Members of the Notre Dame community gathered Thursday evening at Browning Cinema in the DeBartolo Performing Arts Center for a panel discussion about the upcoming pro-life film “Unplanned” hosted by the de Nicola Center for Ethics and Culture.The panel, whose discussion was partly based on clips from the film shown to the audience, was moderated by O. Carter Snead, the director of the Center for Ethics and Culture. The panel’s four members included Abby Johnson, whose life is the subject of the film, Mary FioRito, a pro-life activist and fellow at the de Nicola Center for Ethics and Culture, Chuck Konzelman, a Notre Dame alumnus from the class of 1982 who co-wrote and co-directed the film, and Cary Solomon, Konzelman’s fellow co-writer and co-director.“Unplanned,” which comes out March 29, is based on Johnson’s memoir of the same name. The story follows Johnson’s journey from a clinic manager for Planned Parenthood to an outspoken advocate for the pro-life movement following a life-changing experience she had while assisting with an ultrasound abortion.In an interview prior to the event, Konzelman said he and Solomon became aware of Johnson’s story after being approached in a coffee shop by a stranger who recommended they read her memoir.“What was neat in terms of the story was that all [Johnson] ever wanted to do was help women. That’s all she ever wanted to do,” Konzelman said. “So, she was a very sympathetic character, and even in her story and the film, while watching her do things that particularly the pro-life audience will look at and say, ‘That action is an unsympathetic action, that action isn’t something we don’t agree with … yet we understand her motivation and we can forgive her based on what it was she was trying to accomplish.’”Konzelman and Solomon said they made a conscious decision to make the film as factual as possible. For them, this meant not only including an accurate portrayal of the abortion process, but also of those who work at Planned Parenthood clinics. Solomon said it would have been counter-productive and dishonest to paint Planned Parenthood employees in an evil light. Instead, they emphasized the humanity and honest intentions of all involved.These portrayals make the film an especially valuable contribution to the national conversation on abortion, Johnson said.“In a time where we live with all these, ‘His truth, and her truth, and my truth and your truth,’ and people are just like, ‘What is the dang truth? Not your version, but the truth, the absolute truth,’” Johnson said. “This film does a really beautiful job of showing that truth for really what I believe to be the first time in a pro-life film. This film has really pushed the boundaries.”Konzelman said he and Solomon felt called to share Johnson’s story of conversion with audiences on the big screen.“Regardless of how pro-choice you are, you’re probably never going to be as pro-choice as Abby was, and regardless of how pro-life you are, you’re probably not going to get as pro-life as Abby has become,” Konzelman said. “Something happened here. She had her Saul of Tarsus moment. This story was scripted by the Holy Spirit, Abby lived it and it was just our job to translate it.”The movie was produced with an eye towards performing the work of God, Solomon said.“The way we look at it is we labor in the fields of the Lord,” he said. “So, it wasn’t about art for us, this is not about our glory, it’s about His glory.”Because abortion has become “the third rail of American politics,” Konzelman said they have struggled to convince major outlets to advertise the film’s release.“We don’t talk about it for the most part. There’s this societal agreement not to talk about it,” he said. “This week we can’t advertise on Lifetime because they won’t take our ads, we can’t advertise on Hallmark, they won’t take our ad dollars … The mainstream press for the most part is still busy pretending this film doesn’t exist. We’re opening wide on a thousand screens next week, and yet there’s this real effort to just kind of squelch it and hope it will die a quiet death and go away.”Regardless of any difficulties with media attention, Johnson said the honesty of “Unplanned” will have a lasting influence on the very nature of the abortion debate in America.“Abortion continues to be perpetuated and escalate in the way it is in our society because abortion is done in secret,” Johnson said. “You can see the aftermath of it, you can see pictures like that all day on Facebook and on the internet, but to watch a person’s life be extinguished is a very powerful thing to witness. It is the most tragic thing you will ever witness. And finally we have something that is going to pull back the curtain so that it is no longer a secret to our society.”Tags: Abortion, Browning Cinema, DPAC, Film, Planned Parenthood, Pro-choice, Pro-life
