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Higher learning?

"Higher learning?" Continued...

Issue: "Pro-baby," Jan. 30, 2010

Many of the Catholic college grads went to schools under the authority of the Jesuits-the Society of Jesus, long the leading Catholic order oriented toward higher education. Boston College spokesman Jack Dunn recently told the National Catholic Reporter that Jesuit-educated graduates in Congress are "leavens of good for the wider society." In the same article, Georgetown University spokesman Andy Pino claimed that the Jesuit graduates in Congress are "living the Jesuit value of educating leaders to be women and men for others."

To understand how some Catholic campuses may have actually nurtured the pro-abortion politicians, it is helpful to look at the culture and curriculum at Georgetown, which created in 2006 the Robert F. Drinan, S. J. Chair in Human Rights. While Drinan, a Jesuit priest, claimed to be committed to social justice, he did not include the unborn as deserving of protection. As an elected member of the House of Representatives from 1970 until 1980, Fr. Drinan provided a much imitated model for Catholic politicians who wished to support the pro-abortion movement while claiming to be faithful to Catholic moral teaching. Drinan was instrumental in convincing the one-time pro-life Catholic Kennedy family to support legalized abortion. Throughout his tenure in Congress, Drinan could be counted on to provide some of the most extreme pro-abortion votes.

Bringing this Jesuitical tradition to the recent healthcare reform debates in Congress over federal funding for abortion, Brietta Clark and Karl Manheim, law professors at Loyola Law School, a Jesuit-led institution in Los Angeles, recently published an essay in The San Francisco Chronicle claiming that the Stupak Amendment (which bans federal funding of abortion) is an "unconstitutional intrusion into the right to abortion." Clark and Manheim declare that the Stupak Amendment is unconstitutional because it would create a substantial obstacle to the right to abortion by effectively requiring women to purchase health insurance that excludes abortion coverage.

What's the result if we compare votes on abortion not only by graduates of evangelical and Catholic colleges, but by those who go to churches identified as evangelical or Catholic? If we look at the vote in the Senate to restore the prohibition on abortion funding overseas and the vote in the House on using taxpayer money to fund abortion for poor women in the District of Columbia, we find Roman Catholics most likely to take the pro-abortion side.

And, in the debate over healthcare, the majority of Catholic lawmakers pushed for federal funding of abortion-even though Catholic bishops were overwhelmingly opposed-and some made hard-line comments: Rep. Mike Quigley, D-Ill., said, "If choice is out, so am I." Most of the pro-life votes came from conservative Protestant senators-some of them evangelicals like Thune and Jim DeMint, R-S.C.

As a Catholic, I'm embarrassed and chagrined.

-Anne Hendershott is the author of Status Envy: The Politics of Catholic Higher Education; Nicholas Dunn assisted her with data collection and analysis

Roll call

All in favor ...

The 30 House members who graduated from Catholic colleges and voted in favor of taxpayer funding for abortions in the District of Columbia:

Holy Cross: Timothy Bishop, D-N.Y.; James Moran, D-Va.; and Peter Welch, D-Vt.

Boston College: Michael Capuano, D-Mass.; William Delahunt, D-Mass.; Paul Hodes, D-N.H.; Stephen Lynch, D-Mass.; Edward Markey, D-Mass.; and Robert Scott, D-Va.

Georgetown: Henry Cuellar, D-Texas; John Dingell, D-Mich.; Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii; Steny Hoyer, D-Md.; Chris Van Hollen, D-Md.; and Peter Visclosky, D-Ind.

Loyola College Maryland: John Hall, D-N.Y.

Santa Clara University: Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif.

Marquette University: Gwen Moore, D-Wis.

Fordham University: Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y.; Adam Smith, D-Wash.; and William Pascrell, D-N.J.

University of Detroit Mercy: Gary Peters, D-Mich.

St. Peter's College: Albio Sires, D-N.J.

Maryknoll College: Gerald Connolly, D-Va.

Marymount College: Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn.

Providence College: Patrick Kennedy, D-R.I.

College of St. Catherine: Betty McCollum, D-Minn.

St. John's University: Charles Rangel, D-N.Y.

St. Mary's University: Ciro Rodriguez, D-Texas

King's College (Pa.): Patrick Murphy, D-Pa.

All Opposed ...

The 18 Catholic college graduates who opposed D.C. abortion funding:

Marquette University: Steve Austria, R-Ohio, and Donald Manzullo, R-Ill.

Xavier University: John Boehner, R-Ohio

University of Detroit Mercy: Vern Buchanan, R-Fla., and Thaddeus McCotter, R-Mich.

Fordham University: Anh "Joseph" Cao, R-La.

Georgetown: Michael Castle, R-Del.; Jeff Fortenberry, R-Neb.; Mark Kirk, R-Ill.; Glenn Nye, D-Va., and Dan Lungren, R-Calif.

St. Joseph's University: Frank LoBiondo, R-N.Y.

Wheeling Jesuit College: Tim Murphy, R-Pa.

Creighton University: Lee Terry, R-Neb.

St. Bonaventure University: John Boccieri, D-Ohio

Notre Dame Law School: Peter King, R-N.Y.

St. Mary's University: Michael McCaul, R-Texas

College of St. Thomas: James Oberstar, D-Minn.

Other Roe v. Wade articles in this issue:


A pro-baby wave | Optimistic signs point to a changing abortion debate | Marvin Olasky
Learning to wait | Denied federal funds, abstinence educators plan next moves | William McCleery
'Look after orphans' | Twenty ways to become an adoption-friendly church | Paul Golden
Chemical reaction | The drug RU486 gives women the option of abortion in privacy | Alisa Harris
Eyewitnesses | Ultrasound technology is one reason more Americans are becoming pro-life | Alisa Harris

Finding searchers | Pregnancy centers buy Google real estate to reach abortion-minded women | Emily Belz
Life changes | Anti-CPC forces alter their tactics and auditors eye Planned Parenthood | Alisa Harris
Called to a cause | The pro-life movement won over Marjorie Dannenfelser, and now she's working to help it win over Congress | Marvin Olasky
'It all clicked together' | How one Christian volunteer found herself in the right place at the right time at a crisis pregnancy center in Texas | Susan Olasky
The telltale protests | The abortion issue did not die after Roe v. Wade | Andrée Seu

WORLD's Roe v. Wade archives:

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