Bioethics Master’s Student Visits HLI for Research

The Battle for Africa

When I first began my Master’s program in Catholic bioethics, little did I know that my research would bring me all the way to Front Royal, Virginia. I am writing my Master’s thesis on the bioethical issue of ideological neo-colonialism in sub-Saharan Africa.

Ideological neo-colonialism is a destructive phenomenon in which powerful Western nations impose their immoral ideologies on developing African nations. For example, the United Nations has spent millions of dollars in recent years to encourage the use of contraception and abortion in Africa, making them more readily available to the people of these developing countries. Often, Western financial support for these immoral practices is hidden under the guise of foreign aid and connected to the population control agenda.

As I researched this topic, I quickly discovered that Human Life International (HLI) is the leading organization in fighting these pro-life battles on a global scale. This March my wife and I were invited to spend a week at HLI headquarters. During our visit, we were greatly inspired by the team at HLI and their efforts to spread the Gospel of Life to the world! I had the opportunity to interview several HLI missionaries who are experts on the pro-life issues in Africa. I also took advantage of the vast resources published by HLI to research the current data regarding these neo-colonialism issues. Most importantly, I was introduced to a community of hidden saints who work behind the scenes at HLI, tirelessly fighting for the pro-life cause. My experience in Front Royal was invaluable, providing me with both the information and inspiration to write my thesis.


Paul Nurse with wife, Rebecca, in the Human Life International Chapel

Missions Provide Insight into Cultures of Life & Death

My interest in the international pro-life movement was first sparked by my experiences as a Catholic foreign missionary serving in India and China. Since 2013, I have been a part of Family Missions Company, a lay Catholic missionary organization based out of Louisiana. When I was living as a missionary in India, the Lord opened my eyes to the plight of the poor and vulnerable, helping me to realize the inviolable human dignity of our impoverished brothers and sisters. Encountering Jesus in the poor set me on fire to share the truth of Christ’s love for all people.  Now I know that I am called to bring the Gospel of Life to the ends of the earth, as Jesus commands us to do in His Great Commission: “Go into all the world and preach the Gospel to all creation” (Mark 16:15).

When I moved to China, I experienced like never before the palpable presence of the culture of death that permeates their society. The worldview in China is such that the majority of its citizens do not believe in God and have no concept of life beyond this world. Out of this worldview is born a lack of understanding of the inherent worth of each human person, as we see manifested in China’s immoral efforts to control population growth. This experience inspired me to pursue the study of Catholic bioethics, in an effort to learn how to better articulate the true anthropology of the human person. As more and more evils arise in our world that oppose the Gospel of Life, I know that I need to be equipped to share the beautiful truths of our Catholic Faith regarding bioethical issues.

“It’s Better to Light One Candle Than Curse the Darkness” – Motto of The Christophers

After completing my missionary work in China, I returned to the United States, following the Lord’s call to earn my Master’s degree in Catholic bioethics from the University of Mary in Bismarck, North Dakota. Now as I approach graduation, I am also preparing to begin medical school in the fall. One day, I hope to serve as a medical missionary doctor, preaching the Gospel of Life through my ministry to the poor and vulnerable around the world. At a time when the ideals of the culture of death are so prevalent within the medical community, I desire that my young family be a beacon of hope and joy in the midst of this present darkness.


Paul Nurse with wife, Rebecca, at HLI

I am so grateful to the wonderful missionaries at HLI who afforded me the opportunity to visit their headquarters and conduct my neo-colonialism research there. It is inspiring to see so many individuals who are already giving their lives to share the pro-life message with the world. I pray for blessings upon their ministry and I look forward to working alongside them as a fellow brother in Christ in the pro-life movement.

Paul Nurse recently provided this account of his week spent researching at Human Life International.

About HLI Staff

HLI staff writers bring you stories from the mission field and the latest information on life and family issues. All HLI articles are true to Catholic teaching.

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