From the Worldwide Faith News archives

Jesuit Comments on Anti Abortion Film Shown in Taiwan

From "pctpress" <>
Date Fri, 30 Apr 2004 14:58:18 +0800

Taiwan Church News 2722, 26 April through 2 May 2004
Reported by: Lin Yi-ying and Yang Shu-hao.  Translated and Rewritten by David

Not too many weeks back an anti-abortion video produced and distributed by
Roman Catholic Church, "The Eclipsing of Reason," was shown to secondary
students in some Taiwan schools.  Some girls who viewed responded to the
depiction of an in-utero fetus being torn apart as part of the abortion
process were disturbed and later had nightmares.  This the drew ire of some
women's associations.

In response to the public criticism, Fr. Louis Aldrich, SJ, rector of the
theological seminary at Fu-Jen Catholic University near Taipei, convened a
press conference on April 20th. "The video," he said, "has been in
for some time. Many teachers who have viewed it have felt that its content is
suitable for use in life-education curricula. That's why we at Fu-Jen
University did not expect that the program would draw social controversy or
protest from women's groups."

When the recent protests emerged, Fr. Aldrich thought they were a matter of
women's groups' misunderstanding the teaching of the church.  But "after
prayer and seeking the will of God" he gradually came to feel that the
increased public attention to the matter was divinely arranged.  He pointed
out how past statements of the church regarding abstention from pre-marital
sex and opposition to abortion generally failed to draw public attention.
This video, though it has been criticized, has become the subject of public
comment.  It has also influenced many young women to respect their own
Not a few students have commented that they have now entered into agreements
with their opposite-sex partners to abstain from pre-marital sexual acts.

Fr. Aldrich suggests that those who plan to show the video to a group preview
it and develop some psychological understandings before presenting it.	After
preparation, but before the video itself is shown, they should explain that
abortion is harmful to a woman's physical health.  He emphasized that after a
group has seen the video, they should make a field trip to the obstetrics
department of a local hospital. This, he says, is a good piece of life
education that will reinforce the anti-abortion message of the program.

His idea of the best result that could come from presentation of the video is
that young men viewing it would come to respect the physical health of women
and remember that respect in all their interactions.

For More Information: Fr. Louis G. Aldrich, SJ
Taiwan Church News is published weekly in Taiwan's local languages.
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