Petition urges Catholic school to make condoms available on campus
You are not signed in as a Premium user; we rely on Premium users to support our news reporting.
Sign in or Sign up today!
SOUTH BEND, Ind. (ChurchMilitant.com) - A dissident group is pressuring the University of Notre Dame to provide "simple contraceptives" on campus a week after the school decided to cover them in its health plans.
Irish 4 Reproductive Health (14RH), an independent group, released an open letter on Thursday to the student newspaper, The Observer, urging people to add their names to a petition before sending it to the administration.
Church Militant spoke with William Dempsey, president of the Sycamore Trust, a group of alumni and friends striving to protect the Catholic identity of Notre Dame, who said, "Fr. Jenkins says that 'the use of contraceptives is contrary to Catholic teaching, though many conscientiously disagree with this particular teaching,' and he has decided to go with those students and employees in the health plans who disagree rather than with Church teaching."
"This underscores the iniquity of Father Jenkins' decision," Dempsey went on, "though further demonstration is surely unnecessary. For the first time, the University is furnishing students and employees with the means to commit acts the Church teaches are intrinsically and gravely immoral."
The petition demanding condoms comes after Notre Dame's president, Fr. John Jenkins, justified the university's policy to cover "simple contraceptives" in an email to school employees on February 7.
"I have reached the conclusion that it is best that the University stop the government-funded provision of the range of drugs and services through our third-party administrator," he announced. "Instead, the University will provide coverage in the University's own insurance plans for simple contraceptives (i.e., drugs designed to prevent conception)."
The stated reason for retaining birth control coverage is so as not to "burden" students who use birth control and depend on the university for health insurance. He noted that the school would not cover abortion-inducing drugs or sterilizations.
"There is no such thing as an abortifacient contraceptive," the 14RH letter demanding birth control claimed. "The medical definition of pregnancy necessitates that a fertilized egg be implanted in the woman's uterus; a merely fertilized egg does not constitute a pregnancy because more than two thirds of all fertilized eggs naturally fail to implant."
The University is furnishing students and employees with the means to commit acts the Church teaches are intrinsically and gravely immoral.
Doctor Keith L. Moore, professor emeritus in the Department of Surgery, Faculty of Medicine at the University of Toronto, described the beginning of human life: "Human development begins after the union of male and female gametes or germ cells during a process known as fertilization." The fertilized egg then will implant in the uterus and start to grow and receive nourishment from the mother. If the embryo fails to implant in the uterus; it will die.
Luis Erana-Salmeron, a senior student, wrote an open letter on Monday to the editor of The Observer clarifying the meaning of abortifacients:
"[A]bortifacient" means a drug that destroys a human life. ... Naturally failing to implant as an embryo constitutes a natural cause of death. When a drug acts as an abortifacient by preventing implantation, it is preventing the implantation of an embryo that will otherwise succeed to implant, constituting an unnatural cause of death brought on by the use of the abortifacient drug.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church states that "every action which, whether in anticipation of the conjugal act, or in its accomplishment, or in the development of its natural consequences, proposes, whether as an end or as a means, to render procreation impossible is intrinsically evil" (2370).