The Human Life Review

Articles from Vol. 29, No. 1, Winter

Abortion Now
It is a lucky thing that most pro-lifers profess a religion that forbids despair. It is, of course, possible to be pro-life without being religious (and vice-versa). It is even possible for unbelievers to oppose abortion for the same reasons that impel...
An Unnecessary Evil
When William Wilberforce rose in Parliament on the evening of May 11, 1789 to give his maiden speech against the slave trade, he argued that the trade was both inhumane and unnecessary for the British economy. His words were part of a conscious strategy...
A Tough Roe
It is now 30 years since the Supreme Court, in its Roe v. Wade vision, blew down the barriers to abortion on demand, using as the essential rationale a constitutional right of privacy that the court had discovered less than eight years earlier. Since...
Catholic Liberals and Abortion
When the late Cardinal Joseph L. Bernardin of Chicago first articulated the concept of the "seamless garment of life issues" two decades ago, liberal Catholics embraced it enthusiastically, as requiring a heightened moral seriousness on the part of American...
Constitutional Persons: An Exchange on Abortion
Readers of First Things should by now be well-acquainted with the heated national debate-in part inspired by these very pages-over the role and legitimacy of the modern Supreme Court, armed with the power of judicial review, in a country that proclaims...
Go Forth and Multiply
This will be an important week for the world, and I've no idea how it's going to go. So let me come at it from another direction: Abortion.Last week was the 30th anniversary of Roe v. Wade. If the greying harpies of the abortion movement were looking...
Inside a Crisis Pregnancy Center
The Capitol Hill Pregnancy Center in Washington, D.C., where I've been working as a volunteer for over a year, is a pro-life Christian ministry to pregnant women and poor families. Like most pro-life pregnancy centers, it offers free pregnancy tests,...
Introduction
ANNIVERSARIES ARE A NATURAL invitation to reflect on the past, to relive memories as well as to ponder the changes that have taken place since the remembered event. The 30th anniversary of Roe v. Wade (January 22, 2003) is a prevalent theme in this issue...
Lily
She was an absolute nobody in most anyone's estimation, but, then again, so was I. She was a pregnant 16-year-old awaiting her first obstetrical clinic visit at the County Hospital. I was the lone practicing Catholic resident physician in this renowned...
Mother of All Rights
Roe v. Wade anniversaries make me think of the last scene in "Schindler's List," the film about Oskar Schindler, the German industrialist who saved a small number of Jews during World War II. The final scene features actual Schindler survivors with their...
Overcoming Motherhood
To invoke Prometheus, the figure of Greek myth who was punished by Zeus for stealing fire from Hephaestus and giving it to humans, has become a popular warning against scientific hubris in our new age of biotechnology and genetic engineering. But the...
Safe, Legal, and Stigmatized
A stigma. That's the great achievement of the pro-life movement: Having an abortion once again carries a stigma. The legal right to an abortion is one that almost no one boasts of exercising. Abortion is a medical procedure that fewer and fewer doctors...
The Forgotten Option
Last month, "Dateline NBC" told the story of a young couple's decision to have a baby who had been diagnosed with Down syndrome. The story, which took place in 1998, is worth recalling as the nation continues to grapple with the morality of abortion.In...
The Physicians' Crusade for the Unborn
In 1857, while much of the nation was consumed with the issues that would soon lead to civil war, a young Boston doctor took action on another matter of life and death. Dr. Horatio Robinson Storer's effort, dubbed the "physicians' crusade against abortion,"...
Thirty Years of Empty Promises
In the long and arduous fight leading up to Roe v. Wade, the one thing feminists were most passionate about was their belief that unrestricted access to abortion was indispensable to achieving gender equality. Betty Friedan in 1972 promised that legalizing...
Voyage around My Fatherhood
There is a line in Helen Garner's novel Cosmo Cosmolino in which a character attempts to cope with the breakdown of her marriage. "To see a couple of any age lean towards each other across a restaurant table caused Janet's heart to fracture like an egg."Random...
Winning Friends and Saving Lives
I grew up in a home where we fiercely debated great issues of the day around the dinner table. Excelling in stubbornness and sheer fighting spirit, we were another version of the Fighting Irish.Our lively arguments taught us that current events were...
Women Deserve Better
Women deserve better. Women deserve better."Serrin Foster repeats that refrain as often as she can-and has for some nine years at Feminists for Life of America, where she has served as executive director and now as president. The message is simple, but...