Lisa Hall is one of those women who do the pro-life work in America. A wife and mother of two young daughters, she also works with women and children and men and families in upstate New York, to help them appreciate the dignity of each human life in the most practical of ways — to see their options, and to offer them a fuller life of love and joy than a culture poisoned by four decades of legal abortion typically offers. She is director of the Office of Respect Life Ministry in the Catholic diocese of Syracuse, and she talks with National Review Online’s Kathryn Jean Lopez about the 40th anniversary of the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision and where life goes from here.
KATHRYN JEAN LOPEZ: What do you think most about when you think of 40 years of legal abortion?
LISA HALL: I think most of the terrible rupture that now exists between mother and child. Abortion pits the interest of the mother against the very life of her child. Abortion changes the nature of motherhood. Rather than sacrificing all for the good of the child, abortion says to sacrifice the child for the “good” of the mother.
LOPEZ: If abortion were illegal, there would still be abortions, we always hear. Isn’t it better that they be “safe, legal, and rare”?
HALL: If only that were the case. While abortion is legal, there are many cases where it’s not safe — and it of course ends the life of one of those involved — and abortion today is the exact opposite of rare. Ninety percent of babies diagnosed with Down Syndrome are aborted. That’s certainly nowhere near rare for an entire population. Across New York State, 33 percent of all pregnancies end in abortion. Go downstate to New York City and the rate jumps ten points. This means that nearly as many women choose to abort their children as choose to birth their children. That’s hardly rare.
LOPEZ: You’re Catholic, don’t you contribute to the abortion problem by opposing contraception?
HALL: My Catholic faith teaches that children are a blessing, not a punishment or burden. It also teaches that sexuality is a tremendous gift to be enjoyed in the lifelong commitment of marriage between one man and one woman. Lifelong, faithful, committed love that produces the beautiful gift of family and children. Sounds like a compelling, desirable worldview to me. It’s a proposal you don’t have to be Catholic to consider.