This is the fourth time Fr. Jenkins has publicly brushed off the objections of his and the University’s bishop, the Most Rev. Kevin C. Rhoades. Recall The Vagina Monologues and Queer Film Festival and the honoring of President Obama and Vice President Biden. It is time for all alarmed by the growing breach between Notre Dame and the Church to speak up. We invite all members of the Notre Dame community – alumni, students, family, faculty, staff – and all concerned Catholics to join the petition we have prepared urging the Fellows and the Trustees to maintain the existing exclusion of contraceptives from Notre Dame’s policies and to end promptly the provision and subsidy of abortifacients.
Abortifacient effect of approved contraceptives.In announcing his decision to include contraceptives in the University’s health plans for students and employees, Father Jenkins made a point of saying that only “simple contraceptives” would be covered — only those, that is, that “prevent conception.” No doubt he wanted people to believe that Notre Dame was not running afoul of the Church’s teachings on abortion: “Human life must be respected and protected absolutely from the moment of conception” (Catechism 2270). But when it came time to specify the approved contraceptives, Father Jenkins’s “simple contraceptives” morphed into contraceptives whose “primary purpose” is to prevent conception. One immediately wonders what the unmentioned “secondary” purpose might be. Since that purpose is to cause abortions, it is scarcely surprising it was left unstated. The incriminating fact is that the many hormonal contraceptives covered in the Notre Dame plan have a “fail safe” abortifacient function. The American Life League explains that such contraceptives act as abortifacients when they fail to prevent conception because they alter the lining of the uterus “causing the woman’s body to reject the living human embryo.” The pro-abortion Guttmacher Institute concurs, declaring that if life begins at conception — as the Church of course teaches — “not just some hormonal methods but all of them” can cause abortions. Now consider the first contraceptive in Notre Dame’s formulary and another chosen at random:
- Altavera. “This combination hormone medication is used to prevent pregnancy. It contains 2 hormones: a progestin and an estrogen. It works mainly by preventing the release of an egg (ovulation) during your menstrual cycle. It also makes vaginal fluid thicker to help prevent sperm from reaching an egg (fertilization) and changes the lining of the uterus (womb) to prevent attachment of a fertilized egg. If a fertilized egg does not attach to the uterus, it passes out of the body.
- Levonorgestrol. “It works mainly by stopping the release of an egg from the ovary. It may also work by preventing fertilization of an egg (the uniting of sperm with the egg) or by preventing attachment (implantation) to the womb (uterus).”