Catholic universities continue to endorse pro-abortion agenda
Though Dobbs is a milestone for members of the pro-life movement, activists believe there is still work to be done, especially in Catholic higher education institutions.
In addition to emphasizing the need to 'continue to support and encourage legislation that protects unborn children,' one Bishop also called for 'a healthier national conversation about pregnancy and parenting.'
Today marks the start of this year’s National March for Life, the first since the right to an abortion was federally overruled in June of last year in the case Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization.
Though Dobbs is a milestone for members in the pro-life movement, activists believe there is still work to be done, especially in Catholic higher education institutions.
Take, for example, Duquesne University, a Catholic school, and their recent endorsement of a pro-abortion journalist.
Yamiche Alcindor, a Washington correspondent for NBC News and anchor for “Washington Week” on PBS, was awarded the university’s first “Award for Ethics and Integrity in Journalism,” despite the fact that she used her platform to promote the pro-abortion agenda during her coverage of the 2022 Midterms.
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In light of the impending Dobbs decision, Alcindor stated in May of last year that she was worried about “women who are poor, women of color [being] forced to have pregnancies that they cannot afford to terminate, and pregnancies that will then turn into children” if states ban abortion.
A day after that soundbite aired, Alcindor claimed on “The Reid Out” to have spoken to a pro-life advocate in Mississippi who hoped to target same-sex marriage after the elimination of abortion in his state.
Alcindor summarized, “What you have here is a conservative movement that is already focusing on the next thing, and the next thing is taking away rights from same-sex couples.”
She argued again in a September MSNBC interview that abortion is a “human right” that American women on both sides of the aisle were eager to defend in the 2022 Midterms.
Duquesne, which prides itself as one of the top Catholic universities in the nation, did not address Alcindor’s pro-abortion slant when announcing the award.
Instead, Duquesne President Ken Gormley stated in the official university press release that Alcindor was “selected by a distinguished committee to receive this inaugural award because her work reflects the highest standards of ethics and integrity in journalism.”
Duquesne’s mission statement attests that the university “serves God by serving students through commitment to excellence in liberal and professional education, profound concern for moral and spiritual values, maintaining an ecumenical atmosphere open to diversity, and service to the Church, the community, the nation, and the world.”
The Catechism of the Catholic Church is explicit that “[h]uman life must be respected and protected absolutely from the moment of conception.”
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Alcindor is not an alumna of Duquesne and does not appear to have any connections to the university other than receiving the award.
Duquesne is not alone among Catholic institutions that contradict Church teaching on pro-life issues.
Sister Laura Nettles, an administrator at Viterbo University (VU) in Wisconsin, openly bragged about restricting the activities of the university's pro-life student group V-Hawks for Life, Campus Reform reported in October 2022
Campus Reform also wrote that month about global affairs and sociology professor at Notre Dame University (ND) Tamara Kay, who promised her students that she would help them access abortions in violation of both Church doctrine and Indiana state law.
Additionally, several Catholic universities and colleges have ignored or obfuscated Church teaching with respect to LGBTQ+ issues.
David Zubik, Bishop of the Diocese of Pittsburgh and alumnus of Duquesne, publicly stated in June that he was “profoundly grateful” for the Dobbs decision, but the pro-life movement is far from over.
In addition to emphasizing the need to “continue to support and encourage legislation that protects unborn children,” Bishop Zubik also called for “a healthier national conversation about pregnancy and parenting, one that recognizes the real difficulties and creates ways to support pregnant women and to welcome children.”
Jeanne Mancini, president of the March for Life organization, agrees that there is still very important work to be done for the pro-life cause in a post-Roe America.
Mancini told Life News that "[t]his year will be a somber reminder of the millions of lives lost to abortion in the past 50 years, but also a celebration of how far we have come and where we as a movement need to focus our effort as we enter this new era in our quest to protect life.”
The most recent estimates of abortion statistics come from the Guttmacher Institute, a widely-cited pro-abortion think tank, which determined that 930,160 legal abortions were performed in the United States in 2020 alone.
Over 63 million Americans have been aborted since 1973, according to the National Right to Life Committee.
Campus Reform has reached out to Alcindor, Zubik, March for Life, and Duquesne University for comment. This article will be updated accordingly.
Follow Gabrielle M. Etzel on Twitter.