New Update to Powerful Documentary on Life
Filmmaker Tracy Robinson has revised her documentary, The Matter of Life, with an update now that Roe v. Wade has been abolished, and you can watch it for free for a limited time.
She sent IFA this update:
IFA’s prayers have had a powerful impact throughout the country, as evidenced by the successful premiere of The Matter of Life in theaters nationwide in May 2022. Coinciding with the Supreme Court case of Dobbs v. Jackson, the issue of abortion was at the forefront of public discourse. Through the grace of God, the film was met with strong attendance and resonated with a diverse range of audiences. Just five and a half weeks after its premiere, the Dobbs v. Jackson case was decided and Roe v. Wade was overturned. The film was updated to reflect this outcome, and the fact that the power to regulate abortion now lies with individual states. IFA was founded in response to Roe v. Wade and has seen the Lord’s hand at work in this ongoing battle. We continue to pray for the American public, politicians, and lawmakers to come to a deeper understanding of the sanctity of human life and the rights and protection afforded to all people, created in the image of God. “The Matter of Life” can be found on Amazon Prime, DVD, Christian Cinema, and Revelation Media. … Hosting screenings of the film is highly encouraged. Many individuals have successfully organized showings for their church or community groups. Learn more at MatterOfLife.org.
Tracy was a pro-choice Christian. She didn’t advocate for abortion, but she just didn’t think much about it. In an interview posted below, Tracy said: “I was kind of on the fence, very apathetic, personally pro-life at best. … I went to public school. … My family never talked about hard topics, and then I went to film school out of high school. The conversation really missed me.”
She said: “I was first inspired to make this documentary when I first heard the pro-life message clearly and concisely in my late 20s, about five years ago.” Her background was in film and video production, and she had been hired by a pregnancy resource center about which she’d never heard. Friends at that pregnancy resource center invited her to hear Alan Shlemon of, and the topic was “The Case Against Abortion Choice.” Said Tracy: “Just the full humanity of the unborn child, the arguments for that, the abortion imagery they showed: It just really blew my mind. Not just the message, but that I’d never heard it before, and I knew there were so many millennials and younger in my shoes that had never heard it either. I immediately empathized with an audience that is on the fence and apathetic and has just heard society’s talking points on it but never really the truth.”
So Tracy set out to use her gifts and training to share the importance of life in the womb with people like her younger self. The Matter of Life includes her interviews with a broad spectrum of experts and people with firsthand accounts of how they chose life and covers many angles on protecting life in the womb.
I asked Tracy what the most important messages are. Her reply:
“I want people to really connect with the full humanity of the unborn child. … We often forget to humanize the baby in the womb when we talk about the abortion issue. … All these arguments that are in favor of abortion completely miss the humanity, the personhood of the unborn child. I really hope the audience comes away knowing without a shadow of a doubt that abortion is wrong because it kills an existing, growing human being.”
Tracy also wants the film to awaken the Church to “love their congregation 40% more.” She discovered while researching the film that four out of 10 women who have had an abortion were attending church during the month they became pregnant. “Often pastors don’t want to confront this issue, because, number one: It’s too political. Number two: There are so many people it might hurt or affect. They don’t want to hurt feelings or bring up emotions. It’s a very personal issue,” she said. The film offers an opportunity to engage with Christians. “There are people in the Church wrestling with an unplanned pregnancy … who are wrestling with an abortion from years and years ago that are keeping it secret. This is a huge opportunity for ministries within churches, pastors to convey the gospel of forgiveness and healing and acceptance, the unconditional love of Christ to people in these situations. And as a Church, we need to rescue the most vulnerable. We need to defend the defenseless, who are the unborn children with no voice. It’s not only an opportunity to love our congregation more, but it’s an opportunity to save lives.”
She said: “I just want people to be awakened to this issue … not only their minds, but in their hearts.” She hopes the film prompts people to use the gifts the Lord has given them.
An organization featured in the film that moved me to tears is. They equip the church to love single women facing an unplanned pregnancy through baby showers, “Princess Days,” and “Love Boxes” with many of the things they’ll need, including a note of encouragement and a onesie saying, “The Best Gift Ever.”
Pro-abortionists often use rape and incest as reasons that abortion should be allowed, but the film brings out the fact that only 1% of elective abortions stem from rape, and 0.5% stem from incest. The film features a powerful story of a woman named Jennifer Christie, who was raped. “We tell Jennifer’s story to show just how much that life inside of her is still a person,” Tracy said. “That assault wasn’t their fault. They don’t deserve that punishment. They are still deserving of life. They’re still created in the image of God.” Jennifer started healing from the rape when she saw the ultrasound of her baby. Said Tracy: “I don’t think abortion really helps heal or solve a woman’s rape experience. In fact, it leaves her with two traumas. God can use something the enemy intended for evil and use it to bring about this new life. Whether a woman decides to parent or place that baby in adoption, that’s still giving a person created in the image of God a chance of life — for a woman to essentially lay down her life, or her body, and carry that child for nine months. That is the love of Jesus. That is unconditional love: to love and care for this innocent child, to give him or her a chance. That’s ultimately the woman’s son or daughter still. … The baby is not ‘a rapist’s baby.’ That’s a person with a chance.”
The film is well produced, and the narrative is clearly organized. Tracy has done a beautiful job of incorporating graphics and special effects to build a strong argument for life.
She believes the juxtaposition of the two cases under consideration by the Supreme Court (the Biden administration versus the “Texas heartbeat law,” and Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization) will generate more interest in the film, and its timeliness can help open up a national discussion about the sanctity of life in the womb. “That’s really our target audience: people who aren’t really paying attention to the pro-life issue,” Tracy said. “I think the fact that now these cases are coming into the mainstream news motivates more people to go to a film like this and decide for themselves what they believe.”
Tracy quotes Abraham Lincoln: “Our government rests in public opinion. Whoever can change public opinion, can change the government.” She says: “That’s why I’m so passionate about this film. It’s a way to really winsomely … change someone’s heart and mind about abortion.”
Tracy and I talked about Janet Porter, the architect of the Heartbeat Bill. Tracy said: “In her case, she’s coming at it from legislation. In my case, I’m coming at it from film and media. Embrace Grace … they’re coming about it from the care side.” She compares the pro-life movement to all of Middle Earth coming against Mordor in The Lord of the Rings. “We’re all coming together to fight evil. … That’s what the pro-life movement looks like to me, is people in their different avenues joining forces together. … I want the Holy Spirit to lead them in whatever way they’re called, to do something about abortion, whether it’s in legislation, prayer outside of a clinic, writing blog posts, sharing social media, art. … In the center of that is Jesus Christ. … That’s who gives us our strength. That’s who compels us to love, and to keep going, and to persevere. Even when we’re tempted to think, ‘Well, we’ve had so many setbacks and discouragements.’ No! Christ is victorious, and we’re on His team, and we’re winning this war!”
The Matter of Life is winning awards, including Best Documentary at the, 2021.
You can find out more at www.TheMatterOfLife.org. The tag line for this film is “Clarity kills controversy.” Let’s pray this film helps bring clarity on this life-and-death issue!
And here’s my interview with Robinson:
How are you praying for the release of The Matter of Life and for the end of abortion? Share your prayers in the comments!
Rich Swingle has taught and performed in 39 nations on six continents, mostly in his own one-man plays. He has also appeared in more than 40 film projects. He and his bride, Joyce Swingle, another contributing writer for IFA, now have 37 screen children. www.RichDrama.com. Photo Credit: The Matter of Life.
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