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"Take their phones, their fax, their copiers"
The Spring 2010 edition of USD Magazine, a publication of the University of San Diego's communications department, features a full-page paean on San Diego attorney Jim McElroy, who graduated from the USD law school in 1977. What the article fails to mention is that McElroy is a lawyer for Planned Parenthood of San Diego and Riverside Counties who has made it his life's work to bankrupt the pro-life movement.
USD identifies itself as "a Roman Catholic institution" whose mission is "grounded in Catholic social teachings, a tradition of thought and action that affirms the Church's commitment to work for a just and peaceful society. Students are encouraged to explore how faith and reason are compatible in education, and to develop strong moral convictions."
McElroy evidently meets the "strong moral convictions" element based on what is written about him in USD Magazine. "Jim McElroy is in the business of being unpopular," the article begins. "Standing up for those whose rights have been not just violated, but decimated, McElroy is not looking for friends. He's out for justice. And he has the law on his side."
The article concentrates on McElroy's legal battles against racism, especially in his capacity as chairman of the board of directors of the Southern Poverty Law Center. But it does not mention his association with Planned Parenthood or his role in attempts to remove the landmark cross from atop San Diego's Soledad Mountain, a veterans' memorial.
In 2005, McElroy described efforts to save the cross as "a waste of taxpayers' money."
But his ties to Planned Parenthood run much deeper. In 1995, McElroy received Planned Parenthood's "Margaret Sanger Award," named after the group's eugenicist founder, and given to McElroy "for his work on behalf of women's rights."
In 1996, the now defunct Womancare Health Center in San Diego, another abortion provider, honored McElroy for "outstanding work in protecting the rights of women,"
McElroy is perhaps best known by pro-lifers for his cutthroat legal tactics aimed at bankrupting them. In October 2002, for example, McElroy represented Planned Parenthood in a lawsuit against pro-lifers who witnessed outside Planned Parenthood's Mission Valley clinic, persuading a judge to order the defendants to pay him and his clients $66,000 in attorney's fees. A judge rejected an effort by McElroy to make individual participants pay the judgment, which they said would have bankrupted them.
According to a June 1994 Kaiser Health Daily Report, bankrupting pro-life groups is exactly the strategy McElroy has in mind: "San Diego attorney Jim McElroy, who has been successful retrieving money in KKK lawsuits, said that pro-choicers need to be aggressive when collecting: 'You're not going to get $10 million from an organization with a $40,000 budget, but if you get their $40,000, that really has an effect. You can put a receiver on their post office box, you can take their phones, their fax, their copiers, and it cuts into what they can do.'"
California Catholic Daily asked USD Magazine editor Julene Snyder in a brief telephone interview if she was aware of McElroy's association with Planned Parenthood. "No, I didn't know about it," she said. Asked whether, had she known about it, it would have changed her decision about the article, Snyder said, "I prefer not to comment." She said she needed to consult with others at the magazine before saying anything else on the subject.
Comment by Dan:
"USD identifies itself as "a Roman Catholic institution" whose mission is "grounded in Catholic social teachings, a tradition of thought and action that affirms the Church's commitment to work for a just and peaceful society" Notice UCD does not identify its mission to advance the Catholic faith in order for a more just society. I suspect because the Catholic faith left UCD long ago and has reappeared at John Paul the Great University and Thomas Acquinas.