Could abortion be the core issue that touches all Americans, and the issue that is at the center of the divide in politics in America today? Divided Hearts of America claims that, yes, abortion is not only the most important issue of our day, but also the central issue. Uniting this divide will solve key elements of the political enmity and wrath that exists today.
Divided Hearts of America is a documentary that attempts to tackle why this issue is so important once and for all, and uses the perspectives of people in many different fields and statuses to answer it. As Dr. Steve Jacobs, Program Director of Illinois Right to Life and interviewee of the film, explained, “It was a comprehensive film that brought up the five main elements of the abortion debate: the historical, the legal, the scientific, the public policy, and the personal.
Historical: Roe. v. Wade, debatably our nation’s most controversial Supreme Court case ever decided, is discussed. The speakers in the film come to the conclusion that the Supreme Court defined that the fetus did not have “personhood” on the basis of no fact. They used the 14th amendment, the amendment that actually gave slaves freedom and rights, to determine that unborn babies do not have any rights, without any facts to back them up.
Legal: Harold J. Cassidy, from the Cassidy Law Firm, explains further how in Roe. v. Wade the court was asked to interpret the 14th Amendment to, “determine whether or not it included, in their terms, to terminate a pregnancy.” Carter Snead, Notre Dame Professor of Law, goes on to say that, “They just asserted it, with very little analysis. No one thought when they ratified the 14th Amendment that they were legalizing abortion.”
Scientific: Steve Jacobs, Project Director of Illinois Right to Life, was interviewed in the film about a massive project he undertook to try to gauge the understanding of scientists around the world about when life begins. He created a survey and sent it out to biologists from countries all over the world. He explains in an interview, “These were academic biologists with PhDs in Biology who worked at universities around the world. [I sampled from] over 1,000 universities around the world, and the Biologists came from 86 different countries.” With this enormous sample size, Steve found that 96% of the biologists agreed that life begins at conception! The overwhelming majority affirmed what pro-lifers have always stood by, and Steve compiled many sources to attest to this claim, confirming the fact that it is virtually undeniable that human life begins at conception.
Public Policy: The fact that the majority of scientists believe that life begins at conception definitely does not sit well with the state of public policy in America and, in fact, there are many contradictions in place. For example, the film explains how in most states it is counted as a double homicide if a pregnant woman is killed. In these same states, however, abortion is legal, sometimes almost up to birth. When asked how this makes sense, a defender of the Reproductive Health Act tries to justify it saying, “Because that’s under the law; always since Roe v. Wade it is not illegal or a crime to choose abortion and there is no personhood under law to fetuses.” This hardly explains the statement, since the fetuses would obviously have some personhood in some cases. The film then asks the question, “Does this mean a fetus is only a human if it is wanted?”
Personal: Possibly the most used reason to justify abortion is the “1% cases”: the cases of rape. Divided Hearts of America looks at this more deeply, and in doing so interviews a person who is that one percent: a man conceived in rape. The most important point he wanted to get across in this film is that he doesn’t want to be remembered for his conception. He wants to be remembered for the beautiful family he has now, and for his mother’s brave choice to let him live.
Systemic racism: a catchphrase that is thrown around so much today is actually addressed in this film. Margaret Sanger, founder of Planned Parenthood, is revealed to be an incredibly racist person, claiming that minority and black populations are “human weeds,” and the film mentions how Planned Parenthoods are, to this day, strategically placed in minority neighborhoods. There were multiple African Americans who explained this, including Alveda King, niece of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Planned Parenthood has killed more black babies over the past few decades than any other organization, and that is something that the film addresses.
Divided Hearts of America is an intriguing and very informative documentary that brings to light all the important events and factors that have influenced abortion and its impacts in this country. It brings to the surface the opinions of biologists and OBGYNs, mothers and fathers, and even children conceived in rape, to look at all these divided hearts and see how we can heal the gash that exists in America today.