Star Power: Mobilizing Celebrities for Life

Abortion supporters do a great job of rallying star power to their cause. Celebrities like Scarlett Johansson, Emma Watson, Kristen Bell and Brie Larson are enlisted as vocal supporters of Planned Parenthood and laws that make abortion easily attainable.  Hollywood fundraisers capitalize on glitz and glamor to raise money for political candidates advancing an abortion-minded agenda.  Actress Debra Messing posts Roe v. Wade commemorative jewelry on her Instagram page, and Oprah features the #ShoutYourAbortion campaign in her magazine.

When it comes to star power, it often feels like the pro-life movement is out -gunned.

But does it even matter?

Yes. It does.

It would be great if everyone made informed decisions about abortion based on medical research, statistics, and the facts about procedures.  But that’s just not the world we live in.  The majority of Americans are less likely to support their position with a text book, than they are with Facebook.  So a quick celebrity endorsement can go a long way.

But why, you might wonder, would anyone accept the idea that someone who’s famous should be an expert on abortion or any other issue outside of acting, sports, etc.?  It’s called the halo effect.  When we admire someone for being beautiful, wealthy, and good at their job, we think they must be moral, intelligent, and just plain right.

Also, movie stars’ whole job is to be believable.  So people believe them. On screen and off. 

Then the media plays their role.  Because pushing a celebrity endorsement gets them more views, clicks, and traffic.  Which means more money.

And last, celebrity support for abortion is effective because we feel like we know them.  We tend to trust people we know.  And we want other people to think we know them, because that means we’re in the know.

Just think about celebrity endorsement on other issues. Angelina Jolie and refugees. Pamela Anderson and animal rights.  Simon Cowell giving his opinion on politics and the media carrying it as news, or Leonardo DiCapprio impacting global consciousness by talking about global warming in his Oscar acceptance speech.

So when Margaret Cho tweets, “I do not believe in a God who would consider abortion sin. God created abortion. As he did all of us. God created choice for all to DECIDE.” You better believe it has an impact. 

OK, so what do we do?

It’s always going to be important to do grassroots work on the life issue.  Meet women where they are. Pray. Vote. Share your passion for life. 

And, it’s also really important that we engage well-known individuals who are passionate about life, and about the lives of pre-natal human beings. 

That’s what Save the Storks did at their 2nd Annual Stork Charity Ball this January.  Musical performers Joy Villa, Matt Hammitt, and Steven Curtis Chapman participated.  Actors Kirk and Chelsea Cameron co-hosted, and pro-life movie producers and actors attended. Speakers included best-selling author and syndicated radio show host Eric Metaxas, the “conservative millennial” blogger and Fox News guest Allie Stuckey, and Lifetime Television star Victoria Robinson. And the audience was studded with special guests, like Fox Nation contributors Diamond and Silk.

Allie Stuckey at the Stork Ball.

And there are so many more celebrity individuals who care about the issue of life. 

For instance, did you know that Jack Nicholson was adopted by his grandparents and grew up believing his mother was his sister?  Martin Sheen’s wife was conceived in rape.  Kelsey Grammar participates in the March for Life.  Celine Dion was her mother’s 14th child, and was very nearly aborted.  And Justin Bieber and Tim Tebow’s moms were both pressured to abort.

Many female celebrities have talked about horrific experiences with abortion. Nicki Minaj said her abortion has haunted her all her life. Sharon Osborn describes her abortion as one of the biggest mistakes of her life. And Sinitta, Simon Cowell’s ex-girlfriend, called her abortion heartbreaking. 

Other famous people have come out in support of adoption and babies in the womb. Actors Mel Gibson, Patricia Heaton, Donna D’Errico and Margaret Colin. Supermodels Brooke Shields, Kim Alexis, Kathy Ireland and Shane and Sia Barbi. Singers Rebecca St. James and Dolores O’Riordan. Comedian Victoria Jackson. Just to name a few.

The truth is, some of these celebrities might not agree with a pro-life advocate on everything. Like rapper Eminem, who wrote the song River, an apology to an aborted child. In fact, celebrities aren’t always even consistent with their own position.

Chelsea Cameron and Victoria Robinson at the Stork Ball.

But wouldn’t it be great for us to reach out more, build bridges, engage, and let our passion be contagious with people who are in the public eye and have a huge platform to promote the protection of the innocent?  What a great opportunity for us to share some of the meaning we have found in our own lives. So every opportunity you have to encourage a celebrity supporting unborn babies, take it!  And let’s get the star power shining for the cause of life.

Erin Brownback

Erin Brownback is an advocate for the goodness of God’s design for the family as the foundation of society. Her work focuses on the topics of gender, marriage, sex, life and parenting.

As a Consultant for Brownback Strategy and Communications, Erin has created strategic plans and messaging on pro-family, pro-life and other conservative issues for corporate and non-profit clients, members of Congress, Attorneys General, Family Policy Councils, potential Supreme Court cases, universities, and other organizations. Her long-term messaging plan for the Pro-Family Movement is positioned to transform society around family issues over the next generation, and her children’s book “Before Cherry Street” explores the wonder and science of each stage of gestation in a way that influences young minds to value human life at every stage.

Erin directed communications for the sanctity of life legal work of Alliance Defending Freedom, and is working on a PhD in Social Transformation. Her master’s degree is in Rhetoric and Discourse from Carnegie Mellon University, and she has a bachelor’s degree in English and Education from Westminster College.