United Fems and H*yas for Choice form concerted campaign for reproductive rights at Georgetown

H*yas for Choice and United Feminists have partnered up in a new campaign that’s demanding substantial change in Georgetown’s reproductive rights policies. The latter being a University-recognized group, the new movement has the potential to endanger UF’s funding and legitimacy.

Through the campaign, called “Plan A: Hoyas for Reproductive Justice,” the coalition is making demands for access to material benefits, like contraceptives on campus and rape kits at the Georgetown University Hospital, greater free speech allowances for groups like H*yas for Choice, and “comprehensive health education.”

“These are really rational demands broadly supported by the Georgetown community,” Marion Cory (COL ’10), a board member of United Feminists, told Vox. “It boils down to basic rights, student safety, and student needs.”

Acknowledging that their campaign must adapt to the fact that its advocacy will take place on a Catholic campus, Cory explained that she felt confident their efforts could be successful because their demands were in fact in keeping with Jesuit ideals.

“We don’t see [this campaign] as overcoming Jesuit values, we see it more as asking for Georgetown to consider these issues in their true form, not just the narrows lens it uses now.” she said. “There are a lot of pieces to this issue, like social justice and providing for the health and safety of all people equally.”

She pointed to an open letter the two groups have already written to President John DeGioia on their coalitions’ blog, which she said used a lot of the University’s own language to speak to their demands:

“Issues related to reproductive justice disproportionately affect the lives of people in historically marginalized communities, such as women, people of color, and the economically disadvantaged– the very communities for which Georgetown professes to advocate.

“In addition, the approach Georgetown has taken with regard to discourse around these same issues has been anything but dialogue-promoting. Rather than allow students to openly engage with and discuss issues of choice, sexual health, and contraception, which undeniably shape the society we inhabit, university policies stifle and even prohibit this important exchange of ideas.”

After the jump, the full letter and what this may mean for UF’s Access to University Benefits.

Heather Brock (COL ’10), the president of H*yas for Choice, agreed, and said that in a city with astronomical HIV/AIDS rates, for example, it is irresponsible for the University not to provide for its students’ health by providing condoms and better sexual education.

“When we think about cura personalis and men and women for others, we think about caring for the whole person, and for me that definitely includes sexual health,” Brock said. “And access to informational health.”

As a University-funded student club, United Feminists may be in danger of losing its Access to Benefits in the course of this campaign because it is advocating from a pro-choice position. Brock and Cory recalled that at UF’s founding, members were explicitly warned not to take a pro-choice stance on any issues. But Cory said that warning in and of itself was demonstrative of the censorship problems plaguing H*yas for Choice.

“Potentially, we may lose our Access to Benefits, but that’s what we find as sort of the irony of this—there’s one group that’s been allowed into accepted campus discourse but also this other group that’s been condemned … But whether this imperils our Access to Benefits, we find this campaign imperative. For us to do otherwise is a failure to meet our responsibilities as students to keep Georgetown being what it claims to be—concerned for equality.”

The full open letter to DeGioia:

An Open Letter to President John J. DeGioia February 5, 2010
Dear President DeGioia,
As a Catholic, Jesuit institution Georgetown University is committed to the principles of social justice and open dialogue. While Georgetown offers a myriad of ways to engage with and promote these ideals, its interpretations of both have been selective rather than comprehensive. Adhering to these principles in an honest and non-discriminatory way requires Georgetown to re-evaluate its consideration of and practice regarding reproductive justice.
First, Georgetown must acknowledge reproductive justice as a social justice issue. Georgetown’s current attitude and policies misunderstand reproductive justice as a limited set of concerns and practices removed from a socio-economic context. This narrow scope dangerously compromises Georgetown’s commitment to social justice. Issues related to reproductive justice disproportionately affect the lives of people in historically marginalized communities, such as women, people of color, and the economically disadvantaged– the very communities for which Georgetown professes to advocate.
In addition, the approach Georgetown has taken with regard to discourse around these same issues has been anything but dialogue-promoting. Rather than allow students to openly engage with and discuss issues of choice, sexual health, and contraception, which undeniably shape the society we inhabit, university policies stifle and even prohibit this important exchange of ideas. These issues are forcibly removed from student dialogue, making it almost impossible for them to be approached with anything other than closed-mindedness and ignorance.
In order to be in accordance with its own policies and stated principles, Georgetown University must change the way that it approaches issues related to dialogue and practice around reproductive justice and sex education. As a coalition of students, we have outlined specific steps Georgetown must take in order to fully respect the rights and needs of all of its students.

I. Access to Material Resources

1.   Condoms should be available on campus. Stores on Georgetown University property, along with the Georgetown Hospital pharmacy, should be able to sell condoms. This access is crucial to the health and safety of Georgetown students.

2.   Birth control pills for contraceptive purposes, other contraceptive methods, and emergency contraception must be prescribed in the Student Health Center, distributed by Georgetown Hospital pharmacy, and covered by Georgetown’s insurance policy.

3.   Rape kits must be provided at Georgetown University Hospital. On a college campus with alarmingly high rates of sexual assault and rape, it is crucial that Georgetown actively advocate on behalf of its female students. In the case that rape kits cannot be made available due to the hospital’s inability to treat such cases, free transportation to and from the alternate location must be provided to Georgetown students by Georgetown University.

4.   The HPV vaccine, Gardasil, must be stocked and available in the Student Health Center at all times.

II. Access to Informational Resources: Full Disclosure

1.   Comprehensive sex education §  Sex education at Georgetown should be available and facilitated through the office of Health Education Services. As part of their responsibilities as the providers of health education, this department should host semesterly sex-education programs. These programs should explicitly cover contraceptive options, safe-sex measures specific to LGBTQ communities, and the full range of options available to pregnant students. The staff of Health Education Services should be equipped with the necessary resources in order to offer explicit, comprehensive and non-heteronormative information.§  Although Health Education Services is the institutional resource for sex education, student groups and other departments should be uninhibited and encouraged in promoting the dissemination of information related to sexual health.§  Georgetown must cease its censorship of programming that includes information about non-reproductive sexual practices.

2.   Health Education Services must be able, at all times, to fully disclose all legal options for students with regard to contraceptives and abortion services. §  Staff should be able to offer information about these services without the students’ explicit request; it should not be assumed that students have prior knowledge of the full range of contraceptive options or abortion services, nor should they be discouraged by Georgetown University staff from pursuing any of their legal options.§  The concern of the university should always be the health and safety of its students. Staff must, then, be willing and able to inform students on every available option and help them make the decision that is best for their particular situation.

