When Stephenie Meyer's last chapter in her "Twilight" saga, "Breaking Dawn," hit bookshelves back in 2008, it was met with controversy. The book seemed to be preaching a couple of different messages that would appear archaic in the world of the 21st century. Bella decides that she is against aborting her baby, even if it means she will die in childbirth. Everyone except Rosalie is pushing Bella to kill the baby, but she refuses even unto death. Was this a blatant attempt by Meyer to push a pro-life message on readers?
Now "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1" has hit theaters, and it looks like the abortion issue has made its way into the limelight again. Fans have left the theater feeling two different ways on what the movie is telling them. Some feel that Bella makes the "choice" to not abort the child while others feel that her strong opposition to do so shows the character as being pro-life. Screenwriter Melissa Rosenberg bore all about where she stands on the subject of abortion and the message in "Breaking Dawn."
Rosenberg identifies herself as "extremely pro-choice very outspoken about it, very much a feminist" and said she "would not have written this movie" if the studio demanded a certain message.
"They could have offered me the bank and I still wouldn't have," she told Screen Rant. "It is a choice to have a child ... Bella chooses this. I didn't need to make a statement about it; I just needed it to not be a statement on the other side as well. It's a story about a woman who chooses to have a child. That may or may not be how it is in the book."
Director Bill Condon also commented on the subject to Entertainment Weekly.
"Melissa and I were super aware of staying away from anything that could be read as some kind of allegory or message, which I think we were able to do," Condon said.
Kristen Stewart was asked by Entertainment Weekly how she felt about the character of Bella and her decision to not kill the baby and risk her life to save it in "Breaking Dawn." Stewart was very upfront and could identify with what her character is going through:
"I'm so on Bella's side. The idea of destroying something they made together that could never happen again … It has nothing to do with the pro-life thing. I just love the idea of her fighting. She's been willing to die for so much, but now you actually see her, well literally die for it," Stewart commented.
What does Meyer say about the abortion issue that surrounds both the novel and movie version of "Breaking Dawn"? She recently took part in a question and answer session in Chicago and addressed the issue.
"The only thing I can answer to that [is] I have three children and I know what I felt like with each one of those children and if someone had told me, 'If you carry this child to term, you will die,' I would have done it anyway," Meyer told the crowd of thousands at the "Breaking Dawn - Part 1" Concert Tour. "My experience as a mother is reflected in that part of the story."
Her statement would seem to be in line with Meyer's religious beliefs, as she is a devout Mormon. The Mormon Church's stance on abortion officially states, "In today's society, abortion has become a common practice, defended by deceptive arguments. Latter-day prophets have denounced abortion, referring to the Lord's declaration, 'Thou shalt not ... kill, nor do anything like unto it (D&C 59:6).'"
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Eric Shirey is the founder and former editor of Rondo Award nominated movie news websites MovieGeekFeed.com and TheSpectralRealm.com. His work has been featured on Yahoo!, DC Comics, StarWars.com, and other entertainment websites. Eric has interviewed and worked with actors like Harrison Ford, Brooke Shields, Gerard Butler, Brendan Fraser, Selena Gomez, and many more.
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- Stephenie Meyer