Celebrating a Life Dedicated to Life's Defense

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In last week's NRO Robert P George eulogizes Elizabeth Fox-Genovese. If as was the case with me, this farewell is also an introduction, then it will be an inspiring and poignant one.

Elizabeth Fox-Genovese was a scholar as notable for her bravery as for her brilliance. After what she described as her ďlong apprenticeshipĒ in the world of secular liberal intellectuals, it was careful reflection on the central moral questions of our time that led her first to doubt and then to abandon both liberalism and secularism. Needless to say, this did not endear her to her former allies.

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Well, I too say R.I.P., but I caution readers of George's eulogy. The book _Feminism is not the Story of My Life_, published in 1996, might be expected to contain some of the avowedly pro-life opinions George talks about. It was published just after (as I recall) Genovese converted to Catholicism. But it is _not_ pro-life. To the contrary. She explicitly embraces a kind of personhood theory that would allow unlimited abortion in the first trimester and some limitations later on the basis of the development of the child. I was very disappointed that pro-life reviewers from NRO, _even writing at the time_, did not tell readers this. I think they were hoping for her further pro-life development, which evidently took place. But all I can say is that I have not read the "open pro-life advocacy" pieces George discusses and that this book, which is not pro-life, was quite well-touted at the time by conservatives.

Let the reader beware.




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