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Gosnell: The Trial of America’s Biggest Serial Killer (Directed by Nick Searcy and Reviewed by Anne Conlon)

  News that a Philadelphia doctor had murdered hundreds of babies delivered alive during illegal late-term abortions received scant press coverage when it came to light in 2011. Ditto for the movie that tells his story, Gosnell: The Trial of America’s Biggest Serial Killer, which opened in October, three years after filming finished. That’s how long it took producers Phelim McAleer and Ann McElhinney to find a distributor. Not only has the press ignored the film—just a handful of mainstream reviews as of this writing—venues like Facebook and NPR, by refusing to run ads, have actively suppressed it. Theaters too. Despite Gosnell’s successful opening—it was in the top ten at the box office the weekend of Oct. 12—nearly a third of...
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2015: A Watershed Year for the Pro-life Movement

INTRODUCTION “…it’s hard to imagine our ever getting to a culture of life without underscoring the sheer miracle wrapped up in a baby.”— William McGurn As we prepared to mark January 22, 2016, the 43rd anniversary of Roe v. Wade, we decided to ask pro-life leaders and thinkers to share with us their thoughts on “How the Pro-Life Movement Fared in 2015.” Their answers, collected here, both unite and diverge. All might agree that the top story was the release of the undercover Planned Parenthood videos. Eric Metaxas sees that, in an “epochal” year for the pro-life movement, “David Daleiden’s undercover citizen-video journalism broke open the ghastly subject of abortion in a way never done before.” Kristan Hawkins writes that the...
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A Distinctive Catholic Vision for Politics

Christians committed to the defense of life and justice have every reason today to feel like strangers in a strange land. Consider the following. In 2016 we endured one of the most divisive national elections on record, in which supporters of each candidate said the other was untrustworthy and unfit for office—and many strongly suspect that both sides were right. Since then, partisan distrust and polarization have not healed but worsened to the point that almost nothing can get done in Congress, and each party seems largely concerned with tripping up the other. Each end of the political spectrum has its extremist groups, such as Antifa on the Left and the Ku Klux Klan and other white nationalists on the Right. Each is willing to use...
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Symposium: Pro-life in the Time of Trump

We asked our participants to reflect on “Pro-life in the Time of Trump,” and offered them the following two opposing views to consider: Charles Camosy writing the day after the election in Crux, and Marjorie Dannenfelser quoted in Susan B. Anthony List’s press release the same day. The responses we received are thoughtful, challenging and varied, and will, we hope, encourage fruitful dialogue and collaboration for life.—The Editors Jump to:  Charles Camosy     Marjorie Dannenfelser     Kelsey Hazzard     Edward Mechmann    Mary Meehan    George McKenna     Kristan Hawkins    Destiny Herndon-De La Rosa    Ellen Wilson Fielding     Chuck Donovan     Alexandra DeSanctis      Anne Hendershott     David Mills     Clarke D. Fors...
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The Business of Family Planning

  The global contraceptives market was estimated to be $22 billion in 2016  and projected to rise to $37 billion by 2025.1 To promote contraceptive use, especially among youth, manufacturers and other familyplanning advocates commemorate World Contraceptive Day on September 26. Arguably, however, contraceptive profits would not have risen nearly so high without the decades-long efforts of the United Nations to drastically rein in population growth by  a variety of interventions to prevent conception or to intervene when it has already taken place. In 1969, the United Nations created the United Nations Fund for Population Activities (later renamed the United Nations Population Fund) to address a broad range of population matters,...
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Fake Clinics—or Fake Feminism?

On the morning of March 20, in freezing rain, opposing groups of protestors held competing rallies at the steps of the Supreme Court to mark the day oral arguments would be heard in National Institute of Family and Life Advocates (NIFLA) v. Becerra, a free-speech case involving abortion. NIFLA, an organization that supports pro-life pregnancy centers nationwide, is challenging the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals’ upholding of the 2015 California Reproductive FACT law (Freedom, Accountability, Comprehensive Care and Transparency), which would require pro-life medical clinics to advertise (in a large-size font and in as many as 13 different languages) where women can obtain low-cost abortions. The law would further require pregnancy...
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The Strange Case of Dr. Couney: How a Mysterious European Showman Saved Thousands of American Babies (by Dawn Raffel and Reviewed by Sarah Gallick)

  From 1898 to 1943, entertainment seekers from Coney Island to the Chicago World’s Fair could buy tickets to gawk at tiny premature infants in incubators. In our enlightened age we might wonder what kind of parents would put their newborns on that kind of display. The answer is they were parents who believed this was the only hope for their child. Rejected by the medical experts, they had turned to Martin Couney, the “Incubator Doctor,” who, while definitely not a physician, saved thousands of babies otherwise doomed to die. The “Incubator Doctor” is the subject of a fascinating new book by Dawn Raffel, whose previous work includes a novel and two short-story collections. The Strange Case of Dr. Couney  can’t properly be called a...
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SYMPOSIUM: Could Abortion Ever Be “Unthinkable” Again?

INTRODUCTION Needless to say, we are at an intense moment in the history of the pro-life movement. Although there is fervent new reaction and commentary every day in the press, we think it is also a moment to take a deep breath and reflect on some fundamental questions:  Why is the abortion issue one that continues to divide us; why has it not become “settled”? And how much has really changed in this decades-long struggle? In our ponderings, we reached back into the Human Life Review’s archives, and were amazed when we revisited Malcolm Muggeridge’s prophetic “What the Abortion Argument Is About.” It was 1975, and the great British journalist—and HLR’s editor-at-large—had already mapped out the road from Roe to infanticide to...
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Can Our Vulnerability Make Us More Human? An Interview with Archbishop Anthony Fisher

 Archbishop Anthony Fisher, of Sydney, Australia, was struck down with Guillain Barré Syndrome, an immune-related condition, last Christmas. Symptoms include varying degrees of muscle weakness. The Archbishop, who also experienced temporary paralysis from the neck down, is now on the long road to recovery. Patrick Langrell, the Archbishop’s public policy and engagement advisor, conducted this interview.   Archbishop Anthony, you’ve just recently been discharged from hospital, but hospitals, health care, and the healing professions aren’t things you’re unfamiliar with; in fact you’ve contributed a lifetime of work to these issues and bioethics more generally. How has your understanding of these issues and their importance been...
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