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Pillar

The Human Person

The first pillar of a decent society is respect for the human person, which recognizes that all individual human beings have dignity simply because of the kind of being they are: animals whose rational faculties allow them to know, love, reason, and communicate. It also recognizes that human beings are persons, members of the human family who flourish in a community that respects their fundamental rights and who long to discover transcendent truths about the nature of reality.

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A feminism that promotes abortion as the key to women’s freedom does not help us flourish, preserve our dignity, or protect us from evils. We must support women so that the “choice” between life and abortion is no longer difficult because life is the natural choice.
Witness to the truth matters for its own sake, but persistent, winsome witness also tends to bear good fruit, even if it takes 40 years and counting.
A recent argument that abortion providers deserve the same legal protection as pro-life medical providers is philosophically flawed and ignores legal and popular consensus on the evil of abortion.
To its detriment, Howard Ball’s new book on end-of-life law focuses more on the emotions and biases of the law’s defenders than on law’s history and content.
Two points can best persuade young people about abortion: our need for laws that protect the weak and vulnerable and the deadening of conscience that often accompanies pro-choice sentiment.
Science can and should help determine sound public policy on matters that involve basic human rights.
By discarding its support for life, marriage, and religious freedom, the GOP, contrary to what some party members think, will doom itself to minority status.
A physician-philosopher argues that modern medicine is oriented toward the dead body because it is no longer informed by an ultimate purpose for human existence.
From the beginning of its existence a human being is always already a person because personhood belongs to it essentially as an instance of that natural kind. The second of a two-part series.
Pro-choice philosophers err in their criticism of the pro-life position because they do not understand potentiality in terms of a being’s essential properties. The first of a two-part series.
Richard Mourdock’s comment didn’t imply that God wills rape; instead, it reminds us that God wills a great good in the coming-to-be of any human life, regardless of the evil circumstances surrounding its conception.
An assassination attempt on a 14-year-old girl reminds us that we need to promote better education and equality for women in Pakistan.
Two incompatible conceptions of rights are at stake in the debate over the HHS mandate.
Current lawsuits against the HHS contraceptive mandate may undermine religious liberty in the long run. Not all religious objectors to the mandate are likely to be exempted even if the lawsuits are successful, and judges violate the core meaning of religious liberty when they assess plaintiffs’ religious character. The first in a two-part series.
A pilot program in New York City to give minors emergency contraception in school without telling their parents is an ineffective response to a non-existent “epidemic” of teen pregnancy.
Young women now have to defend themselves not only from stereotypical sexual predators, but also from older women and gay men who seek their eggs.
A recent address encouraging Democrats for Life to re-elect President Obama is marked by flawed reasoning and misleading statistics.
Rape is tragic, awful, horrible, gut-wrenching—an unspeakable crime of great emotional harm—but rape is essentially irrelevant to the morality of abortion.
The question of surrogacy has always been more about us than about the participants in the relationship. Will we use the power of the people to take a child from the arms of her mother when the mother is perfectly fit, loves her child, and desires to discharge her duties to her child?
Governor Christie’s recent veto of a “gestational” surrogacy bill should prompt us to look at the legal history of surrogacy and the terrible injustices that it causes.
A new effort to legalize doctor-prescribed suicide in Massachusetts reminds us that we are not our own to dispose of at will.
A new book of essays by 45 American Muslim men provides a timely response to popular anti-Shariah rhetoric by showing that American Muslims love their country and their fellow citizens.
Criticism that Republican justices have only hurt the pro-life cause is misguided, because Republican presidents from Reagan onward have deliberately tried to advance judicial conservatism through federal court appointees—a commitment that has brought victories both for judicial conservatism and the pro-life cause. The second of a two part series.
Legalized, unrestricted abortion can’t be blamed on conservative judicial policy just because Republican justices voted for it. Judicial conservatism as we now understand it came after Roe. The first of a two-part series.

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