III. Free Speech and Open Dialogue: Adherence to a Consistent Moral Ethic

“Discourse is central to the life of the university. To forbid or limit discourse contradicts everything the university stands for.” ­

Center for Student Programs Speech and Expression Policy

The Center for Student Programs Speech and Expression policy explicitly states that all students “enjoy the right to freedom of speech and expression. This freedom includes the right to express points of view on the widest range of public and private concerns and to engage in the robust expression of ideas” subject only to restrictions of “time, place, and manner.” All student groups, therefore, have the right to engage in open, uncensored dialogue and discussion around all issues, including reproductive justice and abortion.

According to this policy, the ideology behind H*yas for Choice or any other pro-choice student group cannot in itself be sufficient grounds to bar it from full recognition as a student group or the benefits that accompany that status. As stated in the Center for Student Programs’ Speech and Expression Policy, “Violation of these principles, by whatever parties, must have consequences…Making it impossible for others to speak or be heard or seen, or in any way obstructing the free exchange of ideas, is an attack on the core principles the University lives by and may not be tolerated.” The university is not just limiting free speech by barring H*yas for Choice and other pro-choice perspectives from full enfranchisement in the University community; by allowing discourse around reproductive rights to be one-sided and by endorsing one particular viewpoint the University also eliminates any prospect for real, substantive dialogue.
1.  In order to uphold Georgetown’s standards of free speech, it is imperative that student organizations have the ability to respectfully express their perspectives, including those that are pro-choice. 2.  Prohibiting the recognition of H*yas for Choice as a legitimized student organization is in direct conflict with the Center for Student Programs free speech policy and Georgetown’s commitment to open dialogue. As such, H*yas for Choice or any future pro-choice organization should have equal status with all other student groups. This status imparts access to the same monetary benefits as all other groups and the ability to use Georgetown’s name and/or logo in association with the group.

As a university dedicated to the free exchange of ideas, social justice, and care of the whole person, Georgetown must transform its approach to reproductive justice, both in practice and in the dialogue it promotes. We hope that you will take the necessary steps to make Georgetown into the place it claims to be.

We look forward to a reply within a week.

Sincerely,

H*yas for Choice and United Feminists

hfchoiceboard@gmail.com

unitedfeminists@georgetown.edu

94 Comments on “United Fems and H*yas for Choice form concerted campaign for reproductive rights at Georgetown

  1.  by  @ isn't college great

    sure, we could judge students, tell them they outside of historical, classical or religious norms and mores. fine. that will not stop a single sexually active student from having sex, and being exposed to the accompanying health risks. If georgetown wants to pretend that college students aren’t sexually active, then it should be prepared to deal with the culture of misinformation about reproductive health that permeates much of this campus. Additionally, this isn’t just about a right to buy condoms at vittles. Setting aside the rape kit debate for a moment, HFC and UF very clearly outlined JUSUIT IDEOLOGY that supports open discourse and dialogue. This is about the fact that a feminist group which promotes reproductive justice cannot even have a voice at this university without dealing with the daily indignities that HFC goes through. This is about the fact that Georgetown will bring all manner of controversial speakers (many of whom, incidentally, contradict Catholic doctrine), except an openly pro-choice speaker. Its about a reasonable, open dialogue about health and justice, two things I certainly hope a jesuit university could lend its voice to without condemnation by the pope.

  2.  by  @previous post

    Sure, we could judge male partners who abandon pregnant women, and tell them that they are outside of historical, classical or religious norms and mores. Fine. That will not stop a single one of them from doing it. Shouldn’t we provide them with new identities so their lives aren’t inconvenienced and they don’t have to deal with the consequences of their actions? Why doesn’t Georgetown allow advocates for dead beat fathers to enter into a dialogue to get both sides of the issue?

    This logic that “people will do it anyway” is fundamentally wrong. Creating straw men stereotypes of people you disagree with and dismissing their legitimate concerns as too barbarous to even be considered is wrong. But most of all, the idea that the university, whose purpose is to teach us how to be good citizens and people, cannot take a position on a major social issue in the name of “tolerance” (which is being used as cover to ensure one point of view receives tacit acceptance of its position while retaining the myth of moral relativism) is wrong.

    I respect everyone’s right to voice their opinions on this and commend Vox for provided such a convenient forum for it. But the idea that the university must be compelled to support decisions which students make that are antithetical to its mission and identity is fundamentally wrong. When you accepted the privilege, not the right, of attending Georgetown, you agreed to accommodate yourself to life in a community with particular values, not the other way around. To demand that the responsibilities that go along with that privilege don’t apply to you is the definition of hypocrisy.

  3.  by  Dave Gregory

    I would like to respond to some hostility on this thread…

    @isn’t college great? sarcastically asserts “It’s definitely better to let the antiquated, misguided, and bizarre theological spinnings of an institution controlled exclusively by sexually repressed men determine the realistic health choices for a modern, multicultural student body.”

    First of all, the teachings of the Church are borne from 2,000 years of experience of countless individuals, men and women alike. I am not discounting the injustices that have been perpetrated by the Church; however, in ages and cultures where women were marginalized and forced into disparaging environments, the Church provided ways and means for women to receive educations and live at a higher quality of living than was otherwise available. Of course, yes the Church is dominated by men, but this in no way, shape, or form logically implies that the Church has disparaged women over the course of its history. That’s simply ignorant and logically fallacious. For example, we find that Catholic women in the medieval era wrote treatises which were highly valued and respected by the Church universal, which is completely unparalleled for any other European institution.

    Moreover, just because something is old does not make it less valid. That contradicts common sense, I don’t need to say anything else; do you inherently not trust your parents simply because they are older than you?

    As for Church teaching being bizarre or misguided, I suggest you actually learn about the doctrines and teachings of the Church before condemning them. Hostility is only borne of ignorance, and I have quite literally never met someone who is well-acquainted with Church teaching and holds an explicitly virulent hated for it. Of course, I have met educated people who disagree, but never an educated person who is so hostile. Furthermore, the Roman Catholic Church is the single most multicultural organization on the planet; I guarantee you will never come across another institution which has so successfully met and engaged cultures and backgrounds of all sorts.

    Lastly, I personally take the utmost offense to your assertion that priests are “sexually repressed men.” That is a blatantly offensive judgment, and from my dealings with students from the “liberal” side of the spectrum, respect is one of their fundamental tenets, as it is mine. Not only is that thoroughly disrespectful of people whom you do not know whatsoever (which is far worse than disrespecting someone whom you know), but such a statement once again demonstrates a total ignorance and misunderstanding of the purpose of chastity and celibacy. As a future member of the Society of Jesus, this is a fact of life with which I am intimately familiar, and it quite literally pains me to read this assertion. I challenge you to call or e-mail a Jesuit to discuss this with; you’ll find that the vow of chastity — when properly understood — is not something that leads to sexual repression, but rather leads into a freedom to love others with an open heart. Chaste love is without ulterior motive, and by its very nature, enables a degree of trust and honesty in human relationships which would otherwise be unavailable.

