Tuesday March 23, 2010

Catholic Georgetown Students Vote to Fund Abortion Rights Panel

March 23, 2010 (CNews) – In early March, the Student Activities Commission (SAC) of Georgetown University, a Jesuit, Catholic university, voted in favor of funding an abortion “rights” panel on campus, according to The Hoya. Earlier the university partially funded “Sex Positive Week” and held performances of “The Vagina Monologues.”

“While Catholics the world over are engaged in penance, prayer and alms giving during this Lenten season, students at America’s oldest Catholic university have participated in a perverse series of events that vividly reminds us why our culture is in such trouble,” said Patrick J. Reilly, President of The Cardinal Newman Society, a Catholic education watchdog organization.

The Hoya article said the pro-abortion event would feature three male panelists in favor of abortion “rights” speaking on the role of men in the pro-abortion movement. It would be sponsored by a new coalition recently formed by United Feminists and H*yas for Choice called “Plan A: Hoyas for Reproductive Justice.”

The Plan A event was initially denied a request for University support in a Feb. 24 letter from Vice President for Student Affairs Todd Olsen. He wrote: “Through its speech and expression of policy, the university provides students the opportunity to participate in a dialogue on a wide range of issues.” He continued, “As a Catholic and Jesuit institution, however, Georgetown cannot support organizations whose stated purpose conflicts with Catholic moral teaching.”

According to The Hoya, since SAC voted in early March to allocate $175 for the Plan A event to United Feminists, which is university funded, there has been no official University statement in response.

Plan A’s group website reads, “Plan A: Hoyas for Reproductive Justice is a coalition of students dedicated to changing the way that Georgetown University approaches issues of reproductive justice and choice.”

According to the blog of the Georgetown Voice, Plan A started its events on March 21 with the panel discussion, which was the first event in Georgetown history to not include the pro-life argument in an open discussion of abortion. Members of the panel included representatives of the National Abortion Federation, Choice USA and GU Men Creating Change. They “spoke about the importance of male involvement in the pro-choice movement, why male involvement is especially important to the pro-choice movement now, and how Georgetown students can lobby the school to fund more similar events.”

A member of Plan A reportedly said that Sunday’s panel discussion was the only event funded by Georgetown University in the overall Choice Week which is now taking place, also according to the Georgetown Voice blog.

The pro-abortion panel discussion was not the first time this semester that Georgetown students have organized activities that directly undermine fundamental Catholic values or teachings. In early February, the SAC voted to approve funding for parts of Sex Positive Week. Among the events this year that received funding and/or approval were “Virginity and Losing It,” “Disability and Sexuality,” and “God and the Erotic.”

The Cardinal Newman Society reported in its March 2010 Campus Notes newsletter that Georgetown University was among the Catholic colleges and universities that were listed as holding a production of the play The Vagina Monologues. The play favorably describes lesbian activity, group masturbation and, in the word of the Cardinal Newman Society, “the reduction of sexuality to selfish pleasure.” Performances at Catholic colleges and universities are down to 14 in 2010 from 32 in 2003.

According to the website of V-Day, the sponsor organization for the Monologues, performances for the Spring 2010 semester were also scheduled at the following institutions which claim a Catholic identity: Barry University, College of the Holy Cross, College of Saint Benedict, College of Saint Rose, DePaul University, Fordham University, John Carroll University, Loyola University of Chicago, Regis College, Saint Mary’s College of Cal., Seattle University, and the University of San Francisco. In addition, a student newspaper at Boston College reported that the play was hosted on that campus.