“Catholic” Law School Professors: Abortion Needed for ‘Personal or Professional Success’
[Echoing “Catholic” Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy’s 1992 majority opinion in Planned Parenthood v Casey that “the ability of women to participate equally in the economic and social life of the Nation has been facilitated by their ability to control their reproductive lives” including “reliance on the availability of abortion in the event that contraception should fail”]
February 19, 2016 | By Adam Cassandra | CardinalNewmanSociety.org/CatholicEducationDaily/DetailsPage/tabid/102/ArticleID/4705/Catholic-Law-School-Professors-Abortion-Needed-for-%E2%80%98Personal-or-Professional-Success%E2%80%99.aspx
Two professors representing the law schools of [Jesuit] Marquette University and Georgetown University, along with a Georgetown Law student, joined 110 female attorneys in signing an amicus curiae brief to the U.S.Supreme Court in which the women argued that they would not have been able to achieve “personal or professional successes” in life “were it not for their ability to obtain safe and legal abortions.”
Lisa A. Mazzie, professor of legal writing at Marquette University Law School, and Jill Morrison, executive director of the Women’s Law and Public Policy Fellowship Program and visiting professor of law at Georgetown University Law Center, signed onto the brief submitted last month in support of abortionists in Texas in the case Whole Woman’s Health v. Cole, which will be argued before the Supreme Court n March. Both of the professors listed their place of employment at the Catholic law schools when signing the brief.
Mazzie and Morrison joined other female attorneys urging the Court to overturn health regulations placed on abortion facilities by the state of Texas “united in their strongly-held belief” that women need abortions to be successful in life.
All of the signers of the brief are “lawyers who have obtained abortions” and “care deeply about the reproductive rights this Court has recognized” in Roe v. Wade and elsewhere. The signers “believe that, like themselves, the next generation of lawyers should have the ability to control their reproductive lives.”
The main points of the brief argue that “Abortion Access Directly Affects Educational Access;” “Safe and Legal Access to Abortion Is Critical to Professional Freedom and Advancement for Women Lawyers;” and “Safe and Unrestricted Access to Abortion Plays a Critical Role in the Lives of Women Lawyers.”
Morrison is formerly with the National Women’s Law Center where she was an attorney in the Health and Reproductive Rights Group, according to her Georgetown profile. At the time, she was also a writer for the pro-abortion RH Reality Check website. In her last post on the site, Morrison attacked the Catholic Church’s teaching on contraception as resulting in “more sterilizations” and “furthering racists, classist and xenophobic aims” in Puerto Rico. Morrison also attacked Catholic hospitals over ethical directives on abortion in a post on the site.
Morrison’s Georgetown profile also states that she currently serves on the advisory board of Law Students for Reproductive Justice (LSRJ), a group that includes legal access to contraception, sterilization and abortion in its understanding of “reproductive justice.”
Mazzie has also written in support of abortion in the past, arguing that legal abortion is part of the struggle for women’s equality. “For young women coming of age today, their equality with men seems assured. … For them, women have always been able to vote, abortion has always been legal, and women have reached high places in politics,” she wrote in 2011.
The Catholic Church teaches that abortion is “gravely contrary to the moral law,” and formal cooperation in an abortion constitutes a grave offense. Further, “A person who procures a completed abortion incurs excommunication latae sententiae.”
Ex corde Ecclesiae, the apostolic constitution on Catholic universities, notes the role of all teachers in protecting the Catholic identity of universities, and states:
The identity of a Catholic University is essentially linked to the quality of its teachers and to respect for Catholic doctrine. … All teachers and all administrators, at the time of their appointment, are to be informed about the Catholic identity of the Institution and its implications, and about their responsibility to promote, or at least to respect, that identity. … In ways appropriate to the different academic disciplines, all Catholic teachers are to be faithful to, and all other teachers are to respect, Catholic doctrine and morals in their research and teaching.
A student also signed the brief noting that she is a J.D. candidate at Georgetown Law and a national board member of LSRJ. A profile of the student on the Georgetown Law website states that she formerly worked in the office of the president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America. The Georgetown Law profile also lists several instances where the student assisted in cases advocating against restrictions to legal abortion access.
As The Cardinal Newman Society previously reported, the lead counsel in Whole Woman’s Health v. Cole who will be arguing before the Supreme Court in support of Texas abortionists is an adjunct law professor at Fordham University School of Law, Stephanie Toti. Toti is the senior counsel at the Center for Reproductive Rights, a global legal group that fights for “expanded access to reproductive healthcare” including “birth control” and “safe abortion.”