Some movie moments simply transcend time. Generation after generation of movie-goers cry during the final scenes of “Casablanca.” Children year in and year out join the governess Maria in singing “Do-re-mi” in the “Sound of Music.”
And everyone from the Greatest Generation to Millennials can appreciate the artistry of Judy Garland singing “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” in “The Wizard of Oz.”
Even though movie buffs might know that Shirley Temple was considered for the role, it is hard to imagine anyone other than Judy playing Dorothy and rhapsodizing about rainbows in such a moving way.
But according to a recently-released book entitled Judy and I, the star of the beloved children’s classic might never had had an opportunity to sing for the masses—or even for her own family.
The late Sid Luft, who was married to Judy Garland and whose recollections are the basis of the book, wrote that, before her talented daughter made her debut in this world, Judy’s mother, Ethel Gumm, “was unhappy at this time. She was pregnant and considering having an abortion.”
According to the book, Ethel and her husband Frank decided to consult with a friend who was a medical student. Luft noted, “He advised them to go home and have their third child.”
And so a star was born.
Years later, Judy played the leading lady, to wide acclaim, in a remake of the film, “A Star is Born.” The breakthrough role was considered one of the highlights of her career.
Sid Luft called Judy a “true genius. She was, to me, the greatest talent who ever lived.”
A talent that the world might never have known, had abortion claimed her life before she could emerge on the world stage.
To paraphrase the song, somewhere over the rainbow, the dreams that we dare to dream can come true. For millions of us, those dreams include a world where every girl singer is given a chance at life. And every mother and father are spared the heartache of abortion.
Someday Americans will wake up to a day where the clouds of doubt, despair, and the culture of death are far behind us. A place where the challenges of an unexpected pregnancy are met with compassion, hope, and love. And a land where the law respects all life, from its true beginning to its natural end.
At Judy Garland’s funeral, actor James Mason, who appeared with her in “A Star is Born,” said, “Her special talent was this: she could sing so that it would break your heart.”
America’s heart has been broken over Roe v. Wade. It has been shattered into nearly 60 million pieces—one for every child lost to abortion since the U.S. Supreme Court issued the tragic ruling in 1973.
We will never know just how many songs have been left unsung because of its catastrophic impact on our country. But we do know this—it can be reversed. For the sake of art, beauty, and the future of humanity, it must eventually fall.