Prolife Victories

Respect for Fetal Life

CONSCIENCE, winter issue — Only by finally conceding “the value of the fetus” can the pro-abortion position register with middle-of-the-road voters, says Frances Kissling in a startling 7,400-word essay in the magazine sponsored by her Catholics for a Free Choice, which has numerous ties to the abortion industry.

Kissling, who remains pro-abortion, admits the legitimacy of parental-notification laws and fetal-pain concerns. She criticizes her side’s support for partial-birth abortion and for failing “to touch on the broader unrest about abortion itself.”

She says she’s been “deeply struck by the number of thoughtful, progressive people who have been turned off to the pro-choice movement by the lack of adequate and clear expressions of respect for fetal life.”

Local & Pro-Family

THE NEW YORK TIMES, Dec. 14 — There is no shortage of activity at the state level in the wake of the pro-moralvalues direction of the 2004 election.

Texas legislators are considering an amendment to prevent human cloning while the South Dakota and Georgia statehouses will host debates on measures to limit abortion. In Kansas, a majority on the state Board of Education is expected to promote alternatives to the theory of evolution.

The Times conceded that many of these initiatives are likely to succeed, if incrementally, as “legislators themselves tend to move cautiously.”

Basic Biology

NEWSDAY, Nov 25 — “On abortion, the tide has turned” and “basic biology” is the reason why, concludes columnist James Pinkerton.

The human species “is programmed for its own perpetuation,” says Pinkerton. “And yet across the industrial nations … births are now at or below the numerical replacement level.”

With immigration not able to satisfy future population requirements, “a more natural solution, which people yearn for in their bones, is an increase in the birth rate.”

And yes, he adds, “as part of the same swell of feeling comes the impulse to restrict abortion.”

Spiritual Movement

THE NEW YORK TIMES — A higher birthrate among some Americans cannot be qualified simply by who they vote for and the states (“blue” or “red”) they happen to live in.

Instead, “their personal identity is defined by parenthood,” says columnist David Brooks.

“This is a spiritual movement, not a political one,” says Brooks, cautioning that large families are “not launching a jihad.”

While he observes that “people who have enough kids for a basketball team are too busy to fight a culture war,” Brooks also admits that it might just be the case that they are winning one.

Cistercian Father Thomas Esposito says of discerning one’s college choice, ‘There has to be something that tugs at you and makes you want to investigate it further. And then the personal encounter comes in the form of a visit or a chat with a student or alumnus who communicates with the same enthusiasm or energy about the place. And then that love of a place can be a seed which germinates in your own heart through prayer.’

Choose a College With a Discerning Mind and Heart

Cistercian Father Thomas Esposito, assistant professor of theology at the University of Dallas (UD) and subprior (and former vocations director) of the Cistercian Abbey of Our Lady of Dallas, drew from his experience as both a student and now monastic religious to help those discerning understand the parallels between religious and college discernment.