by Jack Minor –
The lead actor for a movie that came to Greeley last weekend says the experience was an “eye-opener” for him.
“October Baby,” starring veteran actor John Schneider, is a film about Hannah, a 19 year old girl who discovers she was adopted after surviving a botched abortion. Along with some friends she sets out on a quest to discover her birth mother.
Jason Burkey, the lead actor who plays Hannah’s lifelong friend Jason Bradley, told the Gazette that while there were times they wondered if the film would ever be made, it was an enlightening experience for him.
“Prior to reading the script, I never knew there was such a thing as abortion survivors,” Burkey said. “I didn’t realize those two words went together. And Jon wasn’t either until he met an abortion survivor and heard her speak. He was floored by her story and that is what inspired him to produce the film.”
October Baby was written and produced by Jon and Andrew Erwin, who have worked on other products including music videos, TV shows and documentaries and reality television.
Burkey says he has been amazed how the film has exposed the issue of abortion survivors to the world.
“Since the film’s release I have had the opportunity to meet some abortion survivors and their testimonies are just incredible. It’s been an eye-opening experience.”
When the film first opened a few weeks ago it was limited to a handful of theaters, but despite its limited release it has done surprisingly well. During the first weekend it opened it placed in the top 10, despite being in only one-tenth the number of theaters as other films such as The Hunger Games.”
“We have gotten reports of people driving over two hours to see the movie. Fortunately more and more theaters are starting to carry the film so hopefully people will not have to drive this far.”
When the film was first released, Greeley residents had to drive to Ft. Collins if they wanted to see the film. However, beginning last weekend moviegoers are now able to see it at the Carmike.
What is amazing is that the film almost didn’t get made.
When the Erwins first pitched the idea to the major studios, no one wanted to touch it because the idea of a film about an abortion survivor was considered too controversial for the liberal elites in Hollywood.
“It was a little discouraging to them, but they did not give up on it and a grass roots campaign arose to raise funds to get the movie made,” Burkey related. “When we had a limited release last fall in Alabama there was such strong support around the film that it caught the attention of Provident film and Samuel Goldwyn who ended up picking it up to distribute it.”
Although the film has received critical reviews from liberal media outlets such as Salon, who criticized the film for saying the reason Hannah was aborted was because her mother had a career, oher reviews refer to the movie as “pro-life propaganda.”
One of the unfavorable reviews was from Roger Ebert who, among other things, said the movie has a black actress whose “purpose is to show that they have a black friend.” He also criticized the teen couple for refusing to sleep together in the same motel room.
”Then there’s an ungainly scene in a hotel where Hannah and Jason are so determined to not share the same bed that they end up camping out in the lobby.”
Burkey said he was perplexed by some of Ebert’s comments. “Some of the things he said didn’t make sense and it seemed as if he didn’t see the whole movie. Many of the things he complained about are explained later in the movie.”
What critics either are unaware of, or deliberately ignore, is that the film is based on the real life story of Gianna Jessen, who survived a late-term saline abortion. Pro-abortion critics do not have an answer for why they believe Jesson should have been killed rather than be allowed to live. NARAL, an extreme pro-abortion group, has blasted the film as containing an extreme anti-abortion message.
The movie’s timing in an election year could pose problems for President Obama, who is a fierce supporter of Planned Parenthood, an organization founded by eugenicist Margaret Sanger.
Obama has also received a 100 percent approval rating from NARAL for his support of abortion. NARAL supports the right of a woman to have an abortion at any time in the pregnancy for any reason, including when the child is just about to be born and is just a few inches away from birth.
While the film’s character survived an abortion, it is fortunate the character was not born during the time Obama was a state senator in Illinois.
During his time in the Illinois legislature, a bill was introduced that would have given children such as Hannah and Jesson legal protections including the right to medical care. The reasoning was the woman’s right to choose ended once the child was born.
However, Obama opposed the bill on the grounds that it would place an “undue burden on the mother.” The reasoning among abortion supporters is that, since the choice to kill the baby was made prior to it being born, that choice should be honored even if the baby survived.
Nurses have reported they were ordered to take these living children into a dark room and leave them alone to die.
Burkey acknowledged the film could draw attention to the issue of Obama supporting what Newt Gingrich called “infanticide,” however, he said that was not the intent of the film.
“We knew that the topic of abortion survivors is an important issue and that it would stir up some things on both sides of the issue, however, we didn’t time it to be released to coincide with the November elections, it just happened to be that way,” Burkey said. “The goal from the outset was to tell a powerful character driven story that just happens to be about an abortion survivor which is a very real thing. This is a very crucial time for it to come out.”