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Professor Quits Ethics Post at University That Dropped Abortion Coverage

Stephen F. Diamond, an associate professor of law at Santa Clara University, has cut ties with the Jesuit institution’s Markkula Center for Applied Ethics, saying he believes the center and its director have taken an inappropriate role in the wake of the university’s recent decision to drop insurance coverage of elective abortions, the San Jose Mercury News reported.

Mr. Diamond, who announced his decision in an e-mail to the center’s director, Kirk O. Hanson, said he felt the center was “playing a role that was essentially rolling out the policy.” Mr. Hanson was among three faculty members who coordinated two forums during the past week for faculty and staff members to discuss what many think was a unilateral decision by the president, the Rev. Michael E. Engh, to change abortion insurance coverage without seeking their input.

“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,” Mr. Diamond wrote.

In a written statement, Mr. Hanson said he was sorry to lose Mr. Diamond as a scholar at the center. The director also defended his involvement in the forums, saying, “I believe the two meetings I co-hosted this week allowed all faculty and staff to register their opposition and might lead to a better way to handle such decisions in the future.”

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