Austin Clark was a fourth-year medical student at the University of Louisville who was set to graduate in May 2021. Married with a baby on the way and a handicapped son, Austin was preparing to begin his career as a doctor to help his family and future patients. But the medical school cut those dreams short by formally dismissing him on July 15th, 2020, according to a lawsuit recently filed and amended this month.
The medical student’s complaint is against President Neeli Bendapudi of the University of Louisville School of Medicine along 13 others connected to the school. Why does he say he was so suddenly expelled?
In his lawsuit, Austin alleges that the trouble with the school began when his pro-life group hosted speaker Alex McFarland in Fall, 2018. Austin was on the leadership board of the Medical Students for Life group at University of Louisville School of Medicine. The administration did everything they could to prevent the event from happening, largely by mandating impossibly expensive security fees – a common tactic of schools trying to silence views of the students they don’t like, as SFLAction/SFLA President Kristan Hawkins observed in her Wall Street Journal opinion piece. The student group even had to involve Alliance Defending Freedom, a legal foundation committed to the free speech of conservative students, to ensure that the event took place.
As noted in SFLA’s news release on the lawsuit, Austin says that from that point until his 2020 dismissal from the medical school, professors retaliated against him for his views, calling him “stupid” and questioning if his “brain was working” among the derogatory comments made. He was subjected to abuse, changes to his grades and forced to sign a “professionalism contract” that other students had not been required to sign. In his lawsuit, Clark alleges that he was “was physically harassed and bullied” as well.
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The lawsuit notes that the injury Clark suffered included: “(1) submitting him to heightened scrutiny under “professionalism” standards, (2) arbitrarily and capriciously awarding failing grades, and (3) for his removal from the ULSOM for (a) expressing his pro-life and religious views through the speech made by Alex McFarland on campus and (b) verbally expressing his concerns regarding his and other students treatment within the medical school while on clinical clerkships, Defendants violated his First (1st) Amendment rights.”
Also alleged: “Defendants punish Clark for expressing his views regarding the proper treatment of medical students, abortion and the sanctity of life, and the application of Christianity and his personal philosophy and beliefs to the practice of medicine, when there are students who, when expressing contrary views or faiths (or lack thereof), via Student Organizations and other means, or otherwise engaging in similar or more severe ‘unprofessional behavior,’ while both on and off the clerkship services, are not subject to the same or similar restrictions or such severe level of academic discipline as applied to Clark.”
What follows is a rapid-fire of alleged events as Austin describes them and as discussed in the lawsuit:
- Austin started his OB/GYN rotation in Madisonville and his supervisor was very hostile; Austin was not allowed to complete his rotations at the facility.
- During his time in OB/GYN rotations, Austin noticed that the department was quietly making abortion referrals. He rightfully objected.
- The OB/GYN supervisor, Dr. Thomas Neely, started calling around to blackball Austin from rotations.
- As a result, Austin was forced to leave, break a lease, and relocate his wife and disabled son back to Louisville, KY.
- Austin took a short medical leave because of the stress.
- He then came back to the program in Louisville, where he re-started in OB/GYN and was able to complete the program.
- Austin then started in Internal Medicine at the VA Hospital. He filed a Title IX complaint because of how he was being treated, then was failed in the program.
- Those who failed him say it was because of the former complaints he made about his treatment (so, he was allegedly failed for retaliatory reasons).
- In a surgery rotation, a resident chose to fail him because of the on-going events.
- Austin went before the Student Promotions committee on May 29, 2020.
- Only a few people were supposed to be at the meeting, but Dr. Neely had dozens of unnecessary allies in attendance, possibly with the intent to intimidate.
- This committee voted to dismiss Austin.
- Dean Ganzel told Austin he was dismissed via Facetime on July 15th.
“They are saying I was being unprofessional, but all I’ve done is to be a vocal pro-life student, standing up to bullies,” Austin said.
This is not the first abortion controversy related to the University of Louisville School of Medicine.
There are calls for an investigation of its improper ties to the nearby abortion facility, EMW Women’s Surgical Center, which court records show has official connections to the medical school. According to reports, Dr. Ernest Marshall who owns the EMW abortion vendor is also a “teacher with the University of Louisville School of Medicine for nearly four decades.”
The publicly funded school talks openly about training students to commit abortions through the Ryan Residency, a program set up “to provide formal training in contraception, family planning and medical/surgical pregnancy termination.”
In a 2016 grant request to the infamously pro-abortion organizations including the Susan Thompson Buffet Foundation and the Bixby Center for Global Reproductive Health, Dr. Tanya Franklin, Director of the Ryan Family Program wrote: “Since implementation of the Ryan Training program, every resident is expected to participate in training as part of the Family Planning rotation which provides a complete range of involvement for residents and medical students … The Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology has established the expectation that each resident will participate in the Family Planning rotation. Expected participation includes attendance at EMW Women’s Surgical Center, the private abortion clinic with which UofL program has an established partnership.”
In facts, the medical school’s professors do all of Kentucky’s surgical abortions. Records also show that the school has a Medical Students for Choice group listed, and that students were used in multiple studies on how to promote abortion.
In a 2020 news conference, the Kentucky Family Foundation alleged that “the only remaining abortion clinic in Kentucky is being run as an official or quasi-official arm of the University of Louisville’s Medical School,” with group spokesman Martin Cothran adding: “Not only is U of L involved in the abortion clinic’s activities, but the clinic operates, for all practical purposes, as an extension of the Medical School’s program.”
But that’s not all. In 2019, the University of Louisville committed a blatant act of discrimination in the termination of tenured professor Dr. Allan Josephson. Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) wrote,
“Dr. Josephson expressed his view that medical professionals should seek to understand and treat the psychological issues that often cause this confusion [gender dysphoria], rather than rushing children into more radical, aggressive treatments like puberty-blocking drugs and cross-sex hormones.
Just a few weeks after the panel discussion, Dr. Josephson was demoted to the role of a junior faculty member. For the next year he was subjected to a hostile environment and belittling assignments. Then in February 2019, the university informed him that it would not renew his contract.
As Dr. Josephson points out, some in the scientific community are silencing professionals like himself on this topic in a way that would not occur in any other field.”
This school appears to be in bed with the abortion industry.
Making the decision to cancel a student’s medical future allegedly because he actually believes all human beings are patients and that it is wrong to intentionally kill preborn children would be heinous, and a sick perversion of medicine. All evidence points to their complete allegiance to abortion. If it’s discovered that this student’s allegations are true, and that his punishment was retaliation even in part due to his pro-life position… well, the school should be forced to answer for that… in court.