Scenes that touch on abortion from a pro-life perspective are rare in mainstream Hollywood movies, and therefore worth acknowledging, even celebrating, when they appear. Recently I was watching Creed II, the (believe it or not) seventh sequel in the Rocky series. Like Creed I, Creed II is about Apollo Creed’s son, Adonis, now the heavyweight champion of the world.
Toward the beginning of the movie (at 37:15, to be precise), Adonis and his new wife Bianca discover that she is—unexpectedly—pregnant. The scene takes place in the bathroom. She has just taken a pregnancy test, and Adonis, anxious, wants to know the result.
“What’s it say?”
“It’s two blue lines.”
“Two blue lines, two blue lines—what does that mean? Two blue lines.” He fumbles with the test as he reads it himself.
Bianca sinks to the bathroom floor, saying nothing, staring straight ahead, her face expressionless.
“Well, maybe it’s broke.” He slowly moves to the floor next to her as the reality dawns on him. “That’s crazy.”
She shakes her head. “Oh, I don’t know, D . . . baby, I don’t know.” She turns toward Adonis.
He looks at her. “You did say you always wanted kids.”
She cuts him off—“Yeah, but I didn’t say so soon.” Then, quietly, “I don’t know if I—if we—are ready.”
He takes her hand in his, slowly and deliberately weaving his fingers between hers. “Let’s get ready then.” He kisses her hand.
She leans her head upon his arm. She says, quietly, “yeah.” And then breaks a smile.
If you have seen the movie, you know Bianca is not a weak woman. She is very much her husband’s peer and his match. In fact, one of the themes of the movie is how much Adonis needs her, not only in his fighting career, but in making sense of life. But in this moment, she needs him. She cannot handle this on her own.
Many in our culture, however, think she should be able to handle it on her own. According to the rhetoric of abortion rights, whether or not to have a child is solely a woman’s concern; she should be able to decide to abort or to carry a child without reference to the father of her baby—even if he’s her husband. Strong and capable, she has no need of anyone.
It’s a big lie. We’ve forgotten what it means to be human.
Dependence does not mean deficiency. Dependence exposes weakness, not deficiency. For God did not create us to be independent. He created us to love. If our being made in the image of God means anything, it means being able to love. For God is love.
Love creates dependence. Although a man and a woman may need each other in different ways, we are made for each other, and therefore need one another. Nowhere does this become more apparent than in pregnancy. Pregnancy brings a peculiar weakness to a woman, precisely because she gives of her own strength as she undertakes the miraculous and marvelous work of gestating and giving birth to a child.
Yet while she bears the brunt of the work in bringing a child into the world, she was not meant to do it alone. She was meant to do it alongside a man. It’s not that women can’t do it alone—many have, and done it well. But that’s not the way it was meant to be. And I suspect that any woman who has walked through pregnancy alone would say so. In other words, Bianca’s response to her husband is appropriate, and right. Love is a good thing.
We deny this to our loss. A person, or a culture, that insists upon individual independence as the highest good will never learn to love. This is where abortion rhetoric would lead us. Despising dependence, we become unable to love. That is the real deficiency.
In the end, our world needs men who, while perhaps feeling unprepared for fatherhood, are willing to say to the mother of their child, “Let’s get ready then.”