“‘Roe’s’ Missing Stories”: I’m at First Things

playwatching: Roe, the new play from Lisa Loomer about the woman at the heart of the 1973 Supreme Court case legalizing abortion, is much like its main subject: easily distracted, unbalanced, but undeniably compelling. Roe (at Arena Stage in Washington, DC through February 18) at first suggests that it will be a story of two women. The play opens with Norma “Jane Roe” McCorvey (Sara Bruner) and lawyer Sarah Weddington (Sarah Jane Agnew) speaking in unison. We're encouraged to think that their l … [Read more...]

“The Future of the Pro-Life Movement”: Ruth Graham

with a moving piece at Slate. I would I guess add the cautionary note that somebody has written this piece once a year since I became pro-life. (I even sort of wrote one!) This iteration would've been strengthened, I think, by some historical context. Talk to Feminists for Life, for example; people have been approaching abortion as a peace/justice issue for a long time, and they might have insights on why this approach still seems novel. Anyway, though, the stories here are quite powerful, and … [Read more...]

The Unimaginable Atheist: Aleteia Took Down My “Loser Letters” Review; You Can Read It Here

Late last month Aleteia asked me to review "The Loser Letters" at CUA. I ended up giving it a negative review. They have now pulled that review from the website, which they've explained here. (I should say that I like Elizabeth a lot & realize she is trying to manage many conflicting demands and impulses.) I'm posting it largely because CUA chose to highlight the production and required all or most of their freshman class to attend, and I think that's a serious mistake for reasons I tried to … [Read more...]

The Unimaginable Atheist: I review “The Loser Letters”

and tell CUA they made a big mistake:“The Loser Letters,” Mary Eberstadt’s tale of an ex-Christian’s attempt to improve the New Atheism via perky blog posts from rehab, is making its dramatic premiere at the Catholic University of America. The play, adapted from Eberstadt’s novel by Jeffrey Fiske, has three major elements. One of these is brilliant and charming; one is powerful but laced with melodrama; and one so underthought that it’s degrading to the audience. Unfortunately, I’ve named t … [Read more...]

“Stanton Healthcare Aims to Replace Planned Parenthood”: Cosmopolitan (No, Really!)

reports:For patients like Brandy — pregnant, uninsured, and without medical care — Stanton Healthcare provides a lifeline for getting health services that they may otherwise be unable to access in the state, and Swindell has an ambitious goal for her network: She hopes it will become the pro-life movement's replacement for the entire Planned Parenthood organization.more! … [Read more...]

Don’t Medicalize My Eschaton: Five Links from a Criminal Justice System

Let's start with an op-ed in the Gotham Gazette showing how easy it is to camouflage increased punishment and surveillance as "support services": "More Evidence Punitive NYPD Youth Programs Fail":This week the New York Times revealed the content of an internal NYPD report showing that a much lauded juvenile crime program doesn’t work. It’s yet another example of misguided punitive policing, offering little by way of actual progress. Originally developed under the title “Juvenile Robbery Inte … [Read more...]

“Looking Away from Abortion”: Ross Douthat

on the meaning of the Planned Parenthood videos:IN an essay in his 1976 collection, “Mortal Lessons,” the physician Richard Selzer describes a strange suburban scene. People go outside in the morning in his neighborhood, after the garbage trucks have passed, and find “a foreignness upon the pavement,” a softness underfoot. Looking down, Selzer first thinks he sees oversize baby birds, then rubber baby dolls, until the realization comes that the street is littered with the tiny, naked, all-to … [Read more...]