Vocal pro-life advocate and New England Patriots tight end Benjamin Watson wants to bring honesty and unity to the abortion debate in his new documentary, Divided Hearts of America.
“My goal is to unveil the truth about abortion, the laws, the history and where our country is headed,” he said in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter.
Though this is the football player’s first foray into filmmaking, his convictions on pro-life issues drove him to engage in the topic.
“I never thought I’d be involved in a movie,” he said. “But so many different laws have passed in New York, Alabama, Georgia, it seems this issue—which has always been a part of our national consciousness—has ramped up recently. Things are at a fever pitch.”
The film will interview 30 Americans on both sides of the debate. It will feature several different leaders, including former presidential candidate and neurosurgeon Ben Carson and Alveda King, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s niece.
“I’ll engage those who disagree and hear their reasoning. The number one thing I’m looking for is empathy on both sides,” he said. “Dissenting views should be respected and in fact encouraged. There are many people in Hollywood who would consider themselves pro-life but they feel as though their viewpoint is unacceptable in the industry. No one should feel like their job is in danger because of their convictions on this issue.”
Watson started filming the documentary in May, shortly after he clapped back against actress and pro-abortion advocate Alyssa Milano, according to Faithwire.
The actress was interviewed by Chris Cuomo in response to the recent uptick of anti-abortion legislation.
“I feel like any woman of privilege that lives in one of these states—if this goes through—they’re gonna be able to travel to a state to get safe reproductive health care,” Milano said. “But for the women of color, for the women that are marginalized, for the women that are low-income communities, for the women that are most at-risk, this bill will be catastrophic.”
Watson responded via Twitter, saying her comment “reveals ignorance, racism or some combination of both.” He continued: “Our children and families are capable of greatness and lies like this harm our future. Don’t patronize us.”
The documentary is currently in post-production.
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Mikaela Mathews is a freelance writer and editor based in Dallas, TX. She was the editor of a local magazine and a contributing writer for the Galveston Daily News and Spirit Magazine.