The current president of Notre Dame University has officially chosen to disavow a pair of professors in the wake of their choice to push a pro-abortion message in an interview with a major newspaper.
While writing in the Chicago Tribune, Notre Dame professors Susan Ostermann and Tamara Kay stood in defense of abortion by trying to debunk a set of three “lies” told by various pro-life policymakers and advocates. The pair of educators issued spurious claims on the topic of abortion while slamming a number of accusations at pro-life individuals. Notre Dame’s president then issued his own letter to the editor disavowing their statements.
“During the last 50 years, lies and intentional misinformation have dictated abortion health policy in the U.S. Abortion has been demonized and characterized by utter falsities; it has gone under the radar for far too long,” stated the professors. “Because lies have dictated health policy, it is even more important to correct them now that voters are choosing policy on the state level.”
The first thing they called a “lie” the professors pointed out was the idea that the ban on abortions actually prevented abortions. However, both Ostermann and kay did claim that abortion bans only result in far more abortions, a higher rate of infant and maternal mortality, and many more unwanted pregnancies. They put forth no evidence of their own to stand in support of their series of claims but highlighted the fact that in El Salvador, which has since 1998 sported a total ban on abortions, complications regarding abortions are the second leading cause of maternal mortality and the third leading cause for adolescent girls. All along with the idea that “[h]undreds of women have been jailed for abortion and aggravated homicide.”
The second “lie” highlighted by the pair in their attempts to debunk was that abortions kill babies in the womb. To try to counter this mindset, they claimed that over 90% of abortions happen within a window of 10 weeks from conception and quickly dove into the old used line that at such an early stage, the developing embryo is neither a baby nor even a fetus. They chose to take another step further, claiming that since the use of transvaginal ultrasound is needed to detect the embryo, a number of laws in a few states that mandate the use of ultrasound prior to abortion are entirely immoral, and any woman that was subjected to such a procedure are actually victims of sexual violence, especially those in minority communities.
In a letter that was addressed to the editor in the Chicago Tribune, Notre Dame President Rev. John I. Jenkins loudly disavowed the pair of educators, claiming that their article reflects in no way the values of the prestigious academy.
“Tamara Kay and Susan Ostermann are, of course, free to express their opinions on our campus or in any public forum. Because they chose to identify themselves as Notre Dame faculty members, I write to state unequivocally that their essay does not reflect the views and values of the University of Notre Dame in its tone, arguments or assertions.”