Notre Dame Students Want Birth Control

There are more signs that Catholic leadership is out of step with its flock, especially on the issue of contraception.

Notre Dame students are circulating a petition opposing the University’s decision to file a legal challenge to the constitutionality of the contraception mandate in Obamacare. The petition, which includes signatures from approximately 140 students as of this week, faculty, staff and alumni, originated as a personal letter to University President Fr. John Jenkins from philosophy graduate student Kathryn Pogin. It argues for the University’s compliance with the mandate based on philosophical and legal principles.

According The Observer, petition organizers hope the petition is a starting point for dialogue and discussion and focuses on three main issues arising from the University’s lawsuit.

“First of all, it’s not clear to us that the University couldn’t comply with the mandate without remaining within Catholic practice,” she said. “In addition, even if there is a genuine conflict with freedom of religion, which we’re not convinced there is, at least with respect to contraceptives, we think the legal argument favors compliance with the mandate.”

Another point of concern for signatories of the petition is the current level of campus services available to families, Pogin said.

“Further, we believe Notre Dame would better serve its Catholic mission by focusing on improving campus services for families rather than embroiling itself in a legal challenge,” the petition states.
The petition points out that “many, if not all, graduate students at Notre Dame who have children insure them through the state of Indiana because they cannot afford the university-provided healthcare,” which Pogin said is a serious issue that deserves greater attention from Notre Dame.

“[The lack of affordable health coverage] is actually more of a problem than we outlined in the petition because state health programs are not available to international students, so some international students’ dependents go uninsured,” she said. “We think that’s a moral issue and an issue of Catholic identity.”

While the petition is not likely to have any immediate impact on the status of the litigation, it is encouraging to see students, faculty, staff and alumni question the motives and intent of school administrators and Catholic leadership here. While I doubt the Bishops and other Catholic leaders respect the challenge, it does illustrate that the once-proud social justice tradition within the Church is not dead yet, despite the Vatican and US Catholic Bishops best efforts.

Related Stories:

Second Contraception Lawsuit Dismissed

Lawsuit Challenging Contraception Mandate Dismissed

Universisty Of Notre Dame Joins Birth Control Battle

Photo from Mike Licht, via flickr.


LMj Sunshine
James Merit5 years ago

Thank you.

LMj Sunshine
James Merit5 years ago

Thank you.

Zeno E.
Zeno E.5 years ago

Out of almost 12,000 students, 140 sign a petition, and you think this is evidence that ND's Catholic leadership is out of step with its flock? I can understand why you are no longer a litigator.

That's 1 of every 86 students that signed the petition. Here's a question to ponder: if ND reversed its policy and started handing out condoms at the dining hall, how many students do you think would sign a petition in OPPOSITION? Thousands. Probably twenty times the number that signed this petition--I mean, 140 is such a low number, it's really an embarrassment to the effort.

Have you ever been to Notre Dame? Do you know anything about the Catholic "flock" at Notre Dame? I suspect not. In fact, the comments I've read in response to your note demonstrate that there is a great deal of ignorance afoot as to things Catholic, be they universities or flocks or otherwise.

It's remarkable to me how people keep expecting the Catholic Church to turn into the Democratic Party. Don't hold your breath. The Church has survived the rise and fall of many empires, its survived with saints and sinners in the clergy, its survived revolutions and threats of destruction from just about every European dictator in history, and along the way it has always held pretty much the same positions, popular or not. Contrary to what most commenting here would expect, it's actually larger and more healthy today than it ever has been, and even if every American Catholic left the church, th

Carole L.
Carole L5 years ago

Shirley H
“Carole L,
I'm in total agreement with your acceptance of B.C, however I'm puzzled by the exception you make to the "morning after" pill. Amongst B.C.choices , for example , the IUD works by irritating the walls of the womb so that fertilized eggs are unable to implant in the uterine wall.
I don't understand why the morning after pill isn't acceptable to you, after all, in both cases,”

Shirley, I’m not against morning after pill I support all forms of contraception, I am Pro-Choice. I was commenting to Elaine R who detests the very 'concept' of women being in control of their own bodies. I suspect that those with such rabid opposition to Free-Will/Free-choice severely lack any meaningful independent control in their own personal lives. That is why they have such a deep seated Obsessive/Compulsive need to control others so they might appease that lack of Independence missing in their lives.

Juliet Defarge
judith sanders5 years ago

Institutions that want to enforce these religious policies should go all the way, and refuse to hire anyone who isn't a practicing member of their religion, from professors down to janitors. They should stop admitting students are who are not practicing members. Say bye-bye to their research grants and their sports teams.

Bartley Deason
Bartley Deason5 years ago

nancy d. said:

"Steve R - as usual your comments are nothing but BS. I would recommend you actually read the threads before commenting."

Nancy, I have asked Stevie several times to please read HIS OWN comments before posting them. He never seems to do so. Not the brightest star in the sky.

Kamryn M.
Kay M5 years ago

maybe they'll start kicking them out of school.

Leia P.
Leia P.5 years ago

oh how i despise catholicism

change twentytwelve

I obviously did not receive all the posting to make an informed comment, but then an e-mail I sent to my parents yesterday didn't get through,. Please let this not be the person this gay man, sent a star to! Murphy!

Shan D.
Shan D5 years ago

Elaine should take her own religion's advice and accept that it's God's will that she flaunt her stupidity here every day. I can't imagine anybody doing this out of deliberate CHOICE! *wink*

Folks, there's no reasoning with this stupid woman. She even had this to say on the subject of whether a TEN-YEAR-OLD incest victim should be forced to carry and give birth to the child her UNCLE fathered on her: "IT AIN'T GONNA KILL HER!"

I guess this university never knew that birth control pills are used for medical purposes other than preventing pregnancy... doesn't sound like a very intelligent institution to me.