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Summer 23 clickable cover
- About this issue . . .
At just over a year after Dobbs v. Jackson, we are in an epic struggle “to remind people of the underlying moral rightness of laws protecting human life, in the face of huge countervailing cultural forces and interests,” writes Thomas Clark in Part 2 of “The Myth of Dobbs Losing the Midterms” (p. 35). Huge forces indeed—and getting more absurd. For example: “Trans folks often have to travel further to get a doctor to use their pronouns,” says “abortion doula” Ash Williams, explaining to National Public Radio why she works to provide funding, including travel expenses, for transgendered men who want abortions (reported by Anne Hendershott and Lucia Hunt in “The Return of Abortion Tourism,” p. 17). The right to pronouns trumps the right to life? While the mainstream media is piling on stories of how terribly hard it is for “pregnant people” to get abortions since Dobbs, how do we get any traction for the truth about what abortion actually does?
George McKenna, who we will honor as a Great Defender of Life in October (along with Thomas Brejcha, whose marvelous “Reminiscence of NOW v. Scheidler” begins on p. 37), writes in “Where Do We Go from Dobbs?: Continuing the Conversation” (p. 50): “I firmly believe that the vast majority of Americans are good people,” and if the facts about abortion were “widely publicized,” especially through ultrasounds, which are truly “baby pictures . . . I can’t imagine they would react with anything but shock and anger.”
The censorship of the truth does make one angry, but McKenna also echoes the words of Wesley Smith (from the symposium in our previous issue) that, to be effective, prolifers need to “change the movement’s (largely but not totally false) reputation as angry to one recognized as steeped in love.”
How do we lead in love? We have an inspiring example in the report starting on p. 54: “The Guadalupe Project at Catholic University,” which extends the “hand of loving welcome to mothers in our community, no matter their circumstances; to children; and to fathers.” The Guadalupe Project’s practical help for pregnant women and their families is a shining example of love in life-saving action, one we think ought to be widely imitated, and we thank Deputy General Counsel Jennie Bradley Lichter for sharing the news of this forward-thinking initiative.
I admit to being more angry than loving as I read the book I review in Booknotes (Madame Restell: The Life, Death and Resurrection of Old New York’s Most Fabulous, Fearless and Infamous Abortionist, by Jennifer Wright, on p. 79). However, I tempered my reaction with humor, as you will see. (And thanks go as always to cartoonist Nick Downes for the blessed giggles he provides.) You won’t want to buy that book, but please consider reading Survivor: A Memoir of Forgiveness, by Cynthia Toolin-Wilson (En Route Books and Media), reviewed by newcomer to our pages Kiki Latimer on p. 77.
We usually include several excellent pieces in From the Website, but this time we were short on space; I do encourage you to visit our website at www.humanlifereview.com
often, so you don’t miss the weekly Pastoral Reflections, blogs and NEWSworthy items by our articulate contributors.
Our thanks go to National Review Online and First Things for permission to reprint Clarke D. Forsythe’s “Congress Funds Coercion When It Funds Abortion” (Appendix A); and Gerard V. Bradley’s masterful essay “Life after Dobbs” (Appendix B).
For more on what we offer here, turn to Anne Conlon’s compelling Introduction and get ready to engage, for life!
Maria McFadden Maffucci
Editor in Chief
A recent news story got me wondering how much longer sane people will tolerate the devolution of the sexual revolution into farce. The CDC, apparently, is now using its website to instruct transgender men (women) whose breasts have been cut off on how to “chestfeed” their infants and transgender women (men) on medication that will induce lactation “so they can pretend to be women by feeding from their nipples.” (No, this is not the Babylon Bee—it’s the Washington Examiner.)
Mary Eberstadt, writes William Murchison in our lead article (“The Moral Clarity of Mary Eberstadt”) has trained “an industrial-quality flashlight” on our disheveled culture for decades. Which makes her, he says, perfectly positioned to assess the ongoing effect the sexual revolution has had on “society, politics, and Christianity itself.” This isn’t a review so much as our senior editor’s appreciative take on Eberstadt‘s latest book, Adam and Eve After the Pill Revisited, coupled with his own “supplementary way of looking at human prospects, unencouraging as they seem to be.” The sexual revolution, “properly understood,” is “the latest instance of uprooting ways and modes displeasing to people who want something more, as they see it, pleasurable and fulfilling.” (“Call it the Golden Calf Thing,” he quips.) As to why this one took longer to manifest than “other upheavals,” perhaps, Murchison posits, because “ancient religious structures and teachings about male-female relationships made intuitive as well as religious sense.”