Daniel Hughes, president of the student group Progressive Alliance for Life, said he is among the students who have confronted administrators with concerns over summer internship funding. He said he threatened to take the matter to the church officials if action wasn’t taken. Aleinikoff said Georgetown’s decision had nothing to do with external pressure.
Hughes said the university is finally taking the appropriate action by honoring church teachings.
“I don’t think Georgetown needs to enact Catholic doctrine on every issue — that wouldn’t be desirable,” he said. “But the most bedrock Catholic teaching is the protection of life. No advocacy group that works against that principle should be supported by the university.”
Hughes said he doesn’t understand the complaints. Students, he said, need to realize that there are tradeoffs to coming to a Jesuit institution, such as the fact that some alumni donate because they support certain beliefs associated with the church.
Yes, whiny titty-baby Daniel Hughes threatened to go to church higher-ups if Georgetown didn’t de-fund his fellow students. And he doesn’t really care if Georgetown abides by other Catholic doctrines (anti-war, anti-death penalty) as long as they can continue to oppress women.
The background is this: Georgetown University Law Center has a public interest program that provides funding to students who take unpaid summer internships. Students have long accepted positions at a wide variety of organizations, including pro-choice groups. But this year, a student who was hired by Planned Parenthood’s public policy and litigation department was denied funding because of Planned Parenthood’s support of abortion rights.
Particularly problematic here is that students were blindsided by this policy. There are many pro-choice students at Georgetown, and they had no warning that the public interest program would not apply to them. After all, students still receive funding to work at other organizations that violate Catholic doctrine. As one student says:
“If Georgetown wants to be a Catholic University it has the freedom to identify as such,” she said. “If the school wants to abide by Catholic doctrine it should do so consistently and prevent all activities the Church disagrees with. This includes prosecutors’ offices that impose the death penalty, gay rights organizations, political candidates and judges that hold positions that disagree with the Catholic church, military law organizations and human rights organizations (the majority of which support reproductive rights, as well).
“When we apply to Georgetown Law, the most you hear about the Jesuit tradition is that [the school] supports students doing work in the public interest,” she added. “If I ever knew that taking part in women’s rights issues would lead to a chilling effect, I don’t know if I would have ever considered coming here.”
I have a feeling, though, that Georgetown won’t prevent the DA’s office from working on campus, or de-fund students who work for pro-war conservative legal organizations or think tanks. I’m pretty sure that there are at least a few non-Christian students at Georgetown — do they refuse to fund students who are working for other religiously-based legal organizations? Or, say, the Anti-Defamation League? I suspect they don’t. But advocating for something that saves hundreds of thousands of women’s lives every year, and improves the heath and well-being of millions more? Unacceptable.
I’ll repeat the quote from anti-choice student Daniel Hughes:
“I don’t think Georgetown needs to enact Catholic doctrine on every issue — that wouldn’t be desirable,” he said.
…because that might interfere with my job prospects, and we can’t have that!
The thorough hypocrisy of people like Hughes never fails to amaze me. And Georgetown’s emphasis on curtailing women’s rights instead of taking a holistic life-affirming view is disappointing, but not surprising. Georgetown of course has a right to fund what they want to fund, and refuse to back organizations that depart from their institutional and religious values — but that isn’t the case here, at least not in any sort of consistent way. This is just about being loudly misogynist and anti-abortion.
I hope this results in a serious application decrease next year, and plenty of bad publicity for the law school. And if I were a law student at Georgetown, I’d put in my application to transfer — or at least write a letter to the dean expressing my disappointment, and letting him know that so long as Georgetown embraces the curtailing of women’s rights, I won’t even consider “giving back” after graduation.
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- Saturday Stupid Shit by Jill November 26, 2005
- Legal Abortion Saves Lives by Jill September 24, 2007