Return of the Prodigal Son by Pompeo Batoni - 1773

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Monday, February 3, 2014

Movie Review - 'Gimme Shelter'

Movie Review – ‘Gimme Shelter’

Gimme Shelter is based on the true story of Apple Bailey, a girl who grew up with a drug-addicted mother, a father she never knew, and in and out of foster homes.  At the age of 16, Apple finds herself pregnant and the victim of abuse, and decides to run away from her mother’s destructive lifestyle.

She seeks out the father she has never known, Tom, a Wall Street millionaire with a wife and two small children.  Tom’s wife is not pleased with having Apple in their home.  After Apple’s pregnancy is confirmed with an ultrasound, she is given an ultimatum: abort the baby or leave.

As Tom’s wife takes Apple to the clinic, she can’t take the eyes off her baby’s tiny form in the ultrasound picture.  Apple, who never wanted an abortion in the first place, runs off.  After a car accident she finds herself in a hospital, where an old priest, Father McCarthy, takes an interest in helping her.

Through God’s Grace, and the help of Father McCarthy, Apple finds herself at the shelter for teen mothers opened by Kathy DiFiore.  Here, for the first time, she finds support and a true family.

Gimme Shelter tells the true story of the shelter started by DiFiore who, in service to the Lord, opened her home and her heart to countless at-risk women and their babies.  During the credits, viewers are introduced to the real-life Apple Bailey and Kathy DiFiore.

The film is not suitable for children due to the mature subject matter and the lack of a message on sexual morality.  Of course, that’s not the theme of this film.  It is powerfully pro-life, and brings to light many issues that are so prevalent with women who find themselves in crisis pregnancies.

Surveys show again and again that most young women who have abortions say they would have chosen life if they had found just one person to support them in that decision.  More often, they are faced with pressure to abort, either from parents or boyfriends, as Apple received from her father.  (Her father, though, seems to have a bit of a conversion once he falls in love with Apple’s baby).

Many young girls make heroically courageous choices to give life to their babies and need someone to respect their dignity and offer them hope.

The film also clearly shows what data consistently prove: women who have ultrasounds – hear their baby’s heartbeat and see its pictures – are overwhelmingly more likely to choose life.  This is likely why some pro-abortion groups try to force crisis pregnancy clinics to obtain medical certification to perform an ultrasound procedure, while their own clinics, which perform surgery, are often immune.  It is also why groups like the Knights of Columbus have ultrasound initiatives that pay for the machines.

Gimme Shelter is a powerful film that defends the dignity of young women who are scared and pressured, but determined to fight for the lives of their children.  It also promotes the dignity of the unborn child, whose value is no less than yours or mine.  Finally, it highlights the important work of crisis pregnancy centers and shelters for unwed mothers.  Hopefully it will inspire changes of heart and an awareness of our need to support these wonderful institutions and the young women they serve.