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Law and Moral Purpose

The obligations and purposes of law and government are to protect public health, safety, and morals, and to advance the general welfare—including, preeminently, protecting people’s fundamental rights and basic liberties. At first blush, this classic formulation (or combination of classic . . . . Continue Reading »

As Justice Kennedy Said …

When Samuel Alito replaced Sandra Day O’Connor on the Supreme Court in 2006, observers predicted that Anthony Kennedy would quickly become the key figure in the nation’s jurisprudence. And recent terms have confirmed those predictions: Across a wide range of controversial constitutional issues, . . . . Continue Reading »

Abortion Politics 2008

For reasons quite plausible, even to people on the pro-life side, Rudolph Giuliani persists in standing well ahead of the pack of the Republican candidates for president. He has sounded the traditional Republican themes: preserving the Bush tax cuts, seeking free-market solutions to problems such as . . . . 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 End of Democracy? Our Judicial Oligarchy

This last term of the Supreme Court brought home to us with fresh clarity what it means to be ruled by an oligarchy. The most important moral, political, and cultural decisions affecting our lives are steadily being removed from democratic control. Only Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas . . . . 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 »

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