Sign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York A Peconic man charged with driving drunk when he allegedly crashed his pickup truck into a limousine, killing four women touring the North Fork over the weekend, may face additional counts, authorities said.Steven Romero pleaded not guilty Sunday to driving whole intoxicated during an arraignment that was held at his bedside at Eastern Long Island Hospital in Greenport, where he remained hospitalized under the watch of a Suffolk County deputy sheriff.“In the last week we have surely experienced some of the most tragic losses of life due to apparently intoxicated drivers that we’ve ever seen…in the county of Suffolk,” District Attorney Thomas Spota told reporters Monday during a news conference in Southold.The fatal crash came six days after an allegedly drunk driver crashed into a car on the Southern State Parkway in Bay Shore, killing a man and his two children. His wife, the kids’ mother, escaped the fiery wreck while the suspect allegedly fled the scene in a vehicle driven by his friend, who was also arrested later and pleaded not guilty.At about 5:15 p.m. Saturday, Romeo, 55, was driving a red pickup truck westbound on County Road 48, prosecutors said, when he crashed into a black limo that was making a U-turn at the corner of Depot Lane in Cutchogue after it had just left Vineyard 48.The four women killed in the crash were identified as Brittany Schulman and Lauren Baruch, both of Smithtown; Stephanie Belli, of Kings Park; and Amy Grabina, of Commack. All were 23 except Baruch, who was 24. Three were pronounced dead at the scene, and the fourth died at an East End hospital.Four other women riding in the limo were injured and remain hospitalized. They were identified as Joelle Dimonte, 25, of Elwood; Melissa Angela Crai, 23, of Scarsdale; Alicia Arundel, of Setauket; and Olga Lipets, of Brooklyn, both 24.According to Spota, the women had taken a limo from Baruch’s house to a vodka distillery on the North Fork Wine Trail. Then they stopped at Vineyard 48 before getting back in the limo to return home. The district attorney noted that they were “behaving responsibly” by taking a limo and not driving drunk. He could not confirm widespread media reports that the women were participating in a bachelorette party.When Carlos Pino, 58, the limo driver working for Ultimate Class Limousine in Hicksville, left the vineyard, he was forced to turn right, heading eastbound, because of a median in the roadway, officials added. Pino was turning the limo around at Depot Lane, where one witness reportedly saw the impact as it happened, according to investigators.Martin Flatley, chief of the Southold Town Police Department, said his officers issue up to a dozen traffic tickets monthly to limo drivers making illegal U-turns–in which limo drivers improperly back up, blocking traffic in the area. But it’s unclear if Pino was making a prohibited U-turn or a legal one at the time of the crash.Pino reportedly told investigators that he didn’t see the truck coming. He passed drug and alcohol tests, Spota said.Romeo stayed at the scene for 15 minutes and spoke to several responding officers before he allegedly walked away and climbed over a nearby six-foot-high fence. Then an officer ordered him to stop, Spota said. Romeo allegedly ignored the first order to stop, but then complied, the district attorney added.Spota said Romeo allegedly told police that he drank several beers before the crash, but investigators are awaiting blood and alcohol tests to determine his exact blood-alcohol content.Both Pino and Romeo have no prior arrests on their records, authorities said. Romeo, the co-owner of Romeo Dimon Marine Service in Southold, is reportedly being sued for a work-place death, but authorities said there was no criminality involved in that case.Spota added that it’s unclear if any new charges will be filed against Romeo because the investigation is still in its preliminary stages.A Southold town judge set bail for Romeo at $500,000 cash or $1 million bond. Suffolk County police and New York State police are assisting Southold police and Suffolk prosecutors in the ongoing investigation.
Danish offshore drilling contractor Maersk Drilling has received a notification from Tullow Oil of early termination for convenience of the drilling contract for the drillship Maersk Venturer.Maersk Drilling said in a statement on Tuesday that the drillship Maersk Venturer has been working for Tullow offshore Ghana since February 2018.The contract, signed in late 2017, was for development drilling on the Jubilee and TEN fields offshore Ghana. It was expected to end in February 2022. However, following Tullow’s early termination decision, the rig is now expected to end the contract in June 2020.As a consequence of the termination, Maersk Drilling’s revenue contract backlog is reduced by $175 million covering the period from the end of the contract to February 2022.Subject to commercial prospects, Maersk Drilling said it would take measures to reduce Maersk Venturer’s operating costs following the end of the contract.Maersk Drilling maintains the profitability guidance for 2020 of EBITDA before special items of $325-375 million.
