The Order of Rights is a pro-life film. The story centers around Emma Stein, a pregnant single girl who has been advised by her mother to have an abortion. Despite the objection of the child’s father, Ethan Carpenter, and his promise to help her, she decides to go ahead with the procedure. When Ethan and his family file a lawsuit on behalf of the child’s right to life, the drama escalates as Emma’s mother, Kerri, contacts a friend in the Associated Press. Before long, the case is mired in media frenzy. The court has to decide whether the child in Emma’s womb is a person or not, and if so, if it is endowed with the unalienable rights as enumerated in the Declaration of Independence. The title, Order of Rights refers to the order in which the categories of rights are deliberately listed in the document: Life, Liberty and Pursuit of Happiness.
Emma Stein finally falls for a good guy, Ethan Carpenter. High school quarterback with a future in college football, a devoted Christian, his life is lined up for success, but when one night’s romance turns into a nine-month game-changer, the future isn’t so bright.
Ethan confesses his sin and wants to marry Emma. He wants to keep the baby and grow a family, even if it’s a tough road ahead. On the other hand, Emma listens to her mom’s advice and is convinced that an abortion is the only choice for her. The stress of an unwanted pregnancy adds to the chaotic reality that Emma and Ethan can’t agree on a life or death decision, so to protect his baby, Ethan and his family take Emma and her mom to court. As the father of the baby, Ethan believes it’s his inherent right to protect the inherent right of his unborn child.
Order of Rights does an excellent job of presenting the real-life arguments of both sides of the pro-life/pro-choice debate. The court room scenes force viewers to dig at the heart of what they believe a fetus is, when they believe life begins, and what value life truly has. The (pro-life) prosecution makes a beautiful point: we all have the God-given, undeniable, Constitutional right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness–but in that order. Without first having the right to life, regardless of dependence, weaknesses, etc., we are without any other rights that our country swore to protect.
Emma and Ethan’s unwanted pregnancy is a reality for so many young men and women in this nation. Their conversations, the way their parents react, the influence of today’s culture are the key factors that influence young people’s decisions, and this film presents that reality and the truth behind the cost of each choice.
Naturally, there are conversations about birth control, premarital sex, pregnancy, etc., but there are no sex scenes or vulgar, inappropriate comments surrounding what happened. Emma’s mother and a few others are aggressive in their defense of the pro-choice movement. There are also heavy conversations from those who had abortions, so parents should be aware of those topics before teens watch the film.
Meanwhile, Ethan and his Christian family exhibit the true meaning of love, fighting for the least of these, and forever realizing that Jesus makes beauty from ashes. Because of these Christian principles and the pro-life support, this film is Dove-approved for Ages 12+.
The Dove Take:
A teenage boy takes his pregnant girlfriend to court, fighting for the God-given right to keep her from having an abortion.