‘You feel like the world’s potential’

Got one last SCOTUS update for y’all, hopefully for quite some time! Yesterday morning, Justice Amy Coney Barrett was sworn in at the Supreme Court in a ceremony attended by all the Justices except for Breyer (who joined by phone). She moved into chambers and begins work immediately.  

Elsewhere online, actresses Emily Ratajkowski and Lena Dunham released a short film in Vogue called “Who Will You Be?” The film is a self-narrated peek at Ratajkowski’s early stages of pregnancy and what she’s thinking and feeling about as her body changes as the baby grows. It intersperses video of Ratajkowski with images of her growing belly and still shots from her ultrasounds. “Who Will You Be?” is less than three minutes long and NSFW (nudity warning). 

What struck me most was the overlaid narration. She speaks directly to her child, asking questions and expressing hopes, desires, and fears. “I’m full of wonder…I want you to see the world’s potential. You feel like the world’s potential.” 

In this raw look at how it feels to be a new mom, there is no politicking or pretense. There’s no “clump of cells” here. It is a beautiful tribute to the worth and potential present within every member of the human family, including the youngest and smallest. Which is a little surprising, since the film was made by the “naked for abortion selfie” model and her “wish I had an abortion” sidekick

Ratajkowski’s ultrasound shows the audience what she physiologically feels—her baby is alive and has a life and future ahead. We don’t just hear her talk about her baby, we see the little one through zoomed-in shots on her belly and behind the ultrasound screen.  

Ultimately political rhetoric about “autonomy” and “choice” and “clumps of cells” is just that: rhetoric. The science belies these empty words, revealing the humanity and potential in every preborn child. We see a belly growing and recognize the unique being that will emerge. We count fingers and toes on an ultrasound and know the truth of what we see.  

I am grateful for Ratajkowski and Dunham’s artistic witness to humanity. At Americans United for Life, we see the world’s potential in every member of the human family, and we’ll keep striving for the day when all are welcomed throughout life and protected in law.