Sanctity of Human Life Defended in Villanova Law School

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Villanova hit the news again early this month. Not for the Women’s Big East victory, a basketball scandal, or some disgraceful incident with pornography. This time Villanova’s media presence owed itself to a defense of human life and the lived Catholic social teaching at our university. So I begin with a heartfelt thank you to Mark Sargent, Dean of Villanova Law School (VLS).

Each year the Public Interest Fellowship Program (PIFP) at the law school funds eligible candidates in their summer internships serving, well, the public interest. Sounds simple enough, right? This year, controversy sprung up as the Dean asserted a policy about the institutions for which Villanova Law School students could be funded on the school (and school group’s) dollar. PIFP, a university supported and partially funded organization, could not fund students for summer internships or research for pro-abortion groups or projects.

Dean Sargent emphasized in his defense of this policy, that Villanova Law School’s “Catholicidentity is not casual, sentimental or merely historical. It is a living, positive presence.” As a Catholic institution, VLS had a responsibility to refuse official support of a pro-abortion organization. The Church’s position on abortion is “fundamental and unambiguous” according to Sargent, and so, could not be ignored.

I, personally, and the rest of Villanovans for Life commend Dean Sargent for his courage and his commitment to the sanctity of human life.

– Johanna Mihok