Respect Life Series

In a landmark study on how everyday Americans think about abortion, the Notre Dame Office of Life and Human Dignity in partnership with sociologist Tricia Bruce, found that many Americans had never spoken about abortion before. Given the opportunity to reflect on the issue of abortion, it become clear that many knew little about the law and the development of the unborn child. In response to the need for information and a space to reflect on the realities surrounding the issue of abortion, the Notre Dame Office of Life and the Archdiocese of San Francisco are hosting a virtual three-part series on prenatal development, California abortion law, and the ethics of abortion. 

This series is intended for a general audience. Each session will begin with a 45 minute talk, followed by time for Q&A.

Collier Kristin

Kristin Collier, MD, FACP
October, 5, 2021- 12:30 p.m. PDT/ 3:30 p.m. EDT

"Fearfully and Wonderfully Made: Prenatal Development Through the Stages”

About the speaker: Kristin Collier, MD, FACP is an assistant professor of Internal Medicine at the University of Michigan Medical School where she practices general Internal Medicine. She serves as an Associate Program Director of the Internal Medicine Residency Program and is the Director of the Program's Primary Care Track. In addition, she is the Director of the University of Michigan Medical School Program on Health Spirituality and Religion. Dr. Collier is a graduate of the University of Michigan Medical School and she completed her internal medicine residency and chief medical resident year at the University of Michigan Health System. Her special clinical interests include preventative medicine, primary care, depression and heart disease. She enjoys cooking, sports and spending time with her husband and sons.



Catherine Short

Catherine W. Short, Esq.
October, 12, 2021- 12:30 p.m. PDT/ 3:30 p.m. EDT

"Demystifying California Abortion Law: What is Legal?”

About the speaker: Catherine Short Esq., graduated from Thomas Aquinas College in 1980 with a B.A. in Liberal Arts. She received her Law degree from Boalt Hall, U.C. Berkeley, in 1983. In 1989, she participated in establishing Life Legal Defense Foundation, which she now serves as Vice President of Legal Affairs. 

In her years with Life Legal, Ms. Short has written numerous briefs for state and federal courts, including petitions for certiorari and amicus briefs in the United States Supreme Court and California Supreme Court. She also co-authored the text of Proposition 73, Proposition 85, and Proposition 4, all of which were California ballot initiatives attempting to establish a law requiring parental notification before a minor can receive an abortion. She was counsel of record in  People’s Advocate v. ICOC (challenge to Proposition 71, California’s embryonic stem cell funding initiative),  Hoye v. Oakland (First Amendment challenge to restriction on speech outside abortion clinics), and  Pro-Life Mississippi v. Vance (seeking injunction against police harassment of pro-life sidewalk counselors). 

Ms. Short is married to fellow Thomas Aquinas College graduate William Short and has nine children.


Melissa Moschella

Melissa Moschella
October, 19, 2021- 12:30 p.m. PDT/ 3:30 p.m. EDT

"The Ethics of Abortions: Misconceptions and Challenges”

About the speaker: Melissa Moschella is Associate Professor of Philosophy at the Catholic University of America, and a Visiting Scholar at the Heritage Foundation’s B.K. Simon Center for American Studies. Her research and teaching focus on natural law, bioethics, and the moral and political status of the family. She is the author of To Whom Do Children Belong? Parental Rights, Civic Education and Children’s Autonomy (Cambridge University Press, 2016), and of numerous articles published in scholarly journals as well as popular media outlets, including Bioethics, The Journal of Medical Ethics, The Journal of Medicine and Philosophy, The Journal of Law and Religion, The American Journal of Jurisprudence, The New York Times, USA Today, The Washington Post, and The Public Discourse. She graduated magna cum laude from Harvard College, received a Licentiate in Philosophy summa cum laude from the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross, and received her Ph.D. in Political Philosophy from Princeton University.


Published Book Mockup Abortionstudy

Interested in learning more on this topic?

"How Americans Understand Abortion: A Comprehensive Interview Study of Abortion Attitudes in the U.S." is a landmark study and a must-read for anyone committed to understanding not only what Americans believe about abortion, but how they think about it. 

Read the Study Here