  4.  by  Jesuit tolerance and stuff

    “HFC and UF very clearly outlined JUSUIT IDEOLOGY that supports open discourse and dialogue“

    Ahh, the joys of selectively (mis)representing the opposing side. No one’s saying we can’t have a debate on this topic. That’s what we’re doing right now. But HFC and UF don’t want just a debate. They want to get their policies enacted. That’s a different thing altogether. And to claim that some vague Jesuit “tradition“ of what sounds suspiciously like moral relativism would support a clear breach of their other, actual traditions (Catholicism) is just wishful thinking. I would say nice try, but it wasn’t even very complex casuistry.

  5.  by  @Dave Gregory

    The issue at hand in UF and HFC’s campaign here is not directly ABOUT Catholic Doctrine. Yes they do believe that the ideology expressed by Georgetown of open dialogue and exchange of information is contradicted by their refusal to allow any discussion of pro-choice ideas, and especially the dissemination of vital reproductive health information. A woman who has just been raped needs access not only to a rape kit but also to information. EVERYONE, men and women, need to be able to have access to comprehensive sex education. I certainly respect your choice to be celibate and anyone’s choice to do so, but as a university, Georgetown needs to provide information and education which will protect their student body. As a previous post pointed out, Georgetown does not enforce single-sex dorms and chaperoned date policies, so they need to be aware that students are having sex and sex education is necessary to ensure the health of students. The same goes for the inclusion of the HPV vaccine in the student insurance plan, this is a safety thing.

  6.  by  Erica

    @ Dave Gregory

    I agree that some of the characterizations of the Catholic Church presented on this thread are at least not helpful and at most incredibly offensive to Catholic students. Obviously, I disagree with some of your assertions about the impact of the Church on women, and I’m willing to bet there are other ideas upon which we disagree fervently, but we can disagree civilly.

    To all those with whom I agree on this thread and elsewhere – let’s make this about policy, not about attacking religion. The way to progress is through rational, educated conversation. These are reasonable points that relate directly to the health and safety of Georgetown University students. Keep it about that.

    There is a petition available for anyone who wants to sign on here: http://www.gopetition.com/online/34279.html and if anyone wants to get in touch with the campaign, just send an email to planAhoyas@gmail.com :)

  7.  by  Dave Gregory

    We must keep in mind that Georgetown’s Catholic identity is at the heart and soul of this argument. For the University to endorse H*yas for Choice as an official organization is a clear violation of Georgetown’s very essence.

  8.  by  I just wish...

    That Paul VI accepted the majority report :’(

  9.  by  Kristina

    @Dave Gregory

    For Georgetown to endorse H*yas for Choice and allow pro-choice perspectives to exist is not contrary to Catholic identity, it’s contrary to censorship. What’s happening here is that Georgetown University, which claims claims to promote and BE a pluralistic community, and which also actively tries to bring people of different backgrounds into its community, is stifling the dialogue it claims to promote, and alienating (not to mention actively harming) a huge segment of its population. I think the open letter outlines this idea pretty clearly. When people decide to attend Georgetown, yes, they decide to enter a community that is based on and influenced heavily by Catholicism, but they also understand that they are deciding to attend a university committed to a “free exchange of ideas.” Promoting a one-sided argument is neither “free” nor open nor comprehensive nor respectful nor educational. It’s saying “let’s make it as hard as possible for our students to find out about these other perspectives so that hopefully their ignorance will keep them from being able to think critically and make their own decisions.” It’s insulting.

    As a side note, it wasn’t until the 19th century that the Church took any stance on abortion and contraception at all (and just to be clear, it’s not like they didn’t know that these things existed before that). So I’d also question whether we’re really talking about Tradition here. What IS a Tradition in the Church (and I’m talking from at least the 5th century CE on) is excluding women from priesthood and any other positions of real power in the Church, sexualizing and vilifying the female body, and making people feel really really bad about wanting and having sex outside of heterosexual marriage.

    But this is not about the Church. This is about students at a university having access to resources that allow them to lead healthy lives and the right to express their views, even when they go against the dominant discourse.

  10.  by  @dave (formerly "@isn't college great?")

    (1) I respect many of the Catholic church’s actions and beliefs (especially concerning social justice), but I do not find its position on human sexuality to be even marginally persuasive. I think it is, at best, seriously misguided and, at worst, profoundly dangerous. I count its position the chastity of priests to fall within the former category and its position on contraception in the latter. When its stubborn and false beliefs endanger people’s lives (both in terms of seriously undermining their quality of life and life itself), I do not think that I am obligated to take them seriously. I think I am far less obligated to take them seriously when those who advocate on the behalf of the church’s positions (whether officially or not, as was “isn’t college great?”) characterize those who believe condoms should be available on campus as irresponsible bacchanalians looking for the next weekend’s sexual high.

    (2) The Catholic church is a resolutely patriarchal institution. No number of treatises written by women during the Medieval period is going to change that. As a patriarchal institution, I find it very hard to believe that its positions are not infused with serious male bias, and I fail to see why women should simply take what the Church has to say about their sexuality and their sexual health on the basis of its authority.

    (3) I find that claim that “I guarantee you will never come across another institution which has so successfully met and engaged cultures and backgrounds of all sorts” to be rather curious. I’m not entirely sure what counts as “successfully meeting” different cultures, but a lot of the things the Catholic church has done don’t fall into that category on my view. But, even so, that’s not entirely relevant to the immediate point: Georgetown is a multicultural, multireligious institution, and, while there are some people who believe and practice the Catholic faith, there are many who do not. It’s sheer folly to think that college students will not be having sex (even on a Catholic campus) and it’s downright dangerous and unhealthy to choose to ignore this fact and refuse to allow condoms and other material related to sexual health to be provided. Of course, I know that the Church’s position is not very likely to be swayed by these concerns, but, in that case, my view is so much the worse for the Church’s position and its value to modern life.

    (4) The comment about the Church’s beliefs being antiquated (in addition to simply being true) was a response to “isn’t college great?”‘s mocking tone regarding modern sensibilities (e.g.: ‘This is the 21st century!’). Venerating something purely because it’s old is worthless and I see no reason to agree with the Church’s teaching just because people have been working them out and debating them for quite a while, as the mentioned poster suggested.

