Monday, August 16, 2010

12th & Delaware on HBO

I watched the HBO abortion documentary 12th & Delaware on Sunday. I found it engrossing and emotionally charged. The premise is simple, an abortion provider on one corner, and pro-life counseling center on the other. The viewer gets to watch as patients struggle with hard choices and the people involved do everything they can to further their cause. I could not turn away. There was so much passion on display from both sides that I sympathized in some ways with all of them, yet I found the tactics of the pro-life camp troubling. They will do almost anything, or say almost anything, to get a girl to carry a baby to term.

from the website:

An official selection of the 2010 Sundance Film Festival. 12th & Delaware is the latest documentary from Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady, who also directed 2006’s “Jesus Camp,” which was nominated for an Academy Award for best Documentary Feature. Their other credits include “Rehab for Terrorists,” “Freakonomics The Movie” and the award-winning “the Boys of Baraka.”

What they show struck a nerve. Christian pro-life counseling services protested.

"There is much in the film that is disturbing, as is the issue of abortion. It is difficult to know where the filmmakers used artistic license or key details were withheld. However, the overall perception that the filmmakers concoct of the pregnancy center and pro-lifers in general is in the style of many 1980's journalists, who ran sound bites of 'angry, white, male' pro-life protestors and lumped the entire pro-life movement in with them. That's inaccurate and it's propaganda.

Is the film propaganda? I don’t think so. I am aware of the obvious stereotypes, and they make their appearance. What the documentary left me with was a clear depiction of people who will do anything for their cause. Even if that anything is unethical. But then, I knew that already.