Why is Sofia Vergara’s ex-fiancé making a pro-life movie in Louisiana?

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NEW ORLEANS -   She's the star of "Modern Family,"  the actress whose face and figure are famous around the world.

He's the ex-fiancé, the millionaire who wants to take custody of two embryos the couple created before they broke up.

Now the Sofia Vergara-Nick Loeb legal battle is in Louisiana, and a case that began in Beverly Hills has come all the way to Belle Chasse.

It started after the celebrity couple's break-up in 2014.

First, Loeb filed suit in California to remove the embryos from a Beverly Hills fertility clinic and have them implanted in a surrogate.  But he and Vergara had signed a contract, stipulating that neither of them could do anything with the embryos without the other's consent, and Vergara would not agree to having the embryos removed from the clinic's deep freeze.

Then last December, Loeb moved to Plaquemines Parish, claimed residency, and filed a new suit.

Loeb persuaded U.S. District Court Judge Mary Ann Lemmon in New Orleans to allow the custody dispute to move to Plaquemines Parish, and the case is on the docket for a September hearing in Belle Chasse.

But on Wednesday (July 11), Vergara's lawyers fired back, presenting Judge Lemmon with their arguments for why the case should be dismissed -- or judged in California.

Case Supervisor Erin Mouledous says there's no timetable for Judge Lemmon to issue a ruling on which state should have jurisdiction.

But in the meantime, Loeb is making an independent film in Louisiana about the Supreme Court's "Roe v. Wade" ruling  that legalized abortion in 1973.

Among the cast is Jon Voight, who'll play the part of a Supreme Court justice, while Loeb plays the role of Dr. Bernard Nathanson, a prominent abortion doctor whose change of heart led him to become the co-founder of the National Association for the Repeal of Abortion Laws (NARAL).

Click here for more information on the movie.

Loeb insists his custody dispute with Vergara did not motivate him to make the movie.  Yet he also says that the movie will be told with a pro-life perspective -- "the truth," he calls it -- and intentionally or not, that may give him an advantage over Vergara in court in this pro-life state.

So why is Loeb making the movie?  And why here?

In an interview at the film's Baton Rouge office, Loeb told WGNO that there were several factors.  Foremost, he says his conscience was bothered after a college girlfriend had an abortion when Loeb was a student at Tulane University.

"As I went through the years," says Loeb, "I would have dreams about the child I should have had."

Loeb says from that time on, he began to read about the abortion debate, keeping up with scientific research that he says points to just one conclusion.

For Loeb, a fetus -- or an embryo -- "is a human being ... and every life today should have the same Constitutional protections."

Loeb says he chose to make the film in Louisiana because the locations for many of the scenes reminded him of 1970s-era Washington. He filmed the Supreme Court scenes in the historic Customs House on Canal Street, the current home of the Audubon Insectarium.

Loeb wants the movie's release to be next January to coincide with the national "March for Life." He also wants the movie to be rated PG-13, hinting that the film will include at least one scene involving a realistic look at what happens during an abortion.

"At the end of the movie," he says, "there is something that happens for a quick second that could be disturbing. If the public thinks that an abortion is too vile for a child to see, then maybe they shouldn't be having them."


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