    (5) It’s unfortunate that you find my comment that the male leaders of the Catholic church are sexually repressed to be offensive, but I don’t feel the need to temper or alter the opinion on the basis that you believe such repression leads to a particular sort of freedom. I don’t find those arguments persuasive. Further, while we are all talking about how offended and indignant we all are, I see no reason not to be offended by the suggestion that those who do not practice “chaste love” have no (or rare) access to the degree of trust and honesty in human relationships that the chaste do.

    In sum, I am aware of the positions of the Catholic church and I respect many of them, but I am not obligated to take all of them seriously. That you are offended and upset does not mean that its views on sexuality and sexual health are not antiquated, misguided, and bizarre; nor does it mean that the Church is not patriarchal (even if it regards some of the interests of women or has, at times, listened to what some women have had to say); nor does it mean that its valorization of chastity isn’t a form of sexual repression. I stand by what I said and I feel no reason to apologize, even if you and other Catholics are offended.

    As a side note, I’m sure my opinions will irritate a number of people, so let me be clear: I’m not involved with HFC or UF nor am I involved with this campaign. I wouldn’t want to allow those who disagree to use my views to besmirch them, nor do I feel the need to allow folks like Erica to control what I talk about here.

  11.  by  Dave Gregory

    A few thoughts…

    1.) You state that Church teaching is ” at best, seriously misguided and, at worst, profoundly dangerous.” I remain unconvinced that your assertions come from personal experience. Your statement more or less implies that every Catholic leads a life which is imbalanced, immoral, or (at worst) dangerous to the lives of others. Doubtless, horrible crimes have been perpetrated in the name of the faith, but for the most part I think you’ll find Catholics to be reasonable and solidly decent human beings. Try interacting with a Catholic, and experience will hopefully dispel your judgment. I personally do not view students looking for condoms to be simply looking for “the next week’s high.” I do, however, find the hook-up culture to be problematic, as it leads to lasting emotional damage and frequently places students in positions which endanger their welfare.

    2.) True, the Church has fostered sexist positions in the past, but I challenge you to find one contemporary Church teaching or practice which denigrates the woman, or posits that the woman is less than the man. I myself waver on the issue of women’s ordination, but this practice is not based on an understanding that the woman is lesser than the man. You seem to assume that the Church has separate teachings when it comes to male and female sexuality, which is simply not the case.

    3.) Well, the Church has spread to every corner of the planet, and successfully integrated itself with almost every culture imaginable. As a private institution, Georgetown has the right to do whatever is consistent with its traditions and value system. If I were to attend a Jewish university, I would hardly demand that crucifixes be placed in every classroom, because that would be quite inconsistent with the tradition and value system of that particular school. Pluralism at a private religious institution does not demand relativism, but respect and tolerance for the institution’s practices. Taking your logic to the extreme, Georgetown should allow a student group composed of skinhead Nazis if we were to treat the values of all people as equally valid.

    4.) It’s not about venerating, it’s about entering into a tradition which has endured for two millenia. This tradition has produced the Church which we have today; I would like to point out that the Church is healthier now than it has been for 1600 years. Catholics are better educated and better integrated with the world around them than they ever have been. I do not want to dismiss things that have gone wrong in the Church, but I will not dismiss the Church simply because it has erred. Take a look at Planned Parenthood, whose founder, Margaret Sanger, was a eugenicist with terrifying racist beliefs. In her “Birth Control Review” of April 1933 she asserts that ” “[Slavs, Latin, and Hebrew immigrants are] human weeds … a deadweight of human waste … [Blacks, soldiers, and Jews are a] menace to the race,” and that “Eugenic sterilization is an urgent need … We must prevent multiplication of this bad stock.” Now, clearly Planned Parenthood is a very different organization today (and I do not mean to condone the organization now), but it nonetheless finds its roots in a shocking immorality. Advocates of Planned Parenthood do not dismiss its existence because of its past practices.

    5.) Once again, I maintain that your understanding of the celibate priest does not come from personal experience. I should have clarified the understanding of chastity before, because it’s led to a misunderstanding. First of all, chastity is different from celibacy. We’re all called to chastity — that is, pure and selfless love. Chaste love is present in all human relationships, your friendships, my friendships, romantic relationships, etc. I have no doubt that you practice chastity in your relationships, as true friendships of honesty and love require chastity, whether we’re aware of it or not. Chaste love values the other, and demands that I treat the other as an end rather than a means. Chastity is clearly freeing in that sense. Celibacy is a different story, but chaste love is absolutely integral to its proper practice. The celibate priest does not choose to remain unmarried or sexually inactive because he views sexuality or the family as bad, but would rather be free to serve and love members of his community without restraint or commitment which would prevent him from doing otherwise. Thus the celibate religious is free in an entirely different sense than the vast majority of people are. Celibate chastity, as one Jesuit put it, is the “unlocking of the capacity to love others with wild and reckless abandon.” Once again, I challenge you to step up and engage one of the Jesuits on campus. Frs. Kevin O’Brien, Pat Rogers, Ryan Maher, and Otto Hentz are among the most well known members of the Jesuit community here, and would be more than happy to meet with you. Don’t let fear prevent you from doing so. That being said, chastity and chaste celibacy are serious things, and can indeed lead to dangerous sexual repression (as proven by cases of sexual abuse, which are hardly confined to the Church). However, the exception to the norm does not invalidate the norm.

    I was not offended by the majority of your statements, simply by your judgments which are essentially groundless accusations. I would be more than happy to meet with you in person and talk over a cup of coffee or a meal. My e-mail is dmg52@georgetown.edu. I promise you I’m far friendlier in person; I have an unfortunate tendency to bear my claws on threads like these, and would far prefer personal contact.

  12.  by  Caitlin Devine

    I was shocked to wake up yesterday morning and find one of the groups that I was affiliated with to be hijacked. I’m sorry if I sound overly dramatic, but I feel mislead and betrayed. What happened to the “United” in “United Feminists”? As a proud feminist, I attended a couple of meetings back when UF had just formed, and was pleased to find a group that shared many of the beliefs I did: equal pay, tolerance for all, de-objectification of women, anti-domestic violence and sexual assault.

    To presume that all feminists are pro-choice is gravely incorrect. Would knowing that your group members are pro-life too affect your decision to band with H*yas for Choice? Unfortunately, I don’t think it would. I and many others believe that “true feminism” is one which does not pit women against their children. The feminist foremothers were explicitly pro-life:

    “Abortion is the ultimate exploitation of women.” – Alice Paul
    “Every woman knows that if she were free, she would never bear an unwished-for child, nor think of murdering one before its birth.” – Victoria Woodhull
    “There must be a remedy even for such a crying evil as this. But where shall it be found, at least where begin, if not in the complete enfranchisement and elevation of women?” – Elizabeth Cady Stanton

    I was under the impression that in order to be a SAC approved organization, the group agreed explicity to not be pro-choice. UF, was this the plan all along?

