Maggie Datiles, Esq.

  Margaret Datiles, Esq. is Culture of Life Foundation’s Associate Fellow in Law.  Maggie is an attorney in the Washington, D.C.-Maryland area.  She holds a B.A. in Philosophy (Phi Beta Kappa and Magna Cum Laude) and a Certificate in Classical … Read

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Margaret Datiles, Esq. Joins Culture of Life Foundation as Associate Fellow

WASHINGTON, DC – September 16, 2010  PRESS RELEASE Margaret Datiles, Esq. Joins Culture of Life Foundation as Associate Fellow Contact: Jennifer Kimball jennifer@culture-of-life.org (202) 289-2500  Culture of Life Foundation is pleased to name Margaret Datiles, Esq., as Associate Fellow in … Read

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DOES CONTRACEPTION PREVENT ABORTION?

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Andrew Koppelman and others say “It certainly does!”
Andrew Koppelman, John Paul Stevens Professor of Law at Northwestern University, and others claim that contraception definitely prevents abortion. This April (2010) Koppelman posted a commentary, “How the Religious Right Promotes Abortion,” [1] that was immediately attacked byspokespersons of the “Religious Right” (e.g., Michael New of the Witherspoon Institute). Koppelman judges it to be “astoundingly stupid and tragic” to argue over this. Continuing, he said, “One of the rare areas of common ground between opponents and supporters of abortion rights is that neither side thinks that unintended pregnancy is a good thing.  We should be able to come together on measures that would actually reduce the rate of unwanted pregnancy, and thus, inevitably, reduce the abortion rate.  That might even help the anti-abortion cause in the long run, because it would reduce the number of American women who have had abortions…. Yet instead, we are having this silly argument.  It is dispiriting.”

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DOES EVERYONE HAVE A PERSONAL VOCATION?

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Introduction
My question is whether everyone has a unique, personal vocation. To prepare the way for answering this question I will first summarize what Christians believe about their personal vocation to follow Christ. It is likely that a majority of our readers are Christians, but I apologize to our non-Christian allies in the struggle to make ours a culture of life for some specifically Christian reflections at the beginning of this essay. I do so because as I hope then to show we can speak meaningfully of a unique personal vocation for everyone, including non-Christians.

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Eulogy to Karl Marx

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In his eulogy for Karl Marx deceased on March 14, 1883, his friend and fellow revolutionary Friederich Engels wishfully prophesized that Marx’s name “will endure through the ages, and so also will his work.”  Hardly could he have imagined that his friend’s social vision would suffuse common political dynamics in the United States a little over a century later; that the eminent Speaker of the House would play his handmaid and the powerful President his dupe.  The disaster that played out last weekend set the high water mark of Marx’s influence on our great country.  If we don’t see this we won’t understand recent events.  His name wasn’t mentioned and his rhetoric wasn’t explicit.  But his vision was alive: a reckless mendacity in the pursuit of goals; an almost savage disregard for democracy; a savioristic reliance on politics to transform the social order; and a forceful use of naked power as the principle of social change. 

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EUPHEMISMS HAVE CONSEQUENCES

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“It is better to be fit than unfit.” Who could disagree?  Health is good and desirable, sickness is bad and repugnant.  Pursuing the former and avoiding the latter are eminently worthwhile goals. But merely stating them in the form of goals leaves us in an overly abstract position.  Some goals are so basic and common-sensical that they literally cannot be criticized.  Concreteness and hence criticizability enters in when we begin considering practical means to achieving our goals: “the devil’s in the details.”  This is why so many things said in a State of the Union Address are unobjectionable: “Everyone deserves access to healthcare!” “We’re after an economy where all who want a good job can find one!” “I’m committed to lowering the out of wedlock birthrate!” “Nothing will stand between my administration and equality for all!”  The devil indeed is in the details.  Constructing a euphemism therefore involves among other things placing rhetorical emphasis for controversial ideas on readily acceptable values: pro-choice, planned parenthood, therapeutic medicine, hereditary improvement techniques.  Eugenics is a fertile ground for the use of euphemisms.

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CHANGING THE HEARTS AND MINDS OF THOSE EMBRACING THE CULTURE OF DEATH: A SUGGESTED STRATEGY

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Introduction
At the conclusion of the presentation I made when the Culture of Life Foundation gave me the first annual award named after me in September 2008, I offered a “Suggested Strategy for Helping Adversaries Understand Culture of Life Arguments.” Here I will recapitulate and develop that strategy. Before doing so, however, I think it important to point out why excellent arguments developed by those who propose the “culture of life” are not able to persuade advocates of the “culture of death” to change their minds.

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