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Notre Dame Fellows elect a new Trustee who gave thousands to pro-abortion groups, including Emily's List with its focus on "electing pro-choice Democratic women to office."

The Cardinal Newman Society last week reported the stunning news
that the Chicago businesswoman just elected to the Notre Dame Board of Trustees, Roxanne M. Martino, has in recent years contributed sizable sums to pro-abortion groups.

The largest contributions, totaling $16,150.00 between 2005 and 2008, went to Emily’s List. There is no ambiguity about the purpose of that organization. It declares:

The mission is simple, really: Emily’s List is dedicated to electing pro-choice Democratic women to office.

Its power is formidable. It has been named the largest political action committee in the country, raising, for example, some $46 million for candidates in 2006.

The very long list of candidates it has helped elect provides a rogues gallery of enemies of the Church on the abortion issue.

On the legislative front, Emily’s List is a leading pro-abortion lobbying organization. Most recently, it joined NARAL and Move-On in “mounting an all-out [and successful] attack on a bill...that bans taxpayer funding of abortions across all government programs."

Emily’s List is not Ms. Martino’s only pro-abortion beneficiary. The Cardinal Newman Society reported:

It appears that Martino has given a total of somewhere between $3,250 and $5,996 to the pro-abortion Chicago Foundation for Women between 2004 and 2011.

CNS scrupulously noted that there might be a remote possibility that this was another “Roxanne M. Martino” from Chicago, but it would have to be one whose husband was named “Rocco.”

Moreover, we have verified from another source the CNS findings that Ms. Martino has contributed both to Emily’s List and the Chicago Foundation, and we have given the University an opportunity to dispute these facts and it has not.

During the years Ms. Martino contributed, CNS wrote, the Foundation “made grants to the Chicago Abortion Fund, Planned Parenthood/Chicago Area, Planned Parenthood of Illinois, the ACLU Reproductive Rights Project, and Black Women for Reproductive Justice.”

For the University to make this startling and deeply disappointing appointment in the wake of the torrent of criticism triggered by the honoring of President Obama displays an indifference to life issues that nullifies its efforts to shore up its pro-life credentials.

Plainly the University’s attitude remains unchanged. It is “Pro-Life Lite”: pro-life when convenient, but not when it would endanger a presidential drop-in or threaten the promise inherent in the appointment of a prominent businesswoman to the board or perhaps make Notre Dame appear too Catholic in the eyes of secular academe.

It is perhaps remotely possible that the University’s vetting for this candidate was so superficial that the University didn’t uncover the data lying in plain sight of the Cardinal Newman Society. This would scarcely be justification for letting the matter rest.

In that event, Ms. Martino should courteously be requested to leave. Surely she would not want to be the cause of embarrassment to the University unless, contrary to Fr. Jenkins’s statements, the University is not truly committed to the pro-life cause.

The Fellows elected Ms. Martino. They are specifically charged by the University’s statutes with the duty of maintaining the Catholic character of the University. You may wish to get in touch with them. Here is their contact information. Let us know if any of these addresses do not work.

Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C.:
Rev. E. William Beauchamp, C.S.C.:
W. Douglas Ford, c/o Board Secretariat:
William M. Goodyear:
Enrique Hernandez, Jr, c/o Board Secretariat:
The Most Rev. Daniel R. Jenky, C.S.C.:
Rev. James B. King, C.S.C.:
Hon. Diana Lewis, c/o Board Secretariat:
Patrick McCartan:
Richard C. Notebaert, c/o Board Secretariat:
Rev. Timothy R. Scully, C.S.C.:
Rev. David T. Tyson, C.S.C.:


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Department of Theology
University of Notre Dame
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