Monday, May 28, 2007

Towards a Seamless Ethic of Life

This is courtesy of LifeNews and reminds us of the call we all bear to live out respect for life in all facets of our living:

NCAA Will Review Pregnancy Policy After Student Athletes Get Abortions

Memphis, TN ( -- After several colleges came under fire for revoking the scholarships of student athletes who become pregnant, which pressured them into having abortions, the NCAA says it plans to review its policies. The college athletic organization says its women in sports committee will review the problem. Janet Kittell, the head of the NCAA's committee on women's athletics, told the Associated Press that her panel will hold a hearing on the issue in July. "We want to act judiciously here," Kittell told AP. "I don't think it calls for emergency legislation, but I think it calls for a thorough discussion and thoughtful response." The problems came to light after ESPN did an investigative story on how students at the University of Memphis and Clemson University lost scholarships over their pregnancies. The report included interviews with seven Clemson University students who said they felt coerced into having abortions to keep the athletic money. Kittell, an associate athletic director at Indiana University, said she did not expect any actions taken against the two colleges over the situations there. "I would never approve of, sanction or defend that process," she said. Typically colleges and universities do not have formal rules on pregnancy and scholarships, which leaves many students confused as to what will happen should they become pregnant. Some students wind up making decisions based only on verbal threats or promises that may have no weight. "If it's not written down, you really don't have a policy," Melissa Harwood-Rom, an associate athletic director at the University of Arkansas, said. Her school recently put a policy on paper that is considered the first of its kind. The NCAA has no general rules on how colleges should treat pregnant athletes but it allows students to apply for an extra year of eligibility which would not count as a redshirt year but would allow girls who become pregnant to attend college an extra year and stay in school for six years and compete for four. Read the complete story.

This can be a challenge for Catholic high schools who have pregnancy expulsion policies. What might a young woman do to avoid expulsion if she finds herself pregnant? She might opt for an abortion. As promoters of life, we have to consider how we work to make protecting life possible and a viable choice for those facing an unplanned pregnancy.


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