Arland K. Nichols

Arland K. Nichols is the founding President of the John Paul II Foundation for Life and Family.

recent articles

Why Surrogacy Violates Human Dignity

Surrogacy became mainstream when in the 4th season of the popular sitcom, Friends, the ever-spacey Phoebe became the surrogate mother of her brother’s children, in the episode titled “The one with the embryos.” The episode’s writer noted this had never before been seen on television—the story arc was considered “risky” and writers were concerned that … Read more

A Response to the Cohabitation Epidemic

The proliferation of research and literature about the sexual and marital habits of “Millennials” is staggering. Research indicates a casual or cavalier approach to sexual intimacy and of marriage. Marriage is increasingly postponed or rejected in favor of transitional “trial marriages” or temporary live-in situations glamorized today in popular media as “the next step” in … Read more

Mary’s Witness to the Gospel of Life

Saint John Paul II taught that Mary is a singular witness to the Gospel of Life. Having recently celebrated the feast day of John Paul the Great and recalling that, according to the liturgical calendar, Mary is some eight months pregnant (Christ’s birth hastens!), it seems appropriate to consider Our Lady’s witness to the joyous … Read more

The Family, A Seedbed of Vocations

The Catholic Church in the United States is enduring a protracted vocation crisis. Numbers of priests dwindle even as the Catholic population increases. Many clergy as well as lay apostolates such as the SERRA Club and parish vocations committees have done much to stem the tide in an effort to encourage young men to discern … Read more

The Meaning of “Objectively Disordered”

There is widespread misunderstanding about what the Catholic Church teaches with regard to same-sex attraction. Unfortunately, this misunderstanding—which often construes the teaching as “offensive”—tends to isolate men and women who struggle with their sexual identity. They often feel ostracized at a time in their life when they need love from the people of God. This … Read more

Sterilization for the Life of the Mother

The newly published preparatory document for the rapidly approaching synod on “Pastoral Challenges of the Family in the Context of Evangelization” observes that “knowledge of conciliar and post-conciliar documents on … the family … seems to be rather wanting.” Church teachings regarding marriage, sexuality, and family “do not seem to have taken a foothold in … Read more

Freezing Tiny Human Beings

Karla and Jacob began dating in 2009 when they were 42 and 32 years old, respectively. After Karla was diagnosed with lymphoma, and “despite neither of them thinking the relationship had long-term prospects,” both agreed to have human embryos created from their gametes. These were frozen for later use because treatment would, unfortunately, destroy Karla’s … Read more

Remedying the Divorce Culture

Divorce is more common in my extended family than in society at large. My childhood home was a broken home. This experience fostered within me attentiveness to both the often-difficult circumstances faced by couples today and the Church’s teaching related to marriage and divorce. Over the last few months divorce, remarriage, and reception of the … Read more

What is a Suffering Man Worth?

How much is man worth? So asked Pope Francis in a recent letter to the Pontifical Academy for Life on the occasion of the estimable academy’s annual meeting and celebration of its 20th anniversary. The Pope posed the question as he lamented the cultural push to deny the intrinsic worth and dignity of a person … Read more

Birth of Twins Highlights Evil of Abortion

In what has become an annual ritual on January 1, the mainstream media shared the unique story of twins born on different days and different years. This year, ABC News highlighted Lorraine and Brandon Begazo who were born in Washington, D.C., three minutes apart, but in different years. A rare occurrence and feel-good story, it … Read more

Rejoice and Evangelize: He is with Us and We Have Been Loved

Advent and Christmas celebrate the joy of a new life. Like an expectant mother, we wait, with bated breath, joyful anticipation and we brim over with excitement. For God is with us, He is soon to be born, Come, Come, Emmanuel! The Visitation of Mary is a joyful visit between cousins but also an encounter … Read more

A Throw Away Culture in Reproductive Medicine

The “Brave New World” of genetic manipulation in reproductive medicine has arrived, and its arrival embraces the utilitarian calculation that the death of the innocent is a legitimate means to secure the health of another. Mitochondrial diseases, such as Leigh’s Syndrome and Alpers Disease are passed down from mothers to their children because offspring inherit … Read more

No More Tears: Moral Healthcare for Women

With tears in her eyes, Lindsey approached me during her junior year in high school after hearing a lecture I gave on the negative side effects of contraception and the alternatives offered by the science of NaPro Technology. Lindsey was on “the pill” because her obstetrician insisted that it was the best means to manage … Read more

The Beauty of Marriage

He stood on principle. He defended the Church. He refused to act against his conscience. He was stalwart in defense of marriage. And in 1535, the king chopped off his head. Saint Thomas More, whose Feast Day we celebrated on July 6, was an ardent defender of the institution of marriage. Among the most admirable … Read more

Want Religious Liberty? Live Your Faith

From the standpoint of Catholicism there is no more important right than religious liberty. It is the first of our freedoms. As Catholics, we cherish religious liberty because we have been made by God and for God—our hearts are restless, as Saint Augustine wrote, until they rest in Him. God gave us freedom so that … Read more

The Sheer Joy of Fatherhood

Recently I ran into my former advisor at Texas A&M University whom I hadn’t seen for nearly a decade. While I held my son Thomas in my arms, I shared with him the details of my pro-life work for Human Life International. He beamed, looked at Thomas and said, “Looks like you are doing some … Read more

Life and Good or Death and Evil?

I recently read with great interest a fascinating story by the Associated Press. The life of a young girl, Lake Annabelle Hall, was saved following surgery to remove a cyst on her left lung. Had it not been discovered it would have killed her. She received such tremendous care that four teams comprised of 43 … Read more

Pope Francis and the Gospel of Life

Though the world barely knows Pope Francis, it has rushed to judge him. As Caitlin Bootsma has lamented, “Catholics, of all stripes, immediately sought to measure Pope Francis against their own goals for the papacy.” Rather than measuring him according to our interests and wants, we should make haste to pray for him. We should, further, … Read more

Suicide No Way to Go

Suicide and the legalization of physician assisted suicide seem to appear in headlines more and more. Elected officials such as Peter Shumlin, governor of Vermont, increasingly favor legalization of physician assisted suicide as “the right thing to do” with promises that “we are going to get it done.” Mainstream media addresses suicide positively. Consider the … Read more

Abortion and the Contraceptive Mentality

This year marks an auspicious anniversary—forty years of nation-wide abortion on demand since Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton. These cases declared a right to abortion that was more permissive than the law of any state. A woman could take the life of her unborn child for virtually any reason at any time. The … Read more

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