re not like me…You’re not real people. You’re copies of real people. You don’t have souls.” The Island reminds us that all human beings are real people.
10. Rob Roy
Scotsman Robert Roy MacGregor (Liam Neeson) fights for family and country against an oppressive British lord who raped his wife. When his wife tells him she became pregnant from that violent act, she weeps that she “couldn’t kill it.” Rob Roy tells her, “it’s not the child that needs killing.” This simple response from the Scotsman dramatically points out that a child doesn’t deserve to be punished for the crimes of his father. His wife and the child she carries are innocent victims to a heinous crime. Rob Roy claims the child as his own and suggests that they give him the name Robert if it is a boy.
Life Is Worth Living
Many pro-choicers trashed many of these films for denigrating abortion and not promoting it as an acceptable option. But the mature themes running through many of these films show that they’re not just family values propaganda. Even Hollywood recognizes the power of life over death. No matter how messy life is, babies are blessings to be loved, not burdens to be disposed of. That’s what Personhood is all about: recognizing the innate value of every human life. Check out how we’re promoting this important message to our culture by liking us on Facebook!
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