  13.  by  @Dave Gregory (a different person)

    i think that you disregarded/twisted a lot of what the previous person had said.

    1) the previous poster didn’t say that a catholic life was unbalanced, nor did he seem to imply it. he said that its position on human sexuality is at best misguided and at worst dangerous. i think that for us to pretend like the hook-up culture doesn’t exist, which we all agree does exist, is what georgetown has currently been doing. though i’m personally ambivalent about some of the requests made by hfc/uf, i do think that comprehensive sexual education is important. you obviously agree that the hook-up culture can be toxic – so why is ignoring it the solution?

    2) of course today the church doesn’t condone any beliefs that the woman is less than the man. however, i think the point that the previous poster was making was that women have generally been pushed out of positions of influence in the church, historically. so it is fair to say that women have been left out of a lot of the decisions which have been made in the church. does this mean that women are less than men in the eyes of the church? of course not. but it does mean that their voices have not been adequately heard and that needs to be addressed, as well.

    3) there are catholic people everywhere in the world, which is true. however, i don’t think people are split into catholic/not-catholic so easily — it is not a black-white issue. there are many people who consider themselves catholic who do not adhere to every catholic teaching or practice (ex/meat on fridays) but does that make them less catholic than someone else? i don’t think anyone has the right to judge that. so should leo’s be condemned because they serve meat on fridays? it IS a catholic school… we do need to strike a compromise between strict adherence to our catholic identity as well as tolerance for the students, who range from not religious at all to very religious

    4) i think both of you are saying the same thing here… that times have changed and that groups have changed or edited their positions on certain things.

    5) again, i think you missed the mark when addressing the previous poster. he claims that leaders of the church are sexually repressed which, i’m not even going to address – perhaps they are, perhaps they are not. but the second part of the previous poster’s statement is perhaps more important – that those who do not practice chaste love don’t have relationships as fulfilling as those who do. i do not think that anyone can even touch this because who can really judge?

    anyway, i don’t think either of you are “wrong,” per se. i think you didn’t particularly address some of the things the previous poster said.

    this being said, i’m not in hfc or uf or even very religious. i thought i would just put my 2cents in here because as a woman, these issues are highly important to me

  14.  by  @Dave (#15)

    Statement: I respect many of the Catholic church’s actions and beliefs (especially concerning social justice), but I do not find its position on human sexuality to be even marginally persuasive. I think it is, at best, seriously misguided and, at worst, profoundly dangerous.

    Your Response: You state that Church teaching is ” at best, seriously misguided and, at worst, profoundly dangerous.” I remain unconvinced that your assertions come from personal experience. Your statement more or less implies that every Catholic leads a life which is imbalanced, immoral, or (at worst) dangerous to the lives of others.

    —–

    I’m really wondering if you actually read what the commenter said before launching into a lengthy response, or just skimmed for key words and phrases and responded based on those.

  15.  by  Where is the line between Me and Jesuit Tradition?

    I go to Georgetown. I am not Catholic. During Lent, I eat meat on Fridays. If “upholding the Jesuit tradition” means that the university forbids condom sale on campus, why do they allow Vittles and Leos to serve/sell meat meant for consumption on these days? Does attending this university and accepting the “privilege” (note: not “right”) of attending this university mean that the administration can choose to subject me to some of but not all of the Catholic tenets? What is their basis for this choice of enactment? Seems to be arbitrary…

    Also – if ICC has no crosses in classrooms (b/c of the federally-funded status of the building), can the university not also compromise their condom policy in a similar manner? Allow for universal distribution or sale of non-university-funded contraceptives?

    I’m inclined to disagree with the claim that GU Hospital doesn’t do rape kits – does HoyasForChoice/UF have a source for this statement? I’m pretty sure that the kits have been done there in the past. And do they know why the HPV vaccine is not stocked – is the issue monetary or theological? Once they address these issues with some statistics then they can elevate their arguments from “university ability” to “Jesuit policy”.

  16.  by  Dave Gregory

    You’re totally right, there’s a disconnect there, simply because of time. Given that we’re all sexual beings, it’s impossible to separate the Church’s teaching on sexuality from its teaching on other aspects of the human person. It’s one whole integrated theology, and to understand one component, one must first understand other components as well.

    Given that, if a Catholic believes in and lives according to the Church’s teaching on sexuality, one is, according to the poster, “at best, seriously misguided and, at worst, profoundly dangerous.” Social teaching isn’t just read, it’s lived and experienced.

  17.  by  Gabi Fernandez

    I normally do not post on threads like this but I thought that it would be rather alarming to not comment when such an alarming proposal is proposed by UF and HFC. As a pro-life feminist I feel that the organization has been hijacked in order to serve the issues that are not in the interest of all women. I would love to see UF take up issues that unite us such as equal pay or pregnancy benefits rather than divide us but in the last year I have been alarmed at how all their events have been targeted toweards controversial issues rather than the many common issues that both sides share and can be adressed to help the cause of women. However, this group seems to believe that true feminism can be based just on the unrestrained passions of sexual desire, which is the ultimate consequence of this proposal. They see it as sexually freeing up women from the patriarcal society but in reality they become objectified as they are not viewed as distinct women but as objects to be used one Friday night for each others’ sexual pleasure and discarded the following Saturday morning. This can lead to truly adverse effects as as both slowly lose their sense of self-worth because they are not loved as the end, loved irrespective of their flaws, but as a means to the others’ sexual pleasure. In the end they will only objectify the other. The proposal is aimed at making us “free” to be sexually active but in reality it is just enslaving us to our own sexual desires. UF through this misguided proposal believes it is seeking the dignity of women by giving us sexual equality with men but it is only really taking away our own dignity, which is the true object of full happiness for the human being.

    There are many misunderstandings about the Catholic Church in this thread but their final goal is misconstrued. Though they have had adverse policies towards women in the past the Church seeks to defend the own inherent dignity of women. One that focuses not on them as sexual objects, which is what UF seems to want to do, but by teaching the value of relationships that are loving and respectful where both practice charity towards each other and acknowledge the true self-worth of the other. They seek to make sex not the means of a loving relationship but the end of it. Once it reaches that stage it is able to be truly self-giving rather than another means of objectifying women.

