Von Stade Endorses Coalition Seeking Abortion Law Repeal

F. Skiddy von Stade Jr. '38, dean of Freshmen and Master of Mather House joined fourteen other faculty members and administrators endorsing the Harvard-Radcliffe Women's Abortion Action Coalition (HWAAC) last week in its campaign for repeal of national anti-abortion laws.

"Laws that are overweaningly controlling do more harm than good," von Stade said yesterday. "If young people 'get into trouble' they should have legitimate ways of getting out of it," he said.

Last year von Stade was the center of a flurry of controversy when the Crimson published a letter written to David K. Smith '58, former Radcliffe dean of admissions, in which von Stade argued against increased admission of women to Harvard because of "their traditional role as wives and-or homemakers."

The endorsements were solicited from among those faculty and administrators HRWAAC members thought might be sympathetic to the coalition's objectives, Joanna Rorhbaugh, a first-year graduate student and Anne V. Packard '73, both coalition members, said yesterday.

"We were aiming for the signatures of outstanding women (administrators) but in reality, there just aren't that many women in Harvard deanships," Rorhbaugh said. Two other men, including W.C. Burriss Young, assistant dean of freshmen, were among the signers.

The thrust of HRWAAC's anti-abortion drive is three-fold, Rorhbaugh said. The Coalition seeks an end to forced sterilization of low-income and welfare mothers and the repeal of contraception laws as well as an end to anti-abortion statutes.

The coalition of approximately a dozen undergraduate, graduate and faculty women has sponsored other pro-abortion activity at Harvard, including a debate on October 5th and an information table during registration