On the Demise of Fatherhood

It is news to no one that, in the Western world in general and the United States in particular, the call to fatherhood is being heeded less and less. Anyone unfortunate enough to pick up a newspaper is painfully aware that one-third of American children live without any father and that, in many inner cities, the out-of-wedlock birth rate exceeds seventy percent. Also well known, though rarely acknowledged, is the devastation that such a lack of paternity has wreaked on children and society more generally. Fatherless children have rates of incarceration, criminal activity, possession of firearms, poverty, drug and alcohol abuse, teen pregnancy, incompletion of school, and overall parental neglect and maltreatment alarmingly higher than their two-parent counterparts.

Coupled with the staggering divorce rate and the move in the West toward alternative lifestyles”permanent bachelorhood, cohabitation, or “serial monogamy””it is now possible, without the slightest exaggeration, to begin using phrases such as “the end of the human family.” Continue Reading »

The Rare Achievement of Disagreement

Look, when we think about ending an early human life, this is something that is really bad for the embryo or early fetus that dies, it’s losing out tremendously—I agree with that as I already said. And then you said that it’s one of the things that we should care about. And, um, I think . . . . Continue Reading »

Abortion: A Failure to Communicate

For twenty-five years the pro-life movement has stood up to defend perhaps the most crucial principle in any civilized society, namely, the sanctity and value of every human life. However, neither the profundity and scale of the cause, nor the integrity of those who work to support it, necessarily . . . . Continue Reading »

Infanticide for Beginners

It was the issue of abortion that taught me to be suspicious of the word “reform.” It was the early 1960s and all right-minded people were in favor of “abortion reform.” I assumed I should be too until it gradually dawned on me, slow learner that I was, that people speaking of abortion . . . . Continue Reading »

Roe: Twenty-Five Years Later

Twenty-five years ago, on January 22, 1973, the Supreme Court of the United States, in what numerous constitutional scholars have called an act of raw judicial power, abolished the abortion laws of all fifty states. The news went out that the Court had settled the controversy over abortion. A . . . . Continue Reading »

The Abortion Cocktail

In April 1970, in the pages of the Obstetrical and Gynecological Review, I reviewed the history of attempts to control population growth by means of medical—i.e., nonsurgical—abortion. Starting in antiquity, I found that the ancient Greeks did not generally approve of abortion, . . . . Continue Reading »

Killing Abortionists: A Symposium

Paul J. Hill, convicted of killing an abortionist and his security guard in Pensacola, Florida, has advanced the following rationale for his action: “Whatever force is legitimate in defending a born child is legitimate in defending an unborn child.” For some who believe that the moral status of . . . . Continue Reading »

Recalling America

Since 1950 I have worked with my many sisters from around the world as one of the Missionaries of Charity. Our congregation now has over four hundred foundations in more than one hundred countries, including the United States of America. We have almost five thousand sisters. We care for those who . . . . Continue Reading »

Abortion Politics

A funny thing happened on the way to last November’s elections. Pundits who throughout the summer had billed the elections as the first post-Webster “referendum on abortion” increasingly argued, as fall rolled around, that abortion had “faded” as a decisive issue for voters. Some of this . . . . Continue Reading »

Abortion Talk

Decoding Abortion Rhetoric: Communicating Social Changeby celeste michelle condituniversity of illinois press, 236 pages, $24.95 Students of Western thought have long understood the correlation between public discourse, conviction, and practice. Even as far back as the fifth century B.C:. Democritus . . . . Continue Reading »