The 40 Film — A Wakeup Call for the United States

I used to work at a Catholic crisis pregnancy center several years ago. Every day, while answering the phone lines, I would ask God in prayer to end abortion in this country during my lifetime. After seeing a screening of a new prolife documentary March 9 at the Emagine Theater in Rochester Hills, Michigan, I am hopeful God may answer that prayer with a “Yes!”

I’m talking about the 40 film ( Promotional fliers passed out during the event described this film as “one of the most powerful prolife films ever made.” After seeing it, I have to agree. Billed as a “wake up call for our country,” the documentary is about what has happened in the United States since the 40th anniversary (last year) of the fateful Supreme Court decision, Roe versus Wade, beginning what the film calls “the most important fundamental human rights issue of our time.” As its promotional material states, the film “answers pro-choice arguments and documents significant changes that occurred in the (pro-life) movement.”

The film was produced and directed by a former sportscaster, who, if you live in the Detroit metro area like I do, you may have heard of — John Morales. Interestingly, I found out he has had his own experience with abortion. During his younger years, Morales was involved with a young woman who became pregnant, and he paid for her to get an abortion. He says he has regretted that decision ever since. In atonement, perhaps, today he and his wife are the adoptive parents of a beautiful boy named Joseph Dominic.

The 40 film includes a cornucopia of prolife leaders spanning all areas of the issue. It masterfully makes the argument for life in a way appropriate for all audiences, religious or not.

While making the film, Morales said he “pleaded” for interviews with representatives from organizations like Planned Parenthood and NARAL, with no success. So he was forced to interview women on the street at pro-choice demonstrations to get their side of the issue. These women’s views are juxtaposed in the film with those of prolife men and women who tell “inspiring” and “deeply personal” stories that caused me to take out my Kleenex more than once during the 60 or so minutes.

In my area of the country, the next local showing of 40 will be at 7:00 pm March 25 (The feast of the Annunciation) at the Maple Theater in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. To get tickets, which cost $15 in advance, call 248-877-1000, or go to:

Teresa Tomeo, syndicated radio talk show host from Ave Maria Radio, will be a special guest at this event, which is also a fundraiser for Birth Choice Resource Pregnancy Center and Pro-Life Champions, the nonprofit organization that produced 40.

(The March 9th event I attended was a fundraiser for Mary’s Mantle and had as its special guest Rebecca Kiessling, a prolife speaker who was conceived in rape.)

Plans also include a showing of the film at Madonna University in Livonia, Michigan on March 29 and 30. Go to their Facebook page for more information.

To help bring this film to more venues, or to hold a film event at a parish or school near you, send your query to Click here for the film press release, and here for film endorsements.



About Kelly Luttinen

Kelly Luttinen works as a public relations advisor for the Legion of Christ and Regnum Christi. She is a wife and mother of four teens and lives in the metro-Detroit area.
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