  18.  by  Jared Watkins

    I’m sorry but I feel I have to comment on the “hijacking” of United Feminists (or perhaps we are talking about feminism in general). Setting aside for the moment that there are many ideological strands of feminism, this issue boils down to one thing: control of women’s bodies. This is not about pro-life or pro-choice or pro-sex or anti-sex. This is about a policy which is dangerous towards women. When men and women are not educated about sexual health, women suffer. When contraceptives are not readily available or affordable, women suffer. Generally, when frank and open discussion about sexuality is banned, women suffer. Like it or not, H*yas for Choice is a feminist group and it is a group that fights for women’s rights and safety. When a group like that is not allowed access to the money WE pay, can only express themselves in Red Square, and can’t even reserve a room in ICC, women are the ones primarily being oppressed. When United Feminists can’t put on events that promote reproductive safety, women’s voices are being stifled and their bodies are being put into danger. To the previous poster, you don’t fight sexual objectification by suppressing dialogue about sex (we as a society have been doing that for hundreds of years and yet sexual objectification still occurs). I am not speaking for UF or HFC, but I definitely think that this is a women’s issue that is especially important for this campus to face. It saddens me if this issue divides some feminists and allies, but it is an issue that has been ignored for too long while women suffer the consequences.

    -Jared

  19.  by  @dave (formerly "@isn't college great?")

    Re: (1). My opinion concerning the problems with the Church’s views on sexuality do not need to be grounded in personal experience in order to be true. In fact, a lot of other types of evidence (such as statistics concerning the effectiveness of condoms at preventing pregnancy, HIV, etc.) are better than anecdotal stories about a few Catholic friends. I did not claim, nor did I imply, that “every Catholic leads a life which is imbalanced, immoral, or (at worst) dangerous to the lives of others.” To the contrary, that is almost exactly how my position (especially on something like homosexuality) is characterized by many Catholics. I have a number of Catholic friends and, while I respect and love them as friends, I do think that their positions on sexuality are misguided or, when they strongly oppose things like condom distribution in areas with high HIV-rates, very dangerous. Again, I am describing the position of the Church here, not the necessarily the personal conduct or moral composition of its members on this point. Further, I agree that so-called “hook-up culture” is problematic, but I think we need to recognize that it exists and to responsibly provide materials related to sexual health that are proven to lessen the negative impact of such actions. I don’t think wishing it weren’t the case is a responsible option.

    Re: (2). The exclusion of women from Church leadership, whatever the justification (even if unrelated to explicit sexism), is a patriarchal practice that I cannot support. A subsequent responder was correct when she or he said that this means that women’s “voices have not been adequately heard and that needs to be addressed.” Considering this serious exclusion and the bias that results from it, I do not think that women should take the Church’s teachings on sexuality to hold for their lives simply on the basis of the Church’s authority.

    Re: (3). You argue that “Georgetown has the right to do whatever is consistent with its traditions and value system.” I disagree. First, Georgetown must comply with relevant laws restricting its actions, which, for example, would apply to things like rape kits in the GU hospital. Second, I do not think I am obligated to respect or agree with what Georgetown does just because it is part of its supposed traditions and value system. That’s a sort of relativism that I don’t endorse. I recognize that this is a Catholic university, but that does not mean that its positions on sexual health are not problematic, and we can’t waive away objections to certain practices just because “oh, it’s tradition.” You accuse me of relativism here, but nothing could be further from the truth: I think there are certain positions that the Church and Georgetown take that are wrong and I think they should be revised because of that. Georgetown, as a pluralistic and multireligious institution, needs to accommodate the fact that many students simply do not adhere to Catholic teachings, including sexual practices that the church doesn’t endorse. I do not think that allowing the sale of condoms, say, in Vital Vittles or the bookstore to students is a bad idea. I’m not sure why recognizing the normal, legitimate practices of many students on campus and providing reasonable options that improve their health is at all related to supporting a neo-Nazi student group. After all, Georgetown recognizes that many of its students are not Catholic and provides different religious services to them so that they can improve their spiritual health, and I’m not sure we’re in danger of fascists overrunning the campus because of it.

    Re: (4). I’ll just agree with you here.

    Re: (5). I disagree that I cannot have the “capacity to love others with wild and reckless abandon” without celibate chastity. I think that my relationships can be just as fulfilling, valuable, deep, honest, trusting, free, and so on as someone who practices celibate chastity, and it’s rather offensive to claim that those who practice otherwise must have “ulterior motives” at the base of their love. What is interesting to me, though, is that you emphasize the value of personal experience throughout. There are plenty of people I know who have deep and fully loving relationships without this sort of practice, even outside martial relations. Further, if personal experience is so valuable, it seems bizarre to exclude those who have personal experience with loving and fulfilling sexual relationships to formulate positions on sexuality in the church. (I know there are reasons for that, but I’m really persuaded by them.) In the end, my point is that I don’t think restricting the decision-making pool to a very narrow subset of celibate and chaste men is the best thing for sexual health and I’m not persuaded that it’s anything other than misguided.

    I appreciate the offer to discuss this in person. I’ll file away your email address and perhaps contact you later if this discussion continues and I have more time.

  20.  by  Caitlin Devine (@ Jared)

    I am not sure you get the point to my argument, Jared. I am not against comprehensive sex education. There is a difference between comprehensive sex education, which I support, and the endorsement of pro-abortion activities or abortion in general (specifically, the funding of a pro-choice group on Georgetown’s campus, or the support of abortofacients). That is not pro-health, nor pro-woman, but pro-abortion.

    I am concerned with the cavalier way in which the leadership of UF disregarded the policies of SAC and the fundamental Catholic and Jesuit identity of Georgetown and took the platform of the group into their own hands, disregarding those who disagree. Why must UF be involved in the pro-choice agenda? Couldn’t H*yas take this up on their own? I am looking forward to hearing the reaction of the UF leadership to my concerns of feeling mislead.

  21.  by  Dave Gregory

    1.) Fair enough, but when you name the teachings as misguided and potentially dangerous, you imply that those who live those teachings are potentially dangerous as well. True knowledge is borne from experience though, not just abstract theory.

    2.) The voices of women are being heard in the Church; granted, not as much as they should be, but the Church is certainly moving in the right direction. The future of the Church is not in the hands of the hierarchy or the clergy, it’s in the hands of the laity. The sacramental life of the Church will always depend on the ordained priests, bishops, etc., but the laity will increasingly step up to bat in other leadership positions. Like I said, as an institution it hasn’t been healthier for quite some time.

