Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet star as Frank and April Wheeler in Revolutionary Road (2008), which was adapted from Richard Yates’s 1961 book. However, their relationship is a stark contrast to that of Jack and Rose in Titanic (1997). Frank thinks April is mentally unstable for wanting to kill their unborn third child. He also dislikes her attitude toward their other two children; April selfishly sees them as mistakes that have produced their stereotypical way of life in 1950s suburban Connecticut. All she can think about is escaping with her family to Paris, away from the life she hates. Fearing that this third baby will prevent their escape, April sees it as an inconvenience that will rob her of the new life she wants. She never acknowledges the baby’s right to live, his or her “otherness.” So April gets rid of it; she dies as a result.
Thanks to the excessive foul language and April’s abortion, I will never see this film again and I do not recommend it to anyone. I will never read the book either. But what struck me most was the nature of this abortion. The setting is 1955. Abortion is illegal after twelve weeks; earlier ones were performed only at hospitals. But this does not bother April. At home and without a doctor, she performs a vacuum abortion to kill her second trimester unborn baby.
I used to think that if we reversed Roe v. Wade (1973) and got rid of RU-486, abortion clinics, and Planned Parenthood, then abortions would not be performed anymore. We would save all the unborn babies. Yet after watching Revolutionary Road, I realized that this hope is both false and naive. Getting rid of various legal means will not prevent every abortion. We still will not save all the babies. The real problem is the person who wants an abortion. It does not matter if the woman is single or married, has consensual sex or is raped, or either wants an abortion or is forced against her will. Someone who wants to kill an unborn baby badly enough will find a way. The real question is why.
I applaud the efforts of pro-life organizations, but they are not enough. Too many people use carnal weapons – law courts, legislation, etc. We must use spiritual ones instead (2 Corinthians 10:4, Ephesians 6:12-17). Abortion is a spiritual stronghold, a spirit of death that Satan has unleashed on the world. Therefore, we must “choose life” so that we and our children “may live” (Deuteronomy 30:19). In the name of Jesus, we must bind the spirit of death and loose the spirit of life (Matthew 16:19). We must also pray in the Spirit (Ephesians 6:18). Only then will we save the babies.
This is a “good work,” so let us put our hands to it (Nehemiah 2:18). When we work the works of God through the Spirit and through means he has given us, then we will see God move in miraculous ways. Only he can do the impossible.