The very first cover of the Human Life Review.
A 6-3 Ruling Ends 50 Years of Federal Abortion Rights
—New York Times headline, June 25, 2022
When Roe v. Wade was issued on January 22, 1973, it surprised just about everyone, including our founder J.P. McFadden. He read the text of the sweeping opinion the next day in the New York Times—back then “the paper of record” still was a paper of record—and, as he later recalled, his life changed: “It was a day-long road to Damascus for me. I hadn’t realized these kinds of things were going on. I hadn’t realized that anyone was making these arguments, that the Supreme Court of the United States could put the moral suasion and moral power of this country behind killing babies.”
From that day on, McFadden (then assistant publisher at National Review) made mounting a campaign against abortion his priority. He set up a lobbying office in Washington DC, and, convinced that every movement needed an intellectual arm, established the Human Life Foundation, which, since 1975, has published the Human Life Review. In his introduction to the first issue, McFadden wrote that “Those of us who care about the value of life— about abortion, euthanasia, and other present-day challenges to the sanctity of life—need such a publication, and need it badly, as a vehicle for the widespread public dissemination of intelligent (even scholarly) and informed viewpoints on these vital matters.”
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