    3.) As others have been brought up on this thread, if it’s DC law, it’s highly likely that the hospital does indeed carry rape kits. Maybe not the kind of rape kits that HFC and UF would like, but rape kits nonetheless. It’s hard to imagine a hospital like Georgetown not following DC law on a matter like this. Secondly, and more importantly, as an institution, Georgetown follows a particular set of absolute values, inherently rejecting contradictory values. That is not relativism whatsoever, it’s moral absolutism; I think you’re confusing your terminology. In saying that a group which directly opposes Church teaching should be allowed on campus, one can apply the same logic and say “well, any collection of students should receive university recognition if they so desire!” Hence, the argument can be made that under that relativism, a collected group of skinheads should be able to receive access to benefits. That’s a severe moral relativism, and is but a hop, skip, and jump away from compromising Georgetown’s Catholic identity.

    4.) Cool.

    5.) Hmm, I’m still not coming across clearly enough, please excuse my bumbling. I never claimed that celibate chastity is the only way to engage in genuine human relationships, I just said that’s its goal, its reason for being. Nor am I asserting that celibate chastity is any better or holier than any other vocation, because it’s not. It’s just one of any infinite number of other potential callings. In not marrying and not raising a family (something which is an enormous commitment), a priest is free to completely devote himself to a parish or a ministry. Celibacy is very practically freeing. I’m arguing that any human relationship that is wholesome joyful, sexual or not, is chaste. Don’t misunderstand chaste here: I’m not talking about restricting chaste romantic relationships to holding hands by any stretch of the imagination. Active sexual relationships can be perfectly chaste, as long as those in the relationship love one another selflessly. The selfless part is where “without ulterior motives” comes in, because if one is selfish, one clearly has ulterior motives (the good of the self rather than the good of the other). While pre-marital sex is not ideal, I would hardly condemn it as a grave sin; however, fidelity to the other is of the utmost importance. On the other hand, pre-marital sex as part of the “hook-up” culture is hardly healthy for anyone, physically or emotionally. You seem to forget that although priests do not have families themselves, they belong to their own families. Priests ideally immerse themselves in the world, and have a lot of experience with people. Hence, although they lack direct experiential knowledge of sexual intimacy, they nonetheless are aware of the joys and struggles which are involved with such relationships.

    While I would like to meet you in person, I am far more concerned that you hang out with a Jesuit. They don’t bite, and I guarantee you’ll end up enjoying yourself, or at least arriving at a more enlightened understanding. You seem to hold a very negative opinion of priests which — I reiterate — seems to be completely disconnected from actually knowing any. You have absolutely nothing to lose.

  22.  by  Andrea

    All the points made are very well-articulated and show sincere concern. I do appreciate your attention towards women’s health issues.

    However, it deeply hurts me when people decide to come to a private Catholic institution and then make it their job to attack a set of beliefs that a group of people want to uphold. Catholicism isn’t just a mantra, or a set of chauvinistic rules, that we follow. Open your mind: realize how much our faith and the Church mean to us–it’s something that we hold as sacred, loving, and life-giving for humanity.

    No one is forcing you to convert to Catholicism here. We’re just asking you to respect the fact that in return for a private education, you are freely agreeing to enter an institution that has a set of morals and truths that it wants to abide by.

    You talk so much about “freedom” and “rights.” Don’t Catholics have a right to create their own safe space where they can live according to the virtues of human dignity and sexuality that they hold to be true? By trying to force us to into something we see as harmful you are being entirely intolerant of our right to create and preserve a space for our religion.

    This is a private institution that wants to identify itself as Catholic. If you really want access to condoms and birth control – by all means, why didn’t you go to a public university? Honestly, what right do you have to come and change the practice of our faith? No matter how many statistics, protests, and blame you throw our way, try to understand that Catholics AND Jesuits (for Jesuits are entirely Catholic) believe in certain truths because they sincerely see them as beneficial and constructive to humankind – we’re not out to be prudish and condescending.

    We’re not torturing, murdering, enslaving, or inhibiting anyone else’s liberty. If a woman wants contraception or abortive pills, they’re only a 10 minute walk away. If you want to have premarital sex, no one is spying in your rooms. We don’t ask you to go to church, believe in God, or hide your sexual orientation. All the university requires is that you please respect what is deeply sacred for us. Call us crazy, that’s fine, but then please don’t try to advocate for tolerance and dignified dialogue. I would never call my friends who think and believe differently than I do “crazy.” Not only is it rude, but since when did different outlooks relegate us to the mental ward?

  23.  by  @Andrea

    I respect that you’ve had a very strong reaction to the idea of challenging the safe space that Georgetown creates for Catholic students. What you are claiming about the way Catholic students (for all of whom you were speaking) “treat” non-Catholic students at Georgetown is EXACTLY why the university’s refusal to address these issues is unacceptable. You say, “If you want to have premarital sex, no one is spying in your rooms. We don’t ask you to go to church, believe in God, or hide your sexual orientation. All the university requires is that you please respect what is deeply sacred for us.” Is preserving sexual expression for marriage between a man an a woman suddenly not “deeply sacred” to Catholics? Is believing in God and attending church services to worship God not “deeply sacred” either? If they are, then why is Georgetown willing to support students in their own beliefs about sexual orientation, religion, or even belief in God?
    In the same way you are trying to tell us that Georgetown doesn’t impose Catholic values on its students, please understand that by no means is anyone trying to convince an abstinent, heterosexual, pro-life, Catholic female to change anything about her lifestyle. The way your life is informed and lived and your choices are absolutely respected. The availability of sex education, contraception, etc on campus doesn’t mean that your own religious conviction or morals or choices are no longer valid. It simply means that non-Catholics who don’t pretend to be Catholic are welcome at and supported by Georgetown as well.

  24.  by  Andrea

    “The availability of sex education, contraception, etc on campus doesn’t mean that your own religious conviction or morals or choices are no longer valid. It simply means that non-Catholics who don’t pretend to be Catholic are welcome at and supported by Georgetown as well.”

    I know that the presence or absence of “Catholic rules” certainly does not validate or invalidate them. However, since the university calls itself Catholic, it has the full legal/philosophical/human right to uphold its convictions in it’s policy and funding use. I don’t see how that forces non-Catholics to pretend to be Catholic. That’s pretty absurd, actually, since people who disagree are definitely allowed to talk about it and voice their opinions in class, school newspapers, or red square. It gives you no benefit around here to call yourself Catholic if you’re really not.

