FOCUS Offers Hand to Build Culture of Life With 11 ‘Love Life’ Videos
Curtis Martin, Ryan Anderson, Father Josh Johnson, Kristan Hawkins and others offer real facts on abortion in 11 new videos aimed at debunking disinformation.
As pro-life videos are being censored or flagged as disinformation on social-media platforms and YouTube — one of the largest search engines in the world — the “Love Life” video series is a vital lifeline for those who need to hear the truth.
Since the fall of Roe, secular media has been weaving all sorts of lies and fallacies about common-sense abortion bans, igniting fear and hysteria in many. Even politicians discussing a heartbeat “as a manufactured sound” have gone unchallenged in a post-Roe world.
Enter the Fellowship of Catholic University Students. The college-campus missionary organization has created a video series to dispel some of these claims.
The first video features Ryan Anderson, president of the Ethics and Public Policy Center, and John Bishop, director of FOCUS formation, on “Unborn People Are People.” Bishop points out how even abortionists like Dr. Bernard Nathanson, who "presided over 60,000 abortions," had a change of heart. Nathanson became pro-life when he was presented with facts about life in the womb.
Anderson recounts the first time he went to the doctor with his wife while pregnant. “The ultrasound technician never used the word fetus. … What she said repeatedly was: ‘This is your baby. This is your baby’s heartbeat.’” Anderson points out that these truths were known in the 1800s but “now with 4-D ultrasound, it’s undeniable because it is so visibly transparent …”
Bishop says the new campaign is all part of the New Evangelization. He told the Register:
In the mind of John Paul II, the New Evangelization and pro-life movements were intimately connected. What effects the one often effects the other. The ‘Love Life’ video series is one manifestation of how FOCUS, an organization advancing the New Evangelization, intends to positively influence the pro-life movement.
These engaging and thought-provoking conversations serve a very important purpose in shedding light on the truth behind the lie of abortion and are also excellent fodder for college campuses, where these debates are taking place.
And although the pro-life movement is under attack, whether pro-lifers are praying in front of an abortion facility or posting biological facts on social media, Bishop believes that this is the arena where the culture must be confronted, following in the footsteps of John Paul II, telling the Register the now-saint “called for the New Evangelization — the rekindling of the faith among Catholics and others — to use new ardor, methods and expressions. YouTube is a platform through which many encounter the Good News.”
“FOCUS utilizes YouTube and other social-media platforms not as a replacement for our ministry,” Bishop continued, “but rather as aids to our person-to-person work on campuses and in parishes.”
And that is the hope and intention behind the video series during Respect Life Month.
The second video features Kristan Hawkins of Students for Life. Hawkins shreds the “abortion helps women” fallacy with the real truth of the pain and hurt that abortion truly causes. Speaking about her own experiences counseling women at a pro-life pregnancy center and hearing stories of women who were there, again pregnant, and in dire need, after enduring an abortion already in the past, she reminds viewers that abortion never helped women: "Having that first abortion didn't take her out of the abusive relationship. It didn't help her get her GED to get a job so she could leave the abusive relationship. It just actually prolonged her suffering."
Father Josh Johnson tackles abortion and the witness of the Catholic Church in the third video in the series. The Catholic Church has always been on the forefront of helping the disadvantaged and the oppressed, and even more prominently, in defense of the unborn. This became even more apparent when the Dobbs decision was leaked and the first places that were vandalized or attacked were Catholic churches and pro-life pregnancy centers. Father Josh Johnson debunks the idea of a subjective truth and objective truth and the common refrain heard from pro-abortion Catholic politicians: “I’m personally opposed to abortion, but I support a women’s right to choose.”
Irene Zamorano Archacki of Silent No More contributes the fourth video, discussing healing after abortion. Sharing her own suffering, being post-abortive herself, Archachki offers her own nightmare experience, her attempts to save the child, and the grief she has today knowing that her young daughter came into the world without a heartbeat, all due to medicine given to her by an abortionist. Choking back tears, she recounts: "After seven hours of labor, I gave birth to a beautiful, beautiful, beautiful baby girl. And she looked just like the rest of my kids, only as small as my hand. ... And after an hour or two, I gave her a kiss and said I was sorry as they took her away ..."
Kristan Hawkins returns to hard cases and unborn babies in the fifth video. As the traumatic scenarios of rape and incest atr often used as reasons to promote abortion, Hawkins makes it clear that abortion is never the answer to such evil.
Anderson also comes back to dive into: “Life After Roe, What Do We Do Now?” He breaks down what the law did and didn't do, in terms of protecting life.
Anderson's video also sets up the politcal landscape of what is to come, as several states have abortion on the ballot for the midterm elections. Although the pro-life movement gained enormous ground with Dobbs, John Bishop of FOCUS told the Register:
"In many ways, it is just beginning. Post-Roe America is merely a new chapter in an ongoing narrative. In many ways, this new chapter actually calls for a more intense effort than before; that is, for a more compassionate and just society, a society that fully respects and preserves the sanctity of life and protects the most vulnerable."
The Sisters of Life are also featured in the video series, with Sister Maris Stella offering practical tips on how to speak to abortion-minded people. A special and beautiful charism, the Sisters of Life enter into the lives of countless women who are vulnerable and isolated and in great need of help and healing. Through listening and compassion, Sister Maris talks about the work of helping women choose life.
FOCUS founder and CEO Curtis Martin talks about the pro-life movement as part of the New Evangelization. The fall of Roe has only gotten us so far, Martin says in the video, and "now we have to meet them where they are and serve the needs they have in their life, because they are all important. Jesus teaching us that." Martin challenges all apostolates involved in evangelization to throw their weight into building a culture of life.
David Bereit, founder of 40 Days for Life, also contributes to the series, shedding light on the fact that abortion is much more than a religious issue. "Science, ethics, the harm to a woman ... you can easily sway people without ever mentioning religion." Bereit says to always keep the audience in mind when trying to change hearts and minds on the issue of life.
Hawkins breaks down the cold, hard facts on abortion and ectopic pregnancies in the tenth video in the series. Several secular media outlets have recently cited ectopic pregnancies as justification to support legalized abortion. "The result and intention of an elective abortion is always death of a preborn living breathing human being." When discussing the circumstances of an ectopic pregnancy or when a mother's life is at risk, Hawkins says, "The intention is the preserve life, to save a life." She always makes the important distinction: A doctor has two patients; an abortionist acknowledges only one.
The series ends with a message from Bereit on how people can personally make a positive impact. Ending on a call to action in this series of inspiring and thought-provoking videos is a perfect denouement, as all Catholics are called to protect the most vulnerable and the most defenseless among us. A veteran pro-lifer, Bereit talks about holding the tiny babies of mothers who chose life — after meeting him and his pro-life witness outside of an abortion facility — after listening to the logic of life.
May we all be inspired to open our mouths, or ears, our arms and our hearts to those in need of this message today. Beating hearts are at risk!
- love life video series
- curtis martin
- ryan anderson
- kristan hawkins
- fellowship of catholic university students
- dignity of the unborn
- respect life month