The University of Notre Dame pulled out of a sponsorship for the pro-life group, Right to Life Michiana, on the eve of their fifty year October 27 benefit because podcaster Ben Shapiro was their keynote speaker. On the same day, Notre Dame promoted pro-abortion activists as their Gender Studies Program hosted a pro-abortion event called "Post-Roe America: Making Intersectional Feminist Sense of Abortion Bans."
According to the Irish Rover, "Associating with Ben Shapiro was a bridge too far, but Notre Dame evidently has no qualms about entangling the school with the promotion of radically pro-abortion views."
After Right to Life Michiana announced Ben Shapiro would be their speaker the Catholic college said "Ben Shapiro’s presence conflicts with the Catholic mission component of the university’s charitable giving policy."
Notre Dame had given financial support to the pro-life organization for over a decade but this year they not only cancelled sponsorship, but they also made it strictly forbidden for university-affiliated groups to donate money as well.
On September 8 members of the group Notre Dame Right to Life met with the Executive Director of the Office of Mission Engagement and Church Affairs Chuck Lamphier who told them "This event is problematic. This speaker is problematic."
"For this event, we have determined that university dollars are not going to go to it," he added. Lamphier said that Shapiro posted an insensitive tweet back in 2010 as the origin of his recalcitrance.
The "Post-Roe America" event, hosted by the Gender Studies Program, was co-hosted by the Institute on Race and Resilience and was described as, "a panel of local health care providers and reproductive care advocates" coming together "for a teach-in."
According to the Irish Rover, one of the speakers at the pro-abortion Notre Dame event, "Sharon Lau, has devoted her career to the industrialized mass slaughter of unborn children." Lau is "the regional advocacy director for the parent organization of South Bend’s local abortion provider, Whole Women’s Health" and has worked at the National Abortion Federation and Planned Parenthood.
Other panelists for the event included Maureen Bauer, a state representative who believes abortion is a fundamental human right and Eli William, who works to destigmatize abortion.
The college's policies around academic freedom were the excuse given for supporting the pro-abortion panel. While those speakers volunteered their time, a sex worker was paid a fee when Notre Dame's LGBT Law Forum hosted "Decriminalizing Sex Work."
In that event, speaker Cruel Valentine told students about how empowering sex work was and promoted the "whorearchy."
While money was the official reason for pulling out of donating to the pro-life organization Notre Dame had supported for years, both money and support was given to a sex-work advocate and pro-abortion activists within the same time period.
"University administrators weaponized policies to obstruct charitable giving to Right to Life Michiana because the guest speaker tweeted something unpalatable more than a dozen years ago," Mary Frances Myler wrote in the Irish Reporter. "And this apparently makes him worse than the women who perpetuate the lie that abortion is a right, worse than the woman who has dedicated her life to stripping away legal protections for vulnerable people coerced into an exploitative economy inseparable from sex trafficking, human trafficking, pornography, and abuse."
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