The list of pro-bono organizations on Boston College Law’s website, which included contact information for Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts, has now been removed.
Nate Kenyon, Director of Marketing and Communications at BC Law, said that the page was removed as part of an ongoing revision of the law school website.
“The pro bono site hadn’t been updated in years, and one of the things we’ve discovered after investigating a bit is that our students weren’t using the listings of organizations.”
“Frankly, it wasn’t clear to anyone here how that list was even put together and posted in the first place, and much of the content was out of date,” said Kenyon.
Earlier this year, The Observer published an article drawing attention to the abortion clinic link on BC Law’s list of pro bono organizations. At the time, Kenyon said “[The] links do not imply a Boston College endorsement of any organization,” and that BC Law felt that its students could “educate themselves and make their own decisions based on what’s best for them.”
Following the article, several other organizations, including Life News, reported the apparent inconsistency between BC’s Jesuit identity and the abortion clinic link.
TFP Student Action, a project of the American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family and Property, launched an e-protest in early October to request that BC Law remove the Planned Parenthood link from their website. John Ritchie, director of TFP Student Action, said the organization collected 6,870 protest petitions to remove the Planned Parenthood link from BC’s website.
Laura Balch, president of Lex Vitae, the BC Law student pro-life society, was pleased that BC Law is no longer listing Planned Parenthood as a suggestion where students should volunteer their time.
“Being Jesuit means we are also Catholic, [which] calls us to a higher level of responsibility when we do pro bono work,” said Balch.
She emphasized the value that BC Law offers its students as a Jesuit school. “Having a Catholic and Jesuit identity means that you can stand apart from secular institutions.”
Balch said that BC Law demonstrates its commitment to its Catholic identity by doing “small things, like taking down the Planned Parenthood link and not putting it back up.”
Kenyon affirmed that the list of pro bono organizations will likely not be returning to the website.
“I don’t think we’ll have a listing on the site. It just wasn’t useful for students, and it doesn’t make sense for us to have to update it, making sure the links work and the information is current,” said Kenyon.
Andrew Rota is a staff writer and webmaster for the Boston College Observer. He is a member of the Student Free Press Association.