Snakes in the Grass: Notre Dame is No Place for Pro-Abortion Professors
Notre Dame must give serious consideration as to what kind of university it is and what values it will defend.
Shri Thakur is a rising sophomore at the University of Notre Dame and serves on the board of Notre Dame Right to Life.
On July 11th, 2023, the National Review reported that Notre Dame Professor Tamara Kay filed a defamation lawsuit in response to two articles by The Irish Rover, the university’s Catholic news publication, that exposed her efforts to offer abortion access to students. The report provided extensive accounts of Kay’s repeated promotions of abortion resources on social media, offers of “ALL healthcare resources” on her office door, and her own comments asserting that restrictions on abortion kill people and babies. Kay even went so far as to applaud herself for her dedication to abortion. In March, she stated, “It’s a hard thing; you have to really be fully committed to activism to really stick your neck out like I am,” when asked during a panel about her work promoting abortion on campus.
Kay has now chosen to pursue a lawsuit against The Rover. As noted by the National Review, the complaint “fails to cite any specific examples of false statements included in the [original] piece,” and is contradicted entirely about its assertions regarding the second by audio recordings. It seems Kay’s intent in filing such litigation is to force The Rover into submission for exposing her subversive and morally heinous actions. The administration must reconsider its identity and policy positions. It should uphold the teachings of the Church and of the sanctity of life as its own, and in doing so, revoke Tamara Kay’s academic tenure and terminate her relationship with the university.
Defenders of Kay are likely to tell you that her advocacy falls under the umbrella of “academic freedom,” but the reality is that there is nothing academic or “free” about her actions. While no professor at a Catholic university has the right to openly malign Catholic teaching, Kay did not merely express disagreement. Kay did not simply present her views in a manner of open consideration that may be fitting for a university. Rather, she used the mantle of Our Lady’s university to encourage vulnerable young women to kill their babies. She did this in evident violation of university policy and even in potential violation of Indiana’s ban on abortion. It is plausible that human lives were lost because of Kay’s actions.
Rather than ceasing her behavior after The Rover’s publication, Kay chose instead to double down on pushing a pro-abortion agenda on campus. Many came to her defense with several complaints about how she was the “real victim” of her crusade to take unborn life. Such activities undermine not only what it means to engage in academic debate but the university’s fundamental identity as a Catholic institution.
Notre Dame must give serious consideration as to what kind of university it is and what policies it will defend. If professors can openly advocate for abortion, it cannot maintain its claim to a Catholic identity. Kay should have been fired back in October with the first report in The Rover, but it is better now than never.
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