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Center establishes new pro-life fund

Amanda Gray | Monday, March 30, 2009

The Center for Ethics and Culture has established the Notre Dame Fund to Protect Human Life, according to the Center’s Web site.

Center Director Professor David Solomon said he is excited about the Fund.

“It was set up from an initiative of alumni, especially Bill Dotterweich, to increase pro-life awareness on campus,” Solomon said.

Although Notre Dame’s campus is quite active in the Pro-Life sector, the Fund is meant to help increase the number of active students.

Since opening last fall, the Fund has been steadily gaining attention and donations, according to Solomon.

“We’ve had two substantial donations, and many, many smaller, but significant, donations,” Solomon said.

These donations help the Fund to Protect Human Life support right-to-life actions on campus.

According to the Web site, the Fund is “expendable,” meaning the funds can be used as soon as needed, to support organizations such as the Right to Life club. However, the Fund is not meant to replace funding for these ventures, but supplement them if their funds run low, Solomon said.

“Those groups currently receive some minimal University funding, and their fundraising efforts have not always been sufficient to support their desired agendas,” according to a statement from the Center’s Web site.

“The fund gave substantially to the trip for the Right To Life March in Washington,” Solomon said. Funding from the Center for Ethics and Culture allowed Notre Dame faculty members to attend the March for Life for the first time in January.

The fund also sponsors the Bread of Life dinner each semester, Solomon said.

“[The dinner] is meant to start conversation between students and faculty,” Solomon said.

In the future, the Fund hopes to have a two-year volunteer program, according to Solomon.

“We’d ask recent volunteers to donate two years, and we would give three summers of education,” Solomon said.

The planning committee for the volunteer program will first meet this summer, according to Solomon.

The Fund is not meant to be negative, Solomon said.

“We’re very eager to make activities a positive addition to campus culture,” Solomon said. “We want to move the discussion past stereotypes.”

The recent abortion-related decisions in Washington, D.C. make a fund like this one much more relevant, said Solomon.

“Things are getting tough with regard to early life,” he said.