A law professor at Santa Clara University (SCU) has resigned from the university’s Markkula Center for Applied Ethics in protest over the president’s announcement that the Jesuit institution is dropping abortion coverage from its insurance for faculty and staff, according to the San Jose Mercury News.
"In light, then, of my support of a woman’s right to choose and my support and belief in shared governance and in light of the role the Markkula Center is playing in imposing this decision on our community, I no longer believe my views of what is considered ethical and those of the Center are in agreement and thus I am tendering my resignation as an Ethics Scholar at the Center,” Stephen Diamond, an associate professor of law, wrote.
In an email, Diamond stated that he believed that the ethics center had been acting as an arm of SCU president the Rev. Michael Engh’s office in the rollout of the new policy. The Markkula Center hosted a number of sessions for faculty and staff to discuss the president’s decision.
A petition at Change.org—which has been signed by over 600 employees of the college—opposes Engh’s decision to end insurance coverage of elective abortions.
Fr. Engh announced the news in a two-page letter, which was sent to university employees and said, in part, that "our core commitments as a Catholic university are incompatible with the inclusion of elective abortion coverage in the university’s health plans.”
Diamond will continue as a law professor. In fact, this semester Diamond is teaching a course called Social Justice Workshop: Law and Labor in the Fields.
In another email sent to certain faculty, Diamond reportedly said that there is "nothing about the Engh decision that is not reversible or amenable to amendment.”
The Markkula Center has an inconsistent relationship with Catholic ethics as reported by The Cardinal Newman Society’s Catholic Education Daily earlier this year. Under the banner “Bioethics,” the Markkula Center has a section called “End of Life Ethics,” that links to a pro-assisted suicide website. The site is for the Compassion in Dying Federation, which provides information regarding end-of-life “choices” with advocacy for assisted death.
The ethics center’s website also hosts an article from 2004, co-written by a Santa Clara professor of religious studies, which proposes a theology that would accept same-sex marriage entitled "Gay Marriage: Theological and Moral Arguments."