Low-budget anti-abortion rights film director aims to influence more policy, get message to youth
Despite its minuscule marketing budget and no national distributor, the anti-abortion rights film “Bloodmoney” has already influenced public policy. “Bloodmoney” filmmakers are hoping that as more people, particularly high school and university students, see the film, the impact on the abortion debate will go even further.
“Bloodmoney” was produced by Maryland-based TAH LLC and tells the story of legalized abortion in America from the perspective of some of the most powerful anti-abortion rights activists in the country. The film’s director, David K. Kyle, recently told The American Independent he sells copies of “Bloodmoney’ regularly, though it has not been screened in any U.S. movie theater.
The film’s various narratives tread familiar ground: that abortion intentionally targets African-Americans (narrator Alveda King, Martin Luther King Jr.’s niece, says that abortion has caused more damage to the black community than slavery); that abortion directly leads to suicide and psychological damage; and that abortion providers are money-hungry and negligent.
It’s that last narrative that was used on the Utah House floor earlier this year to debate a bill that called for the increased regulations at clinics, a legislative trend that has been growing across the country, most recently in Kansas, where a lawsuit filed by a father-daughter physician team is pending.
In March, Utah state Rep. Carl Wimmer (R-Herriman), who is running for Congress in 2012, showed a clip of “Bloodmoney” –- wherein Operation Rescue President Troy Newman describes abortion clinics having blood and rats all over the floor -– on the Utah House floor to defend his “Abortion Clinic Licensing” bill, which is already in effect. The law requires the Utah Department of Health to inspect abortion clinics twice a year without notice. Wimmer has authored or sponsored various anti-abortion rights legislation throughout his career, including a successful 2010 bill that called for the criminalization of forced miscarriages.
The budget for “Bloodmoney” was approximately $500,000 and financed by two private investors, Kyle told TAI. He would not release the investors’ names but said that, to his knowledge, they are not affiliated with any anti-abortion rights organization. He said he wanted to tell a side of the abortion story he thought was missing from the abortion-related debates during the 2004 presidential election. However, the resulting film is a series of testimonies from longtime, outspoken anti-abortion activists such as Newman, Priests for Life national director Father Frank Pavone, Pro-Life Action League national director Joseph M. Scheidler and the recently deceased Dr. Bernard Nathanson, an abortion-provider-turned-abortion-opponent, who founded what is now NARAL Pro-Choice America in 1969. Many of the activists interviewed by Kyle spoke at the recent Summer of Mercy 2.0, held in Germantown, Md., to protest Dr. LeRoy Carhart’s late-term abortion practice.
Kyle said and the film’s executive producer, John Zipp, were connected to these anti-abortion rights advocates while they were working for Steve Peroutka, a radio broadcaster for National Pro Life Radio, based in Pasadena, Md.
Kyle is unapologetic about the fact that he did not interview any abortion-rights supporters. The only abortion providers that were interviewed are now outspoken anti-abortion rights activists.
“We’ve had 30 years of the pro-choice angle,” Kyle told TAI, explaining that interviewing abortion-rights supporters would be akin to interviewing Hitler defenders in a documentary about the Holocaust. “I’m not going to expose an evil,” he said.
The film was released theatrically in Spain in October 2010, Kyle said. But Americans are also watching this film, he assured TAI, noting that there are about 40,000 people listed on the movie’s email list and that various universities and organizations have bought copies of the DVD in bulk, such as the organization Truth in Action, which recently bought 1,200 copies of the film, its largest sale to date. In its August newsletter (PDF), Truth in Action called the film “a devastating indictment on DVD of the business of abortion” and is soliciting copies of the movie on its website in exchange for “a gift.” The film has also been screened in various
Knights of Columbus halls throughout Maryland.
Kyle said he would like to reach a younger audience, as least high school age. “We would like to get them in private schools if possible,” Kyle said.