An Encounter at an Abortion Facility Changed Catholic Actor Eduardo Verastegui’s Life

Producer and star of the film ‘Bella’ received an award from Live Action over the weekend.

Actor Eduardo Verastigui addresses the 2021 Live Action Life Awards Gala on Aug. 21.
Actor Eduardo Verastigui addresses the 2021 Live Action Life Awards Gala on Aug. 21. (photo: Francesca Pollio / CNA)

Eduardo Verastegui, the producer and star of the film Bella, on Saturday recalled a moment where he realized his movie helped save a life. 

Verastegui addressed the Aug. 21 gala, held in Dana Point, California, of the pro-life group Live Action. He received a “Life Award” from the group for his pro-life work in the entertainment industry.

An actor and former soap-opera star who hails from Mexico, Verastegui said he moved to Los Angeles at the age of 28; he had been working in the entertainment industry for 10 years at that time.

With the help of a friend, he started the production company Metanoia Films in 2004, stating his goal “of making movies that will not only entertain, but hopefully do make a difference in peoples’ lives.” He starred in and produced the 2006 film Bella, which in part tells the story of a woman who is considering having an abortion but instead carries the baby to term.

To better understand his character in the film for “method” acting, Verastegui said that he visited an abortion facility.

“I wanted to understand exactly the pain [experienced by] any woman that is pregnant who sees abortion as her only exit,” he said. At the business, he recalled seeing girls as young as 14 and 15 years old. One young woman recognized him from his previous soap operas in Mexico. They began conversing, and she eventually lost her appointment at the facility because she was so late, he recalled.

Months later, Verastegui said he received a call from her husband, telling him, “Eduardo, my boy was born yesterday.” He said he held the baby, who was named after him.

“It changed my heart; it changed my life,” he said of the encounter, “and I remember saying that day, ‘God, please forgive me for everything that I’ve done in my past. I want to dedicate my entire life, whatever time I have left, to defend life.” 

“That’s why I say this little movie changed the lives of so many people, including my own life,” he said.

Live Action also honored Democratic Louisiana state Sen. Katrina Jackson and pro-life activist David Daleiden with Life Awards on Saturday.

Jackson was the sponsor of Louisiana’s Unsafe Abortion Protection Act, which put safety restrictions on abortion facilities in the state; the law was struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court in June 2020.

At the Aug. 21 gala, she emphasized the importance of the life issue and of laws that uphold the right to life.

“Our agenda has to be about the people, and if someone doesn’t have an opportunity to breathe, then we’re never about the people,” she said.

“Only what you do for God will last,” Jackson told the audience.

Lisa Rose, president and founder of Live Action, noted the increase of pro-life legislation in the states as a reason for hope for the pro-life movement. However, she exhorted those in the movement to win over hearts and minds and to not just focus on winning political battles: “If we do not win the battle for hearts and minds, we will lose the legal war.”

Nicolas Poussin, “Sts. Peter and John Healing the Lame Man,” 1655 — “I have neither silver nor gold, but what I do have I give you: in the name of Jesus Christ the Nazorean, rise and walk.” ... He leaped up, stood, and walked around, and went into the Temple with them, walking and jumping and praising God.” [Acts 3:6, 8].

No Reason for Being Sad

“For man was made an intelligent and free member of society by God who created him, but even more important, he is called as a son to commune with God and share in his happiness.” (Gaudium et Spes, No. 21)