    I think you misunderstood a distinction between “respect” and “adhere to.” Georgetown does not require students, in any way, to adhere to Catholicism, particularly in their private lives. Condoms are still allowed in dorms. A student will not be expelled because she has an abortion. However, publicly and officially, the university chooses to maintain a set of values it believes to be healthy and holistic for students. Non-Catholics are still very welcome (and encouraged) to come here, and they don’t have to pretend to adhere to Catholicism to do so, I think it’s just a matter of respect to acknowledge that the university has the right to publicly uphold its own value system.

    Perhaps this is a very experiential example, but I think back a lot to when I attended a Protestant school. There were a lot of things going on there that I did not agree with, and I was taught a lot that I believed was downright wrong, but ultimately, although I definitely voiced my point of view, I did not force the institution to change because I was the one who had willingly put myself in that environment. I had entered a group of people’s lives, faith, and education system in full knowledge of what I was getting myself into. The same when one studies abroad to a foreign country – there are many things in other nations that we see and believe to be inefficient, ridiculous, and uncomfortable. But unless human rights are being severely violated, then it’s really not our place to try and topple the system.

  25.  by  Matt

    @David:

    In saying that a group which directly opposes Church teaching should be allowed on campus, one can apply the same logic and say “well, any collection of students should receive university recognition if they so desire!” Hence, the argument can be made that under that relativism, a collected group of skinheads should be able to receive access to benefits.

    Why shouldn’t they? If they want to prance around like idiots, let them. They have as much right to (peaceably) advocate their viewpoint as the next group, and denying them the right to isn’t going to make them vanish.

    As I mentioned way above, I think the problem with this is getting group recognition conflated with Georgetown approval. I agree that Georgetown does not need to support Hoyas for Choice or any other group whose message goes against Catholic teachings. The problem is when the only way to gain recognition on campus implicitly or explicitly entails university support.

    Students should be able to form whatever groups they want. Each student should be able to reserve rooms in buildings (as opposed to merely recognized groups). For funding, the University is not obliged to provide support, but students can with their own money — the Student Activities Fee. This is not the University’s money — it’s the students. If the students want to give it to Hoyas for Choice, so be it.

    Divorce Georgetown ‘support’ as pre-requisite for group formation from the equation and you have a win-win situation. Any group under the sun can form; only those complying with Georgetown’s Catholic Mission can petition to receive university funding — for the rest, go to Student Activities Fee money. And because “Hoyas for Choice” isn’t reserving a room (if that were to be an issue), but instead Jane Hoya is, it’s not a problem.

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  28.  by  Not hijacked

    I’m a bit concerned with how this has be come a pro-life/pro-choice discussion, since that’s not how understand this discussion. I don’t think UF and HFC are suggesting abortions be available on campus, and come to think of it, I am now realizing that HFC could have a name that better represents what they do. If anything, HFC works to reduce the occurrence of abortions by reducing the number of unwanted pregnancies by distributing condoms and other comprehensive sex education materials on campus. Maybe it’s true that many (or even all) of the HFC members are pro-choice. But clearly their main activity is attempting to reduce the number of unwanted pregnancies (and STDs), which I would assume the greater pro-life movement supports.

    This particular movement is about making condoms and other contraceptives available to students to reduce the risks that result from sexual activity. To those who feel that UF has been “hijacked”, you can’t deny that women are more affected by the risk of pregnancy. If that pregnant woman is pro-life, then she now carries her child to term and decides to give it up for adoption or keep it. Regardless, her life has been drastically altered. If she is pro-choice and decides to have an abortion, that would be an extremely difficult decision to make, and it would be one that would affect her for the rest of her life. So, either way, the woman’s life changes drastically. The guy involved? He could choose to be involved in the pregnancy and/or the child’s life (if not adopted). Maybe he would pay child support. But his life could also not change at all (if the child is given up for adoption or if the woman has an abortion). This is why I see the availability of contraception as a feminist issue. I do believe you can be a feminist who does not believe that a woman should have the right to choose to have an abortion. But I do not believe that opposing the availability of contraceptives/sex education can be a feminist position – even if you personally choose to abstain.

    I’d also like to point out that the university has taken a non-Catholic position on LGBTQ issues. They have done so because they believe that all students have the right to live their lives uninhibited – even if there is a clash with the Catholic Church’s official position. Why should the university not take the same position with contraceptives? Just as the Catholic Church officially disproves of living an LGBTQ life, the Church disproves of premarital sex. But not all students choose to live Catholic lives. So, the university takes a position that supports the personal freedom and SAFETY of the student body. The equivalent of the LGBTQ support programs and zero-tolerance policy for harassment would be allowing contraceptives (both condoms and prescription birth control) to be sold/obtained on campus and covered with the university health care plan.

    Again, I am not suggesting the university condone or help students obtain abortions. The university wouldn’t even be encouraging sexual activity – they would simply be acknowledging that the adult student on this campus make their own decisions. To me, the true pro-life position is to do everything possible to avoid the potential for abortions, which means doing everything possible to reduce unwanted pregnancies.

  29.  by  @andrea

    If it’s supposed to be a safe space for Catholics (and not for me or my body), why did they send me brochures in the mail? It’s frankly wrong for a University to try to recruit a diverse student body by misleading them about the school’s policies. At information sessions and tours I asked many questions about how pervasive Catholicism is on campus and was never told anything about these discriminatory policies.

    Just as Leos serves meat on Fridays and many Catholics choose not to eat it, can’t condoms be available on campus with the understanding that many Catholics (and others) will not choose to use them? I am not a sexually active student, and the idea that if condoms were easy to come by that my moral convictions would fail me is frankly offensive. We should be empowering students to make their own choices about their bodies and sexualities. If they would like to promote a certain view of human sexuality, that’s all well and good. But it’s wrong to endanger the lives of students who choose not to see it that way.

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  33.  by  @Caitlin Devine

    I’d like to know how Plan A is pro-abortion? I’m tired of people associating pro-choice with pro-abortion. HFC is about a lot more than abortion, and it is really stupid to think that if a group pairs with them, they are somehow advocating pro-choice issues for all their members.

    If you had read the Plan A mission statement, you might be aware that there is a lot more going on than just a discussion of a woman’s right to choose.

    And, it’s ludicrous to think that the UF leadership made a dictatorial decision to join with HFC on this endeavor without consulting it’s members. In fact, UF consistently keeps its members informed of the activities in which it plans to engage, and always encourages its members to attend meetings to foster a healthy dialogue. Maybe you should have spoken directly with the UF board if you felt that their recent involvement with Plan A was problematic, instead of posting on this thread.

    UF did not disregard the policies of SAC. SAC does not exist to patrol the issues that a group chooses to involve itself in. UF is a group devoted to promoting women’s issues, and Plan A is a woman’s issue.

    Also, the word “hijack” is ridiculous.

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