The British Horseracing Authority says “the intention is for scheduled race meetings to take place wherever possible.” It adds that “decisions may have to be made to cancel meetings.”BHA chief executive Nick Rust says the racing industry is “following the government’s advice to strike a balance between protecting public health and maintaining business activity.”More than 250,000 people attended the four-day Cheltenham Festival last week.No decision has been made on whether the Grand National Steeplechase will go ahead at Aintree next month. More Britons bet on that race than any other. ___ Associated Press A second team has withdrawn from the Kontinental Hockey League playoffs because of the coronavirus outbreak.The KHL is widely considered to be the strongest hockey league outside the NHL and is one of the few major sports organizations still operating in Europe.There are now six teams remaining in an eight-club conference semifinal bracket.Finnish club Jokerit withdrew Saturday citing concern for the health of its players and staff. Now Barys Astana says it is withdrawing after authorities in Kazakhstan banned sports events and restricted entry to the country.All six of the remaining teams are based in Russia, where various cities and regions have imposed their own restrictions. Spartak Moscow and Dynamo Moscow played in an empty arena on Wednesday. ___12:30 p.m.The international beach volleyball tour has postponed two more events, clearing the schedule of everything until May 6.The FIVB says a three-star event that was supposed to take place this week in Gold Coast, Australia, and a four-star tournament next week in Cancun, Mexico, have been postponed because of travel restrictions in response to the coronavirus pandemic. The events are crucial for athletes trying to qualify for the Summer Olympics, with more points available at the higher-rated tournaments.The FIVB says it is in contact with the IOC about “potentially revising the beach volleyball qualification system” for the Tokyo Olympics. The NHRA drag racing series has suspended its season 30 days with the intention to resume events April 17-19 in Houston.An event at Las Vegas has been postponed with no new date announced.“We made this decision with heavy hearts as we see the effects this pandemic is having on the world,” NHRA said in a statement. “We are all in this complicated uncertain and rapidly changing situation together, and we encourage everyone to look out for each other.”Other motorsports such as NASCAR, IndyCar and Formula One already pulled the plug on racing.12:45 p.m. ___6:40 p.m.The Super League — Europe’s top division in rugby league — has been suspended, initially until April.The league says the decision was taken following the British government’s updated advice on limiting social contact and mass gatherings.In a joint statement, Super League executive chairman Robert Elstone and Rugby Football League chief executive Ralph Rimmer said the suspension presents “significant financial and commercial implications for rugby league, which will be further considered during the period of suspension.” The Latest: Baseball season to start mid-May, at earliest Germany was the last of Europe’s top five leagues to suspend games.The German soccer federation says that games in the top two women’s divisions and the women’s cup will be suspended through April 19.___2:05 p.m.British horse racing will take place without spectators and with restrictions on the number of attendees. The KHL said Saturday it was “in consultation with clubs and all relevant authorities to diligently manage the impact” of the virus outbreak.The KHL has not commented on the withdrawals and its website still lists those teams as competing. The next scheduled games between teams which have not withdrawn are Wednesday.___9:55 a.m.The Greek Olympic committee says the Olympic flame handover ceremony for the Tokyo Games will take place without spectators in an effort to contain the coronavirus outbreak. Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred made the announcement following a conference call with executives of the 30 teams.“The clubs remain committed to playing as many games as possible when the season begins,” the commissioner’s office said in a statement.The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended Sunday that gatherings of 50 people or more be canceled or postponed across the country for the next eight weeks.