GLENVIEW, IL, October 24, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) – “The reality is that for years I struggled with hating myself…I struggled with believing that I was the worst part of society there is.”
So begins the forthcoming documentary 40 with the gripping testimony of Yvonne Florczak-Seeman, who accidentally learned on her fifth abortion at the age of 20 that a baby had been sucked out of her, not a blob of tissue.
40, previewed by LifeSiteNews.com, provides a vivid snapshot of America’s pro-life movement 40 years after abortion became the law of the land in 1973, told from the perspective of today’s living pro-life leaders and activists.
“For over 40 years, our nation has been divided. It is a battle of ideologies between abortion-rights advocates and the pro-life movement,” actress Jennifer Cadena narrates.
The film “is called 40 because it is a reminder of the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade in the U.S. which happened this past January and it ties into the upcoming 40th anniversary of the March for Life in Washington, D.C.,” said John E. Morales, executive director of Pro-life Champions and producer and director of 40, to LifeSiteNews.
Many of the movers and shakers of America’s pro-life movement appear in the film, including:
• Pro-life legend Joe Scheidler, founder of the Pro-Life Action League;
• Father Frank Pavone, national director of Priests for Life;
• Former Planned Parenthood abortion clinic director Abby Johnson;
• Rebecca Kiessling, pro-life speaker and attorney;
• National Director of 40 Days for Life David Bereit;
• Former abortionists Dr. Anthony Levatino and Dr. John Bruchalski;
• Keith Mason, co-founder of Personhood USA;
• Lila Rose, investigative journalist and president of Live Action;
• President of Operation Rescue Troy Newman; and
• Dr. Alveda King, director of African-American outreach-Priests for Life.
Six former Planned Parenthood workers reveal during the film what really goes on in abortion clinics. Two former abortion doctors explain what led them to abort unborn children for a living. Numerous post-abortive women share the unexpected grief and guilt that followed them after abortion.
The hour-long film impressively counters prominent pro-abortion arguments such as “a fetus is not a person,” “life begins after conception,” and “it’s my body [and] my choice” through the testimony of doctors, medical science, pro-life leaders, and informed young people.
In one scene a pro-abortion woman argues, “We just think that women can make their own decisions about their bodies.” The camera switches to Abby Johnson, who responds, “What about the body of the child? I’m not asking people to say that the baby’s rights supersede the mother’s. My argument is that they are equal.”
Morales said 40 needed to be made to shed light on the “silent holocaust” of abortion that “goes on day after day after day.” The film makes the case that abortion is the greatest social justice issue of the day. “I can’t stand the fact that every day in our country over 3,300 unborn babies die in abortion clinics across the United States and nobody [in the mainstream media] talks about it.”
Morales also has a personal reason for making the film as a post-abortive father who lost his child many years ago to the deadly procedure. “It left a whole in my heart that for many many years wouldn’t go away,” he said.
The adoption of a Latino baby in 2007 together with his wife — who could not have children — opened Morales’ eyes to the inestimable value of each and every single human life.
“Joseph Dominic is my miracle boy who landed on our laps from Heaven. That for me is the most crucial most important motivation for making this film," he said. "Joseph could have been one of the 825 Latino babies that die every single day to Hispanic women in this country. That motivated me that I’ve got to do something.”
The film highlights work done by crisis pregnancy centers to offer pregnant women life-affirming options such as adoption.
“We wanted to point people to options so that they know that you don’t have to kill the baby, especially in this day and age when so many people want to adopt,” Morales said.
40 also highlights successful pro-life initiatives such as 40 Days for Life, which Morales said proves the power of prayer to close abortuaries and end the killing. The film also highlights the massive involvement of young people in the pro-life movement, who pro-life leaders aptly call the “present of the pro-life movement.”
Morales, a former broadcaster and sports reporter for 20 years, is teamed up with Jason Jones, co-executive producer of the pro-life blockbuster movie Bella, and cinematography and editor Rob Kaczmark, production manager of Spirit Juice Studios, to make the film.
Morales said that while 40 is not a religious film, his director for the entire project was the Holy Spirit. He said the pro-life movement is for everyone, including those who have no faith. The film interviews several secular pro-life leaders such as Kelsey Hazzard, president of Secular Pro-Life, who argue against abortion from a purely scientific and rational viewpoint.
Making a non-religious pro-life documentary did not spare Morales and his team from what he called spiritual attack from the devil.
“Try to make a film on abortion, and I’m telling you, the evil one is going to throw roadblocks and he will do everything to try to shut you down,” he said.
Morales said spiritual warfare was evident in the production studio.
“Last Friday, our editing studio looked like it was possessed," he said. "We could not copy the material and make a DVD. It had all locked up. A priest called and said he was offering Mass for us, and five minutes later everything was just fine.”
Morales recounted other related opposition to the film, such as the impossibility of obtaining permission to use copyrighted material from mainstream media companies. CBS refused to allow use of its historical news footage on the day Roe v. Wade became law in 1973. PBS and National Geographic would not allow use of its stunning footage revealing the developing life of the child inside his mother’s womb.
“These are just examples of the pushback from mainstream media which controls the message. They do not want the truth to get out,” he said.
The film is expected to be released before Christmas. Morales hopes 40 will “open people’s eyes” and “shake the country into an awareness” of the holocaust that is happening to its youngest most vulnerable members.
Production cost so far has run about $150,000, all raised through donation. The filmmakers are still looking for financial help to market the film to as many theaters as possible and to bring it into schools and churches across the country.
“I want this film to touch hearts, educate people, and ultimately save babies,” said Morales. “If we can even save one baby, we will have accomplished our mission.”
Donate to 40.
Watch the trailer for 40.