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Student pro-life groups screen nuanced documentary about abortion’s health risks

Pro-choice director and ‘non-religious’ viewpoint

Student pro-life groups around the country screened a documentary Thursday about the health risks of abortion.

What makes their effort unusual is that the documentary, Hush, was directed by a woman who supports abortion rights.

Students for Life of America is helping more than 100 campus chapters with the effort, though Director of Influential Institutions Initiative Lisa Stover told The College Fix that the screenings are “100% student run.”

The chapters that screened the film this month have not encountered opposition from left-wing or radical feminist groups as they have marketed the events and reserved space for screenings, Stover said in an email.

MORE: Calif. bill would force public colleges to hand out abortion pills

That wasn’t previously the case.

In October, SFLA’s chapter at Fordham University faced opposition from two student groups at the Catholic institution when it screened Hush.

Members of Fordham Students United and Students for Sex and Gender Equity and Safety Coalition blocked the entrance to the auditorium, “which deterred students from attending,” and they filled out evaluation cards without having seen the film, according to Stover.

‘Someone is lying to women’

Hush‘s focus is on the psychological and physical effects of abortion on women. It’s a collaboration between pro-life executive producer Drew Martin, pro-choice director Punam Kumar Gill and “neutral” producer Joses Martin.

Their one goal with the film, despite their differences, is “to ensure that the best possible care is being given to women.”

The film’s website says people in pro-life circles are apt to hear about “the psychological trauma, potential for physical damage, and even breast cancer, that abortion may cause,” while those in pro-choice circles are told abortion is “much safer than childbirth,” has similar psychological effects, and is not linked to breast cancer.

“One way or another, someone is lying to women,” it says.

MORE: Pro-life students say school officials threatened them

SFLA encouraged chapters to host screenings of the “revolutionary” film “because it’s unbiased, non-religious and completely honoring of women,” with a stance that is “non-threatening” and “pro-information.”

“Because this film is informative and informational (and is produced by a pro-choice woman), we hope that students who attend will come ready to participate in a healthy discussion with the best interest for women’s health at the forefront of their minds,” Stover told The Fix.

SFLA hasn’t reached out to groups that have historically opposed pro-life efforts to cosponsor the screenings, Stover said, “because we are focused on getting the resources to our students to host their screenings and to help them be as successful as possible.”

It’s up to student chapters to “invite students and organizations that both agree and disagree with their views in order to encourage a healthy conversation between all backgrounds and views,” she said.

Multiple chapter leaders recommended by SFLA did not respond to Fix queries over several weeks to discuss their planned screenings.

MORE: ‘Just following orders’ – public university officials erase pro-life chalking

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IMAGE: Hush trailer screenshot

About the Author
Jeremiah is a senior at Franciscan University of Steubenville, where he is majoring in journalism and minoring in human life studies. He has served on the student government as a senator. A fluent Spanish speaker, he also regularly contributes to Red Alert Politics, The Rouser and toddstarnes.com.

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