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SANCTITY OF LIFE: ‘Sarah’s Choice’ film

EDITOR’S NOTE: Sunday, Jan. 17, is Sanctity of Human Life Sunday in the Southern Baptist Convention.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)–Christian recording artist Rebecca St. James debuts as a lead actress in “Sarah’s Choice,” a pro-life film about a rising business executive who discovers she is expecting a baby outside of marriage.

The film, available on DVD from PureFlix Entertainment, follows Sarah as she faces pressure from coworkers who advocate aborting the baby and as she receives advice from her family to keep the child. All along, she’s not sure whether she wants to marry the baby’s father.

St. James said the script caught her attention because the pro-life message has become increasingly important to her over the years of speaking about sexual purity, a platform spurred by her signature pro-abstinence song “Wait For Me.”

“I’ve spoken and sung at a lot of different crisis pregnancy center fundraisers, so I’ve known the need, but God really ignited my heart for the pro-life message this past year,” St. James said.

She compared Sarah’s Choice to Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” because the main character receives three visions of what life would be like if she chose not to abort her baby. In one vision, her daughter is six weeks old; in another, 6 years old; and in the third, she is an adult with a baby of her own.

“I think the message aligns with Christian values. That’s probably the first thing that comes to mind,” St. James said. “I’ve been singing now for about 16 years, and there’s an audience that I really want to honor with the projects that I take on. So I make sure that it’s something that is God-honoring. That’s really key for me.”

One of the reasons Americans are so interested in reality television, St. James said, is that they want to watch something that seems authentic. Though she hasn’t been in the same situation as Sarah, St. James said she chose to accept the script for the movie because she could relate to the pain, fear and pressure Sarah faced.

“She really does want to do the right thing. She’s got different voices that are speaking into her life. She’s got some people in her life saying, ‘Have an abortion.’ She’s got her mom, who’s saying, ‘Don’t have an abortion.’ Her sister, ‘Don’t do it.’ She’s got this boyfriend who she’s not sure whether he’s going to flake out on her or stand by her,” St. James said.

Now that the movie is available nationwide, St. James hopes believers who watch it will reach out to people in their lives who might be facing a similar decision. From what they learn in the movie, they might be able to more effectively encourage their friends to choose life, she said.

“I know many that are going to watch this that have had an abortion in their past, and there’s a very strong theme of redemption and forgiveness in the film,” St. James said. “One of the characters has had an abortion, and she’s struggling with grieving that loss. There’s one scene in the film where an abortion recovery group is writing love letters to their unborn children in heaven and naming their child and then tying that love letter to a helium balloon and letting it go as a part of their grief therapy from their abortion.

“So my friend in the film, this character that has had an abortion, she ends up doing that at the very end of the film, and it’s very, very moving,” she said. “So I know the people that have already seen the movie at the different screenings that we’ve had, we have really seen that people that have had abortions are being ministered to through it and are moved. So I think it’s going to be a real catalyst for healing for those that can relate directly to that character in the film.”

St. James said the film even is appropriate for older children and teenagers who are at an age where they need to learn about choices and purity.

“It’s going to promote questions that I think are very healthy for Christian parents to be talking to their kids about,” she said. “The culture really speaks so many lies to kids through so much of media, through so many movies and TV and through things that are spoken about at school with kids today.

“It’s unbelievable to me the things that I hear that young kids are hearing about at school. So I think if parents can get in early about God’s way and the beauty of His way and His protection for us and the plan that He has in the Bible, that’s wonderful,” she said. “I think it promotes healthy questions that are good for dialogue within the family.”

Months before she even knew about the audition for Sarah’s Choice, St. James found herself at a crisis pregnancy center in Los Angeles with some friends. As she got involved in ministry there, she realized a need for movies and music that could support the pro-life message.

“I saw that there’s very, very little that supports the pro-life message and what these people are doing at these crisis pregnancy centers to support these young girls in having their children,” St. James said. “So I decided there’s such a need here, and I really felt in my heart that God was going to lead me into talking about this message.”

St. James encourages people not only to watch the movie but to show it in ministry settings, because it’s a “powerful, moving, heartwarming film.”

“It’s very human. I think you will relate to the character in her pain, in the honesty of her heart in wanting to do the right thing but feeling like she’s under a lot of pressure,” St. James said.
Erin Roach is a staff writer for Baptist Press. For more information, visit sarah.pureflix.com.

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