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National Review: Movie Night in Des Moines

National Review: Movie Night in Des Moines

In a year that has heard a lot of “war on women“ rhetoric, The Gift of Life sets out to better “define” what exactly it is we mean by the phrase “culture of life” and how we build one. “For many, ‘pro-life’ has become a negative term of politics, tossed around to tar opponents when, in fact, it represents the basic philosophy of life consistent with the views of our founders,” Huckabee says during the narration. He credits the Declaration of Independence for enshrining “the radical notion that each human soul has intrinsic worth and value, a value not to be determined by inheritance or obtained after birth but present from the very beginning.”

…Anyone who watches The Gift of Life will meet Rebecca Kiessling, whose birthmother was raped. When Kiessling was 18, she wanted to find her birthmother and found what sounded like “a police description” for her biological father. When a caseworker confirmed she was conceived in rape, she says, she “immediately felt targeted. I knew what people said. You know I’m pro-life except in cases of rape…. I did not want to be part of that classification, I didn’t want to feel devalued by so many people.” When she finally met her mother, she told her daughter that had abortion been legal in Michigan at the time, Rebecca would have been aborted. “Whenever people make the rap exception, I understand that they want to be people of compassion and they think that in order to prove that they care about women and that they care about rape victims, that they need to make the rape exception. But that’s pretty cold-hearted for someone like me. But I understand that most people do not put a face to this issue.”

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The Gift of Life does. More compellingly than any debate round or primary interview could do — though former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum has done his part in the public-policy arena, using his platform to paint a broader picture throughout his career and campaign. …The Gift of Life is powerful. And points a primary-election-frenetic audience to the bigger picture about the real lives this “life issue” affects.

The presence of Rose, who represents a new generation, new energy, with a whole new awareness of the power of the visual and the varied ways images can be harnessed is both an encouragement and a nudge to everyone who respects a life to commit to making it possible in the lives of those desperate, scared, and hurt who may not see it that way.

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