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Statement: University to Seek Divestment from Abortion Providers

H*yas for Choice was excited to see that the hard work of GU Fossil Free has resulted in yesterday’s release of Georgetown’s Socially Responsible Investment (SRI) policy. Fighting climate change and the destruction of our planet is central to a reproductive justice agenda, and our university taking steps to end our financial complicity in companies should be celebrated.

While we applaud the values of this policy, we are disappointed to see abortion specifically as a supposed immorality that the policy seeks to avoid. H*yas for Choice rejects this kind of anti-choice thinking, and knows that comprehensive reproductive healthcare, including abortion, is completely compatible with Catholic and Jesuit values. Across lines of age, education, and income, a majority of Catholics consistently believe that abortion should be safe and legal.

For the University to so prominently feature abortion in outlining its “Do No Harm” principles disappoints us even further when taking into account everything that the policy leaves unaddressed and unanswered. What about ending our University’s investments in private prison companies that profit off of the detention and abuse of immigrants? When the policy says Georgetown will seek to avoid weapons facturers that make weapons “intended to be used for indiscriminate destruction,” where is the University deciding to draw the line between how much destruction is indiscriminate and how much is acceptable? Why doesn’t the policy mention avoiding investments in companies that use sweatshop or coerced labor? If this inclusion of abortion in the policy were truly motivated by its claimed desire to protect human life and dignity and not an anti-choice agenda, we would expect answers to these questions. The inclusion of this anti-choice directive in the SRI policy undermines its larger goals and our community’s values.

Still, the broad sketches of this policy deserve praise. The policy notes that the Investment Office will prioritize investment in fields that promote the social good, specifically naming healthcare as one such area. H*yas for Choice knows that comprehensive reproductive healthcare, including abortion, does promote the social good and cannot be separated from healthcare as a whole. We will continue to fight to make our campus and community one in which having control over if, when, and how we have children is guaranteed.

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