Notre Dame University, a Catholic university located in South Bend, Indiana, recently hosted an on-campus event entitled, “Reversing Roe,” but it was actually a pro-abortion (or pro-choice) event. Notre Dame’s gender studies department and its counterpart at St. Mary’s College sent two professors to speak on the importance of preserving the Roe v. Wade U.S. Supreme Court decision, which legalized abortion.
Notre Dame’s representative at the event, Africana Studies professor Dianne Pinderhughes, claimed that abortion “is an issue that allows for an effort to control the place of women.” She did not stop there, and said, “Those who push so aggressively for reproduction, continued reproduction without any controls, are those who are also more likely to be in support of making sure the country stays predominantly, overwhelmingly white.”
In other words, Pinderhughes claimed that pro-life activists want more children and want to reverse abortion laws because they want the United States of America to increase its white American demographic. However, this contradicts recent demographic trends, in which minorities will outpace whites in births in the near future (specifically, Spanish-speaking families will have more children than white Americans, which is due in part to Catholic influence in Spanish-speaking culture). Regardless of whether pro-life activists are white Americans or not, Pinderhughes’s claim is specious and false.
But, another academic in attendance, Pam Butler, said that abortion is now a politicized issue because it is a part of the “white supremacist strategy of the right wing of the Republican party.” Butler teaches gender studies at Notre Dame.
It seems out-of-place to have a pro-abortion event at a Catholic university, but Notre Dame is tolerant of pro-abortion views, as it offers contraception coverage through its health insurance plans. The Catholic Church is pro-life, doctrinally, and is opposed to contraception coverage in health insurance plans. Also, it is hard to imagine that without tenure, employees like Pinderhughes would have the confidence to criticize the views of her employer, which follows pro-life Catholic doctrine.