Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee praised the “The Gift of Life” film, saying the project turned out better than he expected. The film has even been credited for changing Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s abortion stance.
Huckabee is a strong and outspoken pro-life advocate and proponent of the Personhood Amendment. Yet he admitted to The Christian Post that he had some trepidation going to the production of the documentary.
“We didn’t want to do a pro-life movie that was sort of the normal horror stories of abortion,” he said. “We wanted to talk about the affirmation and celebration of life.”
Now weeks after the documentary’s Dec. 14 Iowa screening, groups such as Concerned Women for America of Iowa have commended “The Gift of Life” as “outstanding” and presidential candidate Perry has even credited it with altering his view of abortion.
“It was really a project that turned out better than I had hoped and that I thought was very powerful and different,” said Huckabee.
The film looks at several individuals who were nearly aborted as well as people who have had a change of heart on abortion. Viewers are reminded that there is an intrinsic worth in every human life and that life begins at conception.
Rebecca Kiessling, a pro-life speaker who was conceived in rape, described the positive response the film has received thus far. “When the film ended, there was immediately a standing ovation and the standing ovation seemed to last for 10 minutes,” she recalled.
Both Huckabee and Kiessling appear in the film with Kiessling telling her story of being nearly aborted two times.
In addition to affirming life, the film gives a strong argument against pro-life exceptions for rape, incest and fetuses with genetic problems.
As a child of rape who was spared, Kiessling said exceptions are a death sentence for innocent children like herself.
“When you make that rape exception that’s like saying to me that I deserve the death penalty for the crime of my father,” she explained.
Kiessling, a national spokesperson for National Personhood USA, told CP she shared that very same point with Perry in Iowa and challenged him to change his position. Perry is pro-life but has held the position that abortions should be legal in cases of rape or incest.
The Texas governor seems to have had a change of heart. Perry told USA Today this week that he has since undergone a “transformation” and that God was working on his heart after he watched the film. Kiessling said she is encouraged by his pronouncement.
“I’ve just been waiting for him to come out and state it publicly and now that he has I’m just absolutely thrilled,” she said.
Kiessling believes the change of heart is genuine and authentic. She hopes that the film will help future viewers put a face to the rape exception.
“I know that these stories pierce people’s hearts,” she stated.
Ultimately, Huckabee is hoping viewers of the film, which also features the story of man born without arms, will consider the value of life.
“Most people would just sort of say objectively ‘Yea, sometimes abortion is a called for measure’ and then when you see the lives of people either contemplated or attempted an abortion and then you think ‘well, would they be better off dead?’ It really hits hard,” he said.
The film was produced by conservative organization Citizens United Productions and features interviews with Susan B. Anthony List President Marjorie Dannenfelser, Sandra Cano of Doe v. Bolton and former abortionist Carol Everett.
The next showing of “The Gift of Life” will take place in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 22, the eve of the annual March for Life.