On March 22 at 6:30 PM ET, the new documentary Fighting for Life: The Story of NOW v. Scheidler will be airing on EWTN. I was kindly provided with a review copy; the half-hour film is a fascinating summation of one of the most important pro-life court cases in American history. The film was produced by the Thomas More Society, a legal powerhouse that fights on behalf of life, family, and religious liberty—and was founded in 1997 in direct response to NOW v. Scheidler. Tom Brejcha, who was then defending Joe Scheidler (the “godfather of the pro-life movement”) in the lawsuit launched against him by the National Organization for Women, was told by his law firm to pick them or Scheidler. He chose Scheidler, and thus the Thomas More Society was born.
NOW v. Scheidler lasted nearly three decades beginning in 1986, and went to the Supreme Court an unprecedented three times. The abortion lobby threw everything they could at Scheidler, hoping to shut down his pro-life activism: He was sued under anti-trust laws and accused of being a racketeer. Each time the abortion activists lost, they changed tack and kept the case alive. Scheidler was accused of violence, threats, and extortion. (The anti-trust accusations were based on Scheidler’s book Closed: 99 Ways to Stop Abortion, in which he urged readers to “shut down” the abortion industry.) Scheidler says he knew they’d finally won when Ruth Bader Ginsberg asked the opposition’s lawyer whether Martin Luther King Jr. could have been prosecuted under their standard—and he confirmed it.
The film is dedicated in loving memory to Joe Scheidler, who passed away earlier this year. If you’re interested in pro-life history, in freedom of speech, or just in seeing a great pro-life hero one more time, this documentary is well worth your time. watch the trailer below: