Human Life Review Blog

Scroll through our blog to find great articles and commentary on current life issues.

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The Fallacy of “Pro Choice” New York

  My stomach hurt as I desperately tried to think of something to say to the woman sitting in front of me: “You know you love your son so much . . . I bet he would love another sibling!” Annabelle* looked up at me, exasperated. I already knew her answer. “I just can’t...
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 “April Is the Cruellest Month”

    So, how’s your spring going? Chill, snow, nor’easter rain enough for Noah? Hope you don’t need to go to Baltimore, with the Key Bridge collapse adding to the usual disarray caused by high urban crime rates. Maybe you were among the 73 million AT&T customers whose...
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In Vitro Fertilization and the Law

  The Alabama Supreme Court’s recent decision on in vitro fertilization (IVF), LePage v. The Center for Reproductive Medicine (Feb. 16, 2024), has generated a tsunami of synthetic hysteria that has drowned the country in misinformation. Left-wing pundits and politicians,...
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Similar Indifferences

  The 2023 cinematic production The Zone of Interest won an Academy Award last month for Best International Feature Film. This powerful movie focuses on Schutzstaffel (SS) lieutenant colonel Rudolf Höss during his time as commandant of Auschwitz, the sprawling Nazi...
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Where There’s a Will There’s a Way

  The only thing I find even creepier than the women at abortion rights rallies whose faces are so distorted with rage they look like fugitives from a de Kooning painting are the ones who link arms and virtually dance the Irish jig because they’ve succeeded in enshrining...
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Patron for the Ages

  Somebody once told me that while it was good to be a ladies’ man, it was important to be a man’s man, too. That was a long time ago, and though I took his advice to heart, he had been vague about how to arrive at either state. In the intervening years, I’ve observed men...
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The Language We Have Lost

  IMHO* Yes, I confess to learning a few texting terms to communicate with younger people at the office. But most of the time, in my capacity as vice postulator of the sainthood cause of Blessed Michael McGivney, founder of the Knights of Columbus, I am immersed in language...
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Cecile Richards: One of “Us”?

  In late January former Planned Parenthood director Cecile Richards revealed in a New York Magazine interview that she is battling glioblastoma, an “incurable brain cancer for which the median survival rate is 15 months.” On reading the news I immediately began praying for...
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A Triumph of the Spirit

  A visually arresting film with an engaging narrative, Cabrini should come with a friendly warning, or perhaps a guarantee: You will be captivated, heart and soul, by this depiction of the life of one of the most significant women of the late 19th and early 20th centuries....
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Don’t Lose Pro-Life History

  Since Dobbs was handed down a veritable cottage industry in pro-abortion books has emerged, especially among academic presses, the intellectual gatekeepers concerning what’s considered important scholarship. I remember both Rutgers University Press and the University of...
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With Friends Like These . . .

  Long-term relationships, be they with family or friends, carry a lot of history. Obviously, most of it is pleasant or the bond would be severed at some point. But there’s also a trail of disappointments and betrayals, which, as long as they are relatively minor in nature,...
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Who Cares about Britney Spears?

  Why should pro-life people care about singer/sex symbol Britney Spears? Sure, her memoir The Woman in Me sold 2.4 million copies last fall in its first week of release. Sure, Time named her one of the 100 most influential people in the world, and she placed first in a poll...
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The Huge Loophole in Genocide Law

  I’ve noticed that everyone who is against genocide has already been born. This paraphrase recalls Ronald Reagan’s well-known line, “I’ve noticed that everyone that is for abortion has already been born.” The sentiment is similar. Children in the womb don’t have a say in...
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Is Gay the New Boring?

              Meet Your Maker  Sitting on the local waiting in the station then running and shouting. A voice yells everybody down! We obey without question. How strange to be in a group all faced in the same direction the voice pulling us like gravity first to bent knee...
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Forward Into the Culture of Death

  The March for Life never disappoints. No matter the state of the union, the status of legislation at the federal and state level, or the twisted rhetoric of Planned Parenthood and the mainstream media, there is no denying the joyful, dauntless witness of tens of thousands...
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What’s in a Name?

  Combing through the entries of the first race at Aqueduct one Sunday, I lighted on the name of a colt making his second start, an impressive one as it turned out. San Pantaleo shot out of the gate as if he’d been fired from a cannon and won the race going away. It pains me...
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Musings on Imperfect Christmases

  So, without sharing graphic details, let’s just say that the recently celebrated Christmas season did not unfold in my family circle like a Hallmark movie. This, despite not only my prayers but my rather beside-the-point “practical” attempts to incarnate in our midst the...
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Enter the Dragon

  2024 is the year of the dragon. It was barely half-a-day old when the dragon lashed out in anger. On the afternoon of New Year’s Day in Japan our cell phones started bleating in unison, high-pitched whooping interspersed with an urgent robotic voice repeating: “Jishin...
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Who’s Minding the Store?

  The current Supreme Court is pilloried for being Right Wing simply because a majority of justices are originalists who believe the Constitution should be interpreted strictly according to how it would have been understood by the framers. Labeling such a proclivity as Right...
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A Reason to Give Thanks

  Looking for something to feel thankful for in this traditional season of joy? The whole world seems to be abrew with grievance, vengeance, and crazy racial baiting; the “never again” regarding our Jewish brothers and sisters has been cast aside along with the “Hate Has No...
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A Modest Proposal for 2024

  Once upon a time, in a prosperous country, many women decided that nurturing the next generation should not necessarily be their primary vocation. They offered a variety of serious reasons. They wanted to be appreciated as individuals. They had gifts and skills that should...
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Hostage Politics

  Some earlier historians of China tell us that Qin Shihuangdi, the first Chinese emperor, was a thunderous tyrant. His word was law, and his mood was survival or extermination for those under his sway. A tale often told about Qin Shihuangdi is that he ordered the...
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Chris Slattery RIP

  Not exactly the John Wayne of the pro-life movement, but something akin to it, Chris Slattery was always easy to spot. A big man sporting a cowboy hat and boots, he was a familiar presence at pro-life events and gatherings, an indisputable movement leader, though at times...
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As the World Turned Over: JFK and the ’60s

  We savvy New York City first graders knew something was up. Sister Elaine, the fun nun, looked worried, and her mouth, usually wide in smile, was taut. We sensed a big, sore secret inside that she couldn’t let out, as much as she wanted to tell us. It was well after lunch,...
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Scarecrow and Tin Man

  After the successful overturn of the national abortion mandate known as Roe v. Wade, the next battle for prolifers is “winning hearts and minds.” The problem is when it comes to hearts and minds someone else got there first.  Or something. The unhinged behavior coming from...
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Requiem for Two Hypocrisies

  “Never again,” the world long repeated. The immolation of Jewry in the Shoah shall never again darken the name of humanity, we proclaimed . . . for decades. The word “genocide” was coined after the Holocaust to name the attempt to eradicate an entire group of human beings....
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Handicapping Confidential

  When I was a little boy in Rochester, my Uncle Vin would often relieve my young stressed-out mother and take me with him on the 25-mile drive to pick up Aunt Florrie, his wife, from her job at the Finger Lakes Racetrack. Before I could read, this guy was showing me how to...
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When the Dirty Magazines Were Kept in the Back of the Store

  Sigmund Freud said there’s “a primary sexual drive that would not be ultimately curbed by law, education or standards of decorum.” Hell, anybody who’s ever had an “eyes across the room” moment knows that! The Beatles sang about it: My heart went Boom when I crossed that...
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Who Wants to Be a Martyr?

  “I am God’s wheat, and I shall be ground by the teeth of beasts, that I may become the pure bread of Christ.” Today, Oct. 17, the Church remembers a first-century bishop who set a standard for Christian courage in the face of death. St. Ignatius of Antioch, friend of St....
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November Elections: Vital Lessons for Pro-lifers

A MONTH AHEAD OF ELECTIONS …. By the time you read this, November elections will be less than a month away.  A year ahead of presidential elections, 2023 may not attract the attention elections usually do.  But failing to pay attention to them would be a fatal mistake for...
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Who Will Rescue America?

  As summer ended, news came of several prolifers having been convicted in federal court. Their “crime” was violating the 1994 FACE Act; specifically, what they did was carry out a rescue. Three years ago, the prolifers disrupted the “business” of a notorious Washington, DC...
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More Like the Machines?

  Based on the Philip K. Dick novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, the classic science fiction movie Blade Runner features robots so life-like they’re indistinguishable from human beings. Machines Like Me, a more recent work by Ian McEwan, confronts the same...
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https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Beyond_My_Ken

Tinker’s Dam

  The expression “not worth a tinker’s dam” means something is completely worthless. A tinker was an itinerant handyman who repaired small household items like utensils and pots and pans. A tinker’s dam was a piece of doughy material used to hold metal in place when...
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The Empty Nest

  Grief and relief. Depression and elation. These are some of the back-and-forth feelings I’ve been experiencing since my wife and I dropped off our younger son at college last month. We are now empty nesters—at least until Thanksgiving. It’s been a long time sin...
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Justice Is Blinded

  On August 29, my friend Will Goodman and four other defendants were convicted (and immediately jailed) in federal court in Washington, D.C., of violating the FACE Act. Their alleged offenses occurred on October 22, 2020, when the group disrupted a late-term-abortion mill...
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A Letter from Home

  Despite being brought up by generous, loving people, I never felt at home in the suburban tract house where I misspent my youth. My dad was a slick-talking charmer who hadn’t energy for much beyond drinking, gambling, and chasing women, though he was, in his way, generous...
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How Malta Just Stopped Legalized Abortion

  American pro-life attention since June 2022 has focused on the legal status of abortion in the aftermath of the Dobbs decision, removing Roe v. Wade’s straitjacket on states that wanted to protect prenatal life. Fewer people know that during the same period, a similar...
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Lawyer Land

  In Lawyer-Land, if you shoplift but the surveillance cameras are busted and you get out of the store without the alarm going off, you’re innocent. No evidence, no crime. It doesn’t matter what is true or false, it only matters what can be proven in court. It’s the...
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The Living and the Dead

  It is sultry summer in Japan. There are fireworks displays in the night sky as I walk home from work, distant orbs of shattering ochre and turquoise exploding in the distance followed by a dull thud. In nearby parks and schoolyards, I hear the taut rhythms of taik...
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A Republic to Keep

  Now that it’s over, I can ask, “How was your July?” I have a certain affection for the month due to the fireworks at the beginning and my birthday near the end. But this one lacked the usual oomph! A pervasive ennui hung in the air along with the miasmic humidity that...
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Author’s Note

  Years ago, I made the acquaintance of a man who wrote on occasion. Beyond the ambition of the Big Score that busted-out writers and horse players dream of, he had none. His main occupation at that time was swilling vodka, browbeating his fellow barflies, and bemoaning what...
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Men Wearing the Bras We Burned in the Sixties 

  Seeing the photos of “trans woman” Glenique Frank after he won a marathon in London by competing in the female category gave me a moment of clarity about the current “men in women’s sports” phenomenon. They usually try to pull off what they presume is a feminine air...
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Looking at This Fall’s Elections

    As we mark the first anniversary of Dobbs, it’s important to prepare for this fall’s off-year elections. Roe caught pro-lifers off-guard in 1973 because, prior to that decision, abortion policy had been fought out almost exclusively at the state level. Roe suddenly...
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Home

  I had not been to visit my parents in more than four years when I finally made it back a few months ago. I was last down home in early 2019; we had said goodbye hoping to meet around the same time in 2020. A pandemic intervened. The world turned upside-down. Death....
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The Godzilla in the Room

  There was a major freak-out when shortly after the fall of Roe Senator Lindsay Graham proposed a national ban on abortion after 15 weeks. I myself thought it was poor timing and impolitic. The pro-life stance had been about states’ rights, and the sudden change in focus...
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A Father’s Reflection

  When my two sons were learning their catechism, I would joke that the most important of the Ten Commandments was the fourth: Honor thy father and thy mother. Some 20 years later, as I enter the Medicare phase of life, I recite for them (more seriously) the sage words of...
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Restoring Fathers’ Rights in the Post-Dobbs World

    June 19 is Father’s Day. It will be the first Father’s Day in nearly fifty years when states have not been constrained by Roe v. Wade (and its progeny) from protecting fathers’ rights. Few remember that the 1973 Roe decision legalizing abortion represented such a...
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Nothing in the World but a Cell

  If Pope Celestine V is familiar at all to us today, it’s because his name came up in 2013 during the resignation of Benedict XVI. As one of only a handful of popes who had previously abdicated, the erstwhile Peter of Morrone was perhaps the most hapless selection to the...
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Calligrapher of Life

  A few weeks ago, I attended the world premier of “Tomo ni Ikiru: Shoka Kanazawa Shoko,” a documentary about the life and work of Kanazawa Shoko, the world’s greatest living calligrapher. The title means “Living Side by Side.” During opening remarks, the film’s director...
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In Praise of Things Breaking Down

  My father was a master grade electrician and for a while he worked at the Ballantine brewing facility in Newark, N.J. Once, during a family car trip, he pointed it out as we passed by. I remember a huge expanse of buildings and cylindrical structures. He said an important...
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It’s Abortion, Stupid!

  The turning point came when Pennsylvania Governor Bob Casey was denied a chance to speak at the 1992 Democratic National Convention in New York. Ordinarily, the ranking elected Democrat from such a large and important state would be a natural choice to address the...
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Opting Out of Mother’s Day

    Though it may be known for showers, a tempest broke out in late April on social media over emails that leading retailers (including DoorDash, Kay Jewelers, Hallmark, and Levi’s) sent to customers offering them the opportunity to “opt out” of potentially “triggering”...
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Uncle Frank’s Candy Store

    The inside of the place was rinsed in shadow, dust particles swirling in the opaque light. Newspapers were stacked on the counter; a local rag trumpeting rape and murder and a smudged racetrack tip sheet lay nearby. On the wall, a mounted cigarette rack housed...
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Stemming the Flood Tide

    Last month, I reported on the efforts of a Japanese prolifer named Sasaki Kazuo.  (https://humanlifereview.com/if-they-only-knew/) When I interviewed Sasaki in early April, he was staging a hunger strike at the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare in downtown...
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Who Are the Barbarians?

  Mumbley Peg was a very popular game in 19th-century America, equal to marbles and jacks. In Mark Twain’s 1896 novel Tom Sawyer, Detective, mumbley peg, or “mumblety-peg,” was described as a favorite game of young boys. In it two opponents stand opposite each other with...
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It’s Not Guns. It’s Godlessness. 

  Mass shootings have become a common occurrence in the United States. As of mid-April there have been over 160 massacres, totaling dozens of innocent people in different states. Politicians have been quick to react, usually with the same message: the need for more “gun...
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“If They Only Knew”

  It’s the afternoon of April 6, Holy Thursday, when I call Sasaki Kazuo. He answers the phone and I am immediately taken aback. His speech is slightly slurred, his words rushing together as if he were willing himself to speak. Just a few days before he had left a voicemail...
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St. John Chrysostom and the Horseplaying Ancients

  Born around 347 in the ancient city that lies in ruins near present-day Antakaya, Turkey, he might have been called John of Antioch were it not for his celebrated theological thinking, writing, and especially, preaching. Known today as St. John Chrysostom—“Golden mouthed”...
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Marching in Connecticut

  In deep blue Connecticut, where Democrats outnumber Republicans by some 20 percentage points, a sprig of hope surfaced on an early spring day as the 2nd annual state March for Life got under way at the Capitol building in Hartford. Featuring a succession of truly inspiring...
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Taking Refuge in the Omniscient Narrator

  Back in the day, there was a Disney-sponsored “See If You Can Draw” contest in the back of the comic books. You were to draw the picture provided, send it in, and they would tell you if you had talent. This opportunity was brought to my attention by my big brother. There...
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Free Speech Prevails in Texas

  Aw, come on, we know what free speech is. It’s the duly enshrined right of the Left to malign the Right as retrograde, regressive, reactionary, with some “o” words thrown in, like oppressive. Whereas the Right’s right to come back at the Left operates only in the...
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Back on the Chain Gang

  There’s an old fable in Japan titled Ubasuteyama, or “Throw-Away-Grandma Mountain.” There are two versions. The one I know best is as follows: There’s a mountain—Throw-Away-Grandma Mountain—where people from a nearby village abandon their aged parents when the parents can...
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The Threshold of No Consequence

  A teenager strapped to a backpack reeking of marijuana boards a city bus. The stink permeates the vehicle’s interior the moment the teen reaches the top step. Sneering at the fare box, he walks by the driver and plops into a seat. I guess he doesn’t have to pay. I do, but...
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Jeweler’s Dust

  It was the end of my first day on the job as a shop girl in an antique jewelry store in New York City’s Greenwich Village. Long glass cases on mahogany legs, a grandfather clock in the corner—they didn’t just sell jewelry but made and repaired it as well in the workshop at...
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Do Chatbots Have Souls?

  Don’t worry. I don’t intend to give examples of the “amazing” artificially generated output of ChatGPT, a chatbot introduced last fall by OpenAI. With true Boomer perspective, and as one who wrote his first simple computer program using Basic language back in the dark age...
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Fashion Victims

  The term “fashion victim” came into vogue during my lifetime. It was apparently first used by Oscar de la Renta (1932-2014) to describe people who try too hard to keep up with the latest design trends. Perhaps you’ve seen such poor souls, thoroughbred clotheshorses who...
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Exequies and Lamentations: The Waste Land Now

  Some years back, some of my readers might remember, an advertisement for corn whisky ran on billboards across the country: “Old Grand-Dad—Over a Hundred Years Old and Still in the Bars Every Night.” Something of the same might be said about T.S. Eliot’s The Waste Land...
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Analog Like Me

  By the fourth week of January, resolutions made for the New Year are likely to have lost any momentum they might briefly have claimed. Resolutions usually take the nature of goals, and goals are fantasies, which isn’t to dismiss them—daydreams serve a purpose. But I prefer...
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Let’s March with Renewed Life

    This is not the time to stop marching. Though Roe has been overturned, abortion on demand is still the law in many states, and in recent votes even so-called pro-life states have expressed surprising support for pro-abortion legislation and some confusion over bills...
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Be Careful What You Wish For

  You know what killed Roe v. Wade? Roe v. Wade. New York State legalized abortion in 1970, and it didn’t need the Supreme Court to do it; it already had the option because of states’ rights.  Hawaii was actually first, but its law had residency requirements whereas N...
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A Gentle Warrior

  Pastor Tsujioka Kenzo passed away on December 16. He was eighty-nine years old.  My friend and fellow pro-life advocate Vincent Kato let me know as soon as he found out. Just a week before, Vincent had shared photos of a Prolife Japan Christmas gathering with me. Pastor...
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Closing Time 2022

  The embers of an exhausted year—one more Christmas behind us—carry with them a familiar melancholy. The time is bittersweet, if not depressing, and I learned long ago to embrace this seasonal interlude with this thought in mind: The end of anything is hard. Once we lapse...
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YouTube Can Help You Unbrainwash Pro-Choicers

  “The pro-lifer’s first obligation is to be informed.” Dr. and Mrs. Jack Willke, Abortion: Questions and Answers “It is not possible to brainwash a curious person with access  to the internet.” —Dennis Prager One day, a waitress named Bonny found a disheveled young woman...
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This Side Down

  Would a moving company that didn’t respect a “This Side Up” sign on the carton holding grandma’s precious china keep your business? No, they would answer for it. Yet today’s authorities turn precious common sense upside down and get away with it. For decades we were...
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The First Red Wave

  The “red wave,” amplified in some quarters into a “red tsunami,” never materialized. The day after the November midterms, pundits on television shows across the political spectrum fidgeted in their chairs—wrong yet again. For prolifers, the political turmoil of the past...
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Fit to Serve

  In his 1969 hit “Polk Salad Annie,” singer songwriter Tony Joe White, who also penned the immortal (and more traditional) “Rainy Night in Georgia,” tossed off these kooky lines: “The only thing her brothers were fit for / was stealing watermelons out of my truck patch.” A...
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The Moral Muck of “Crawdads”

  In her mega-bestselling novel, Delia Owens commits the perfect murder to print. So perfect is the crime that the reader, right up until the last few paragraphs, is unsure if there was a murder at all, though there is definitely a dead body. Set in the 1960s South, the plot...
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Black Swan in the Pro-Life Personality

  I have organized dozens of pro-life groups, first as an undergraduate, then throughout my career as a high school teacher. And for thirty-plus years, I have been surprised by the number of decent, moral, conscientious students who, though vaguely sympathetic, wouldn’t...
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The Autonomy Ideology

  One afternoon in mid-October, I found myself sitting alone at a long table at the front of a big conference room in the House of Councillors office building in the Nagatachō district of downtown Tokyo. A pro-life group called Seimei Sonchō Sentā (Respect Life Center) had...
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Pep Rally Politics

  My country right or wrong has become my party right or wrong. There are pitfalls in its original version—such as extreme nationalism—but during war it has merit: To mobilize a population towards a common goal against a hostile invader. It can be toxic, however, in a...
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“Incel” Insults?

  Even if you’re not a Jordan Peterson fan, you’re probably aware that he recently set the term “incel” trending when he shed a tear for young men who identify as “involuntary celibates.” In a discussion with podcast host Piers Morgan, Peterson was asked to respond to...
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The Breaks, or the Moral of the Story

  Some years ago, twenty-three to be exact—I’m sure because it was the occasion of my wedding day—I received this note: “Hope everything breaks your way.” It was from one of the most generous people I’ve ever known, a man who committed much of his life to splashing money...
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Icons, Iconography, Iconoclasm

  A few months ago, my wife and I did a rare thing for us—we went out to see a movie. A documentary about Audrey Hepburn was playing at the arthouse cinema across town, and, as a movie theater had been out of the question during the Covid years, we jumped at the chance to...
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Piety and Laughter—J.P. McFadden

  [The Human Life Foundation will hold its 19th annual Great Defender of Life Dinner on Oct 6. The following appreciation is reprinted here in memory of James P. McFadden, a widely known and admired Great Defender of Life—and the founding editor of the Human Life Review—who...
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Bottle Babies

  With the overturn of Roe and its emphasis on viability, “life begins at conception” has a chance of graduating from opinion to law in the form of fetal personhood legislation. This raises issues ranging from the ridiculous to the sublime. Ridiculous as in the abortion...
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“No Greater Love”

  Aware that it has been 25 years since Mother Teresa passed away, the creators of a new documentary are seeking to make her life and labors known to a generation for whom she may be an unfamiliar saint on the calendar (September 5). Mother Teresa: No Greater Love, produced...
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Bloodlines

  George Barone came into this world in the dying gasp of the 19th century, sired by the same father, James, as my maternal grandmother Rose. They had different mothers, technically making them half-siblings among the ten or so other children both camps totaled when all was...
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Count the Living

  As a prolifer in the United States, I was haunted for years by the staggering number of dead. The children who never see sunlight. The mothers who carry the ghosts of these murdered little ones in their wounded hearts. The toll of abortion, the stories of death and misery...
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Shall We Wince?

There’s a lot of crowing and barnyard strutting about a recent referendum in Kansas. By voting against it, Kansans upheld a previous court ruling that found a right to tax-payer-funded abortion in their state constitution. If the Democrats had any honesty, they would now be...
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In Memoriam: On the 80th Anniversary of Janusz Korczak’s Death

  August 2022 marks the eightieth anniversary of the death of Dr. Janusz Korczak  (1878/9-1942). In 1942, Korczak, a Polish pediatrician, educator, writer, and humanitarian, voluntarily accompanied nearly 200 orphans in his charge to their deaths in the gas chamber at...
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