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After St. Thomas's student-run Public Service Board (PSB) decided to count PP volunteer work as part of the school's "public service" graduation requirement, numerous students appealed to Thomas M. Mengler, Dean of the University of St. Thomas School of Law.

The IFRL is the largest grassroots pro-life organization in Illinois. A non-profit organization, that serves as the state coordinating body for local pro-life chapters representing thousands of Illinois citizens working to restore respect for all human life in our society. The IFRL is composed of people of different political persuasions, various faiths and diverse economic, social and ethnic backgrounds. Since 1973 the Illinois Federation for Right to Life has been working to end abortion and restore legal protection to those members of the human family who are threatened by abortion, infanticide and euthanasia. Diverse though we are, we hold one common belief - that every human being has an inalienable right to life that is precious and must be protected. IFRL is dedicated to restoring the right to life to the unborn, and protection for the disabled and the elderly.   Click here to learn more about the IFRL.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

St. Thomas Law School Dean Rejects Planned Parenthood Volunteer Work as "Public Service"

Argues PP's mission is "fundamentally at odds with a core value of the Catholic Church"


Volunteer work at abortion provider Planned Parenthood cannot qualify as part of the University of St. Thomas School of Law's public service requirement, declared the school's dean.

Mengler responded by issuing a statement explaining why PP service was incompatible with St. Thomas's Catholic identity and, therefore, could not count towards "public service" hours.


"Volunteer service at Planned Parenthood, whatever the nature of that service, advances the mission of Planned Parenthood, an organization whose mission is fundamentally at odds with a core value of the Catholic Church. Such service does not constitute 'qualifying public service' for purposes of satisfying the School of Law's graduation requirement of 50 hours of public service," explained Mengler.

Mengler noted that the PSB decision fell under his authority as Dean, since it dealt with a graduation requirement.

Mengler also wrote that the PSB Guidelines specify that "public service" work must be "consistent with the mission of the School of Law and the University of St. Thomas."


The dean cited the precedent of University President Father Dennis Dease's 1999 decision not to grant an undergraduate externship credit for PP volunteer work.


Mengler concluded with clarification that his decision was not to be "read as critical of the fine work of the PSB."


Thank the Dean for his stand:


Thomas M. Mengler

Dean and Ryan Chair in Law

University of St. Thomas School of Law

1000 LaSalle Avenue

Minneapolis, MN 55403


Fax (651)962-4881


Contact: Michael Baggot


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