October 8, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) - It’s a thought that haunts the waking hours of many post-abortive women: “what if my child were still alive?”
In a new LifeSiteNews short film published on the website last week, a young woman grapples with the question as she imagines a day at the playground with her aborted son on the anniversary of the baby’s due date. The video, titled “Aaron,” climaxes with her sitting alone on a park bench as she hears the voice of a young boy whispering: “I love you, Mom. I forgive you.”
The film was offered to LifeSiteNews for its work by Don Cobb of the American Family Association after LifeSiteNews Managing Director Steve Jalsevac saw a preview at the recent Values Voter Summit in Washington, D.C. Jalsevac told Cobb he found it to be one of the best pro-life shorts that he had ever seen.
The film’s script writer, Kendra White, hoped that her work would touch the hearts of her viewers, but what she didn’t anticipate was that the film’s impact would begin with the actress she hired to star in it.
White came across Vanessa Ore’s biography on the entertainment industry website IMDb while she was holding auditions for the part, and tracked her down with the help of Ore’s former agent.
Ore, who sports an impressive resume in the field of Christian film-making, was at a conference in the mountains of Nashville when she was contacted about “Aaron.” She was taken aback by the phone call from a former agent whose information she knew was not listed on her IMDb profile.
“I wasn’t even sure how she found him, so I’m just thinking God has to have orchestrated this whole situation,” Ore told LifeSiteNews.
But the unusual way in which she was contacted wasn’t the only thing that made her feel that the opportunity was providential. Ore was in the middle of a pro-life project, still under wraps, that involves helping women deal with the memories of past abortions. Vanessa herself had an abortion when she was 19 years old. She did not relate anything about this to White before or during the filming of Aaron.
Vanessa had been living in New York City at the time of the abortion, and was beginning a successful career as a sales manager at an ad agency. Her future seemed promising, and she didn’t think she could fit a baby into it.
Years later, when she had found her way to the Christian faith, married, and had three children, the reality of the abortion began to sink in.
“The process is so much deeper than people realize,” she says. “It’s a scar. It’s literally a death inside of you, physically and emotionally.”
She forgave herself for her abortion at the time of her conversion, she says, but still had a long road to travel in coming to terms with what she had been through.
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The turning point in her journey of post-abortive healing came when she was invited to a viewing of “October Baby” by one of the film’s producers. The recently released pro-life movie is about a young woman who discovers that she is the survivor of a botched abortion.
“I just lost it watching the movie,” Ore recalls. The film was an impetus for her to become more deeply involved in pro-life work. Soon after seeing the movie, she found herself not only involved in an important pro-life project but also ministering to a friend who was considering an abortion.
“I love you, no matter what you do,” Ore told her friend, “But I gotta tell you that I have to be the voice of this child right now for you.”
Her friend chose to continue the pregnancy, and Ore is now looking forward to holding the little girl whose life she helped save.
It was in the midst of these unfolding events that she received the phone call about “Aaron.”
At the time, White didn’t know anything about Ore’s personal journey, but after speaking to her on the phone and viewing a recorded audition, she says she felt a sense of peace in offering her the part. Ore was on a plane to Mississippi to begin filming within a week.
“None of this is a mistake,” the actress says, confidently. “All these things happened so quickly within a short period of time that it just blows my mind.”
She hopes, like White, that the film will not only move women in crisis pregnancies to choose life, but also touch the hearts of post-abortive women who need the same healing that she has experienced.
Already, she has connected with another post-abortive woman who stumbled across “Aaron” through a Facebook link. The woman is suffering the early stages of Alzheimers, but she still remembers and mourns for an abortion she had over 30 years ago.
“I told her that she was forgiven and that she has this baby that she will see again when she goes up to heaven,” says Ore.
That, she believes, is a key message of “Aaron,” and one of the most important messages that the pro-life movement has to offer.
The grace and mercy that post-abortive women need to experience can come only from God, Vanessa Ore says, but “as his people we can offer that hand. That speaks more than yelling at people ‘this is wrong.’”
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