The University of Notre Dame refused to support an Indiana pro-life organization for the first time in more than a decade this fall while at the same time allowing two university programs to sponsor a pro-abortion event for the community.
Notre Dame is supposed to be a Catholic university, but its leaders repeatedly have faced criticism in recent years for employing and honoring individuals who promote killing unborn babies in abortions.
The Irish Rover, a student newspaper, exposed the latest controversy this month. According to the report, the university refused to be a sponsor for the Right to Life Michiana 50th annual benefit on Oct. 27 after more than a decade of supporting the organization.
Meanwhile, on that same night, the university Gender Studies Program and the Institute on Race and Resilience co-sponsored a pro-abortion event, “Post-Roe America: Making Intersectional Feminist Sense of Abortion Bans,” for the local community, the report states.
The University of Notre Dame refused to be a top sponsor of the Right to Life Michiana benefit this year or purchase tickets for student groups to attend, as it has for many years, because university leaders did not like the keynote speaker, conservative writer and speaker Ben Shapiro, according to the report.
Merlot Fogarty, president of Notre Dame Right to Life, told the Rover that their club initially received permission from the Student Activities Office to buy tickets for the pro-life benefit. However, she said they later received a phone call from the office saying the university reversed its decision and would not pay for the tickets.
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Here’s more from the report:
Confused by the unexpected reversal, Fogarty sought clarity from university administrators. On September 8, she and several other NDRtL club members met with Chuck Lamphier, the Executive Director of the Office of Mission Engagement and Church Affairs and the administrator responsible for the university’s decision not to donate to the benefit.
“This event is problematic. This speaker is problematic,” Lamphier said. He cited a 2010 tweet by Ben Shapiro as a reason for the university’s hesitation to associate with his speaking engagement at the benefit.
The issue, Lamphier clarified, is not one of academic freedom, but rather one of money. “For this event, we have determined that university dollars are not going to go to it,” he said.
Lamphier promised the university would support the pro-life organization in other ways and donate the money that it usually gives to the pro-life Women’s Care Center instead, according to the report. However, an individual with Women’s Care Center told the Rover that the university did not donate an amount similar to what it typically gives Right to Life Michiana.
The report comes barely a month after the Rover reported about a Notre Dame professor offering to help students abort their unborn babies by advertising abortions to students on her office door and on social media in defiance of Catholic teachings about the sanctity of human life.
The Catholic Church teaches that every human being from conception to natural death is valuable because he or she is created in the image of God, and killing an innocent human being is a grave moral evil.
For years, many Catholics have expressed concerns about the liberal leanings of Notre Dame, one of the most prominent Catholic universities in America. A few years ago, its administrators faced criticism after naming pro-abortion Democrat Pete Buttigieg as a faculty fellow. In 2019, a group of its professors blasted pro-life advocates as racists during a campus event hosted by the Notre Dame Gender Studies Department. And in 2016, the university faced a strong public outcry after it gave one of its most prestigious awards to Joe Biden, despite his pro-abortion record.