___1:50 p.m. The Penn Relays, one of the oldest and largest track meets in the nation, has been canceled in response to the coronavirus pandemic.The Penn Relays were scheduled for April 23-25 and had been held uninterrupted since 1895. The event celebrated its 125th consecutive running last year. The Philadelphia-based University of Pennsylvania says it will attempt to host a substitute track meet at a later date in late May or early June. The new event wouldn’t meet the standard Penn Relays format. The three-day event would shorten into a one-day event for youth, high school and open runners.The Penn Relays has adapted to worldwide conditions in the past. The meet was altered in 1917 and 1918 when several colleges, including most Ivy League institutions, curtailed their track programs during World War I. During World War II, travel restrictions reduced participation and spectator attendance while gas rationing was in effect in 1943 and 1944.___12:40 p.m. March 16, 2020 The Indy 500 draws crowds in excess of 300,000.“We are aware of the CDC’s interim guidance suggesting the postponement of events involving more than 50 people over the next eight weeks,” the speedway said in a statement released before 6 a.m. local time.“Our priority is to do our part in protecting the public health while still conducting the 104th Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge as scheduled on May 24. This continues to be a dynamic situation which we are monitoring constantly in coordination with federal, state, local and public health officials.”___10:10 a.m. The committee says the accreditation cards that had been issued for Thursday’s ceremony at the stadium in Athens where the first modern Olympics were held in 1896 would not be valid.The body’s headquarters will also remain closed from Monday until further notice.The committee canceled the remainder of the Olympic torch relay last week after crowds gathered in southern Greece to watch part of the torch relay in Sparta, where the torch was carried by actor Gerard Butler.Greek health authorities have warned people to stay home, and have shut down everything from restaurants, bars and cafes to public organized beaches, ski resorts, hair salons and movie theaters, in an effort to curb the spread of the virus.Greece currently has 331 confirmed cases and four deaths. ___11:10 a.m.McLaren says the team member who tested positive for coronavirus at the Australian Grand Prix “is recovering well” and that his “symptoms have gone.”The British team pulled out of the season-opening Formula One race on Thursday because of the positive test. The race was canceled on Friday.Fourteen members of the team were also placed in quarantine for 14 days after coming into close contact with the person who tested positive for the virus. McLaren chief executive Zak Brown says they are in “good spirits.” The Super League includes teams from France and Canada. ___1:35 p.m.The Arizona Coyotes will pay all part-time arena and team employees through the end of the previously scheduled NHL season.Coyotes owner Alex Meruelo and his family have partnered with Gila River Arena to pay part-time and hourly arena employees scheduled to work the team’s final eight home games. All part-time and hourly team employees will be paid through April 4. McLaren says the rest of the team has returned to Britain but will not go to the team’s headquarters for two weeks as a precaution.With the first four races postponed, the F1 season will not resume until May at the earliest.___11 a.m.Indianapolis Motor Speedway officials say they are holding off on postponing the month of May activities that conclude with the Indianapolis 500 on Memorial Day weekend. The Coyotes also will pay part-time Tucson Roadrunners employees affected by the suspension of the American Hockey League.The NHL announced last week it would pause the 2019-20 season in response to the coronavirus pandemic.Coyotes defenseman Aaron Ness became the NHL’s first known player to be tested for COVID-19 after experiencing flu-like symptoms last week. His agent, Neil Sheehy, said Monday that Ness tested negative for the virus.___1:20 p.m. Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditThe Latest on the coronavirus outbreak’s effect on sports around the world (all times local):2:30 p.m.Major League Baseball has pushed back opening day until mid-May at the earliest on Monday because of the new coronavirus after the federal government recommended restricting events of more than 50 people for the next eight weeks. 1:55 p.m.The Hungarian soccer federation has temporarily suspended all of its competitions.Federation spokesman Jeno Sipos says clubs have been asked to forego training sessions and make it possible for players and staff members to stay home.Sipos says in a video posted on the federation’s Facebook page “we hope we are contributing to stopping the spread of the epidemic.”The federation’s announcement was in line with a government decision to have sports matches played in empty stadiums and only if organizers took responsibility. The DeVos family that owns the Orlando Magic has unveiled plans for a $2 million fund to pay hourly workers who will miss time because of sports shutdown caused by the coronavirus pandemic.The $2 million will be earmarked to help about 1,800 workers who are employed at Magic games, Lakeland Magic G League games, Orlando Solar Bears minor-league hockey games and other Amway Center