When I say the words ‘pro-life activist’ and ‘Hollywood actor’, what are your first thoughts? Oxymoron…. What?… Impossible….Doesn’t Exist! Yes, those were exactly my thoughts…..until I found out about Eduardo Verastegui, a passionately pro-life Hollywood movie star!
For those of you who didn’t come to our film night last Hilary, Eduardo was one of the main characters in Bella, which received critical acclaim for its moving and imaginative treatment of the difficult issues of life and abortion, depicts one defining day in the life of an expectant young mother and her encounter with a friend who spontaneously steps in to help her. Amazingly, Eduardo actually became pro- life while doing character research for Bella because his director recommended he visit an abortion clinic. During his visit to the abortion clinic he ended up talking with a young actress who was scheduled to have an abortion that day:
“I gave her a little teddy bear just like in the film. I gave her my cell phone number and everything, and then she started crying and she left the place. She didn’t go in, so I thought maybe she was going to come back the next day because she was a little shy with me. I called her like three or four times, [and that was the end of it, or so I thought].”
“We found the actress, moved to New York, finished the film and came back to Los Angeles. A few months later I received a call from the man who was with her. He said, “Eduardo, I have great news. My baby was born yesterday, and I want to ask your permission because I want to call him Eduardo.”I couldn’t even talk. I put my phone down. I was emotional more than I ever was in my life. I went to the hospital and I saw the baby. A few days later I was carrying the baby in my arms, and the way he was looking at me changed my life.He changed my life because I didn’t plan to do this. I went there only to do my work as an actor.”
This experience inspired Eduardo to become more involved in the pro-life movement and since then he has been moving mountains fighting for the rights of the unborn and supporting pregnant women.
In 2010, through his non-profit organization Manto de Guadalupe, he opened a pro-life medical clinic in Los Angeles which he refers to as “an oasis of life” in a “desert of death” because of its location in the midst of 10 abortion clinics. The 5,000-square-foot facility serves 20 women daily and offers free pregnancy-related services such as ultrasounds, prenatal care and natural family planning education. It offers medical services in addition to counseling, and has an obstetrician/gynecologist on staff.
Along with his political activism, Eduardo also travels around the world sharing his testimony and encouraging young people to use their talents for the pro life cause. If that is not enough for pro-life hero status, Eduardo also founded a film company called Metanoia which aims to “produce films that not only entertain but which also make a difference in people’s lives. We want our audience to leave feeling inspired to be a better person wanting to love and forgive more, and that they will have hope and fire in their hearts.”
His next film, Little Boy, out on April 24th, is about a 7-year old boy who is willing to do whatever it takes to bring his father home from WWII. It is a beautiful and inspiring story which highlights the important role of fathers.
Eduardo’s story is such an inspiration and a beautiful example of the fact that each one of us can make a difference whether it be in an Oxford library, outside a local abortion clinic, at your college, in the Parliament or hey…. even in Hollywood!
As another great pro-life heroine said: