|Fall 2020 clickable cover
- About this issue . . .. . . It felt like the Lord was smiling down on those who participated in the 50th March for Life. January 19 was a sunny, blustery but mild day in our nation’s capital—quite a contrast to many previous years when marchers trudged through icy temperatures and blizzards. Of course, the biggest contrast: celebrating the death of Roe! When the Students for Life chanted their familiar “We. Are. The Post-Roe Generation,” they were chanting a fact, not an aspiration.
Though violence was feared, thankfully, none was reported—but that bucks the recent trend. As Julia Duin reports in our lead article, there have been a record number of vicious attacks on pregnancy centers and churches since the Dobbs leak last May. Not only are you not reading about them in the major media, but the FBI and DOJ have shown “stunning inaction” in identifying and arresting the criminals, while at the same time zealously persecuting peaceful pro-life protestors. As we go to press, however, there has been some positive news. On January 24, two individuals were indicted by a federal grand jury in Florida for vandalizing a Winter Haven pregnancy resource center and spray-painting threats, including “If abortions aren’t safe than niether [sic] are you,” “YOUR TIME IS UP!!,” “WE’RE COMING for U,” and “We are everywhere.” And on January 30, Mark Houck, the pro-life activist arrested by a SWAT team at his home in Pennsylvania (see page 11), who was facing up to eleven years in prison, was acquitted. For up-to-date news and analysis on these and other stories, please visit NEWSworthy on our website at www.humanlifereview.com.
Marvin Olasky, whose article “What’s Said and What’s True” begins on page 19, has a new book out, co-written with Leah Savas: The Story of Abortion in America: A Street-Level History, 1652-2022, with an introduction by Robert P. George (Crossway Books). Also out with a new book, our beloved cartoonist Nick Downes: Polly Wants a Lawyer: Cartoons of Murder, Mayhem & Criminal Mischief, available from Humorist books (humoristbooks.com) and Amazon.
Our thanks go to Catholic News Agency for permission to reprint Jonah McKeown’s report on the inspiring speeches given by actor Jonathan Roumie, who plays Jesus in The Chosen, and others at the March for Life rally (Appendix A). We finish up the issue with a marvelous reflection from the late, great Pope Benedict XVI (remembered in From the Website by senior editor William Murchison) who reveals a startling bit of biblical exegesis that puts lie to the claim that the Bible says nothing about the embryo.
With this we commence year 49 of the Human Life Review! May you read with hope.
Maria McFadden Maffucci
Editor in Chief
- Unlike the public at large, Review readers are likely aware of the months-long violent response to the Dobbs decision. Still, Julia Duin’s “Crisis Pregnancy Centers Suffer Record Attacks” may hold surprises. It did for me. I didn’t know, for instance, that in July the home of Thomas More Center founder Thomas Brejcha was splattered with “indelible green paint” while police—who warned him his house would be attacked that day—“just remained in their cruisers, watching the whole thing.” Brejcha’s group is representing CompassCare Pregnancy Services, “a medical clinic in Buffalo employing 22 nurses and five doctors” that sustained $530,000 in damages “after being firebombed on June 7.” By the end of the year, Duin reports, “at least 39 churches and 60 crisis pregnancy centers and medical clinics” had been attacked, vandalized, or threatened. As of this writing, there have been two arrests. Anti-abortion activists who disrupt and damage clinics to save condemned babies—by gluing locks, breaking windows, disabling vacuum machines—expect to be arrested. In “Always a Helper,” Brian Caulfield profiles Monsignor Philip Reilly, a priest of the Brooklyn Diocese and “an early participant in Operation Rescue.” But after being jailed for blocking an abortion clinic entrance, Reilly “came up with an idea that led him to begin another frontline action against abortion.” One, the priest told Caulfield, that would encourage prolifers to work with police, who, he believed, were “their natural allies” because “many are pro-life.” Since its founding in 1989, his Helpers of God’s Precious Infants has “conducted prayer vigils and sidewalk counseling” all over the country, saving thousands of babies by being there to help “the many young women who turned around near the doors of a clinic.”