What does a Super Bowl-winning tight end do when he retires from the NFL? Well, if you're a pro-life Christian like Benjamin Watson, you get to work on a documentary about abortion.
CPAC attendees got a special preview of Watson's film Divided Hearts of America on Friday, about 10 minutes that included the opening and a section about the Democrat Party and abortion. The documentary began with footage of New York City and a mix of quotes on abortion, from President Donald Trump to Barack Obama to Governor Ralph Northam (D-VA) to news clips; a cacophony of voices builds until we get to the title card.
Over footage of all kinds of protests, Watson said in a voice over that abortion is “one core issue that touches all Americans.” He continued, “Abortion in America is anything but settled,” but the more he looked into issue, the “more unsettled I’ve become.” We have “scientific evidence of when life begins … why are we so divided on this issue?” According to the Movie to Movement page, the film “powerfully exposes the brutality of abortion and the American abortion industry, and showcases the beauty and dignity of every human life.”
After the CPAC presentation, Watson spoke more about his project.
Watson decided to make the film because, “I believe that right now is the time to really make moves when it comes to ending abortion,” he told Newsbusters. “In light of so many laws that have passed on the liberal as well as conservative side, it just seems that there’s a lot of misunderstanding, there’s a lot of vitriol on both sides. There’s a way that we can communicate and enter into these conversations with empathy without compromising our beliefs.”
The film featured about 30 interviews with people from both sides of the abortion debate, including, Dr. Ben Carson, Alveda King, Congressman Dan Lipinski (D-IL), Senator Tim Scott (R-SC), Melissa Ohden, and Abby Johnson. Watson explained:
I wanted to hear from people involved. I wanted to talk to a mother who’s had multiple abortions, someone who worked in an abortion clinic, somebody who’s making laws against abortion, people who are affected by this on an everyday basis and make them human because a lot of times on each side we don’t think of the other side as human because we don’t agree with them, especially on a topic like this.
The purpose in talking to so many voices is just to get a full understanding of the topic and also to solidify convictions that we already have and find a method or plan to go forward. It’s really kind of a journey of discovery [about] what’s really true and what’s being hidden and what’s the history of abortion in America.
Asked how he became passionately pro-life, Watson couldn’t pinpoint a specific time where he decided he wanted to be pro-life, he just always has been. He said, “The term pro-life didn’t even occur to me. I grew up in a family that cared about a lot of different people, cared about people who were vulnerable, poor, mistreated, didn’t have a voice – that’s just what I was taught early on.”
To him, the pro-life term “was really about all life, of people who didn’t have a voice or a chance, and obviously the unborn fit into that category.” There was never “a switch that clicked for me” in becoming pro-life, “It’s just a matter of justice for all people who don’t have it.”
Divided Hearts of America will be released nation-wide this year.