events.In addition, Magic players have told the organization that they want to provide even more money for those workers.Magic CEO Alex Martins says: “The DeVos Family has a history of stepping up during challenging times. Today is no different. If someone is losing a paycheck because we are not playing, they will be fairly compensated.”The Magic say the part-time employees will receive paychecks for missed games through what would have been the end of the regular season. ___More AP sports: https://apnews.com/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports,Tampa Bay Lightning advance to face Dallas Stars in Stanley Cup finals, beating New York Islanders 2-1 in OT in Game 6 The leader of the IOC’s coordination commission for the Tokyo Olympics says there is no May deadline to cancel the games and he remains confident the event will go ahead despite sports coming to a virtual standstill globally amid the coronavirus outbreak.John Coates, who will have to go into government-mandated self-isolation when he returns to Australia this week from Olympic business in Europe, told the Sydney Morning Herald newspaper: “It’s all proceeding to start on the 24th of July.”Former IOC vice president Dick Pound said in an interview with The Associated Press last month that the end of May loomed as a possible deadline for the IOC to make a call on the Tokyo Olympics.But Coates, an IOC vice president and head of the Australian Olympic Committee, told the Sydney paper in a telephone interview from Switzerland that the IOC didn’t recognize the deadline and he thought Pound had backed away from it, too.Coates says “it’s never been the IOC’s position. It was Dick’s idea. There is four months to go.” A staff member of Canucks Sports & Entertainment has tested positive for COVID-19.Trent Carroll, chief operating officer of the Vancouver Canucks’ parent company, said the diagnosed individual was in self-quarantine and feeling better. The organization closed its offices Monday and employees were preparing to work from home “wherever possible.”“We are receiving guidance from the health authorities on next steps,” Carroll said.Canucks Sports & Entertainment, formerly known as Orca Bay Sports & Entertainment, owns the NHL Canucks and Rogers Arena, among other properties. The German soccer league has extended its suspension through at least April 2.The extension covers the next round of games and the upcoming international break.League CEO Christian Seifert says “it doesn’t mean that we assume we can play from April 3.”Seifert adds that some clubs could face potential financial collapse and put “tens of thousands of jobs” at risk without funding from TV broadcasts and sponsors.Paderborn player Luca Kilian has tested positive for the coronavirus. Three players in the second division also have the virus. As of Monday, four of the last nine points-rich four- and five-star events have been postponed or canceled.___12:20 p.m.NHL players have been told they can return home and self-isolate there until the end of March while hockey is on hold amid the coronavirus pandemic.This signals a significant update on the league’s potential timeline to resume the season. Commissioner Gary Bettman announced last week the season was on pause and did not provide more specifics on how long that would last. Each of those three tournaments was scheduled to begin in April.The tour says a decision will be made “in the week ahead” about the rest of the European clay-court circuit.The next Grand Slam tournament is the French Open, which is scheduled to begin in Paris on May 24.___11:25 a.m. Speaking Monday in parliament, famously soccer-mad Prime Minister Viktor Orban said it would be even better if matches were not played at all.___1:30 p.m.The women’s professional tennis tour has suspended all competition until May 2 because of the coronavirus outbreak.The WTA says it is calling off clay-court tournaments in Stuttgart, Istanbul and Prague, adding those to a list of events previously canceled. Players had previously been told to remain in their team’s city and await further direction. The new directive comes in the aftermath of the CDC’s recommendation the U.S. not hold gatherings of 50 or more people for the next eight weeks.___3:30 p.m.The Russian soccer league has taken a step closer to shutting down after CSKA Moscow canceled its upcoming game with Zenit St. Petersburg.The league is to meet Tuesday to discuss its response to the coronavirus outbreak. However, CSKA said it was no longer able to host Sunday’s game against Zenit after restrictions on mass gatherings in Moscow were tightened. CSKA says it will discuss potential rescheduling and refunds for spectators later.The Russian league was the largest European soccer competition still operational over the weekend, with more than 33,000 fans attending a game between Zenit and Ural Yekaterinburg on Saturday.One large banner at the match read: “We’re all infected with soccer and will die for Zenit.”___2:10 p.m.