Pierce Barker '68, a teaching fellow in Social Relations and Psychology, yesterday distributed a letter attacking the United Fund for discontinuing its financial support of the Crittenton--Hastings House, an Institution providing aid to unwed mothers.
Barker's letter came in response to President Bok's annual appeal to department chairmen, urging them to participate in the university-wide distribution of pledge cards for the United Fund annual charity drive.
United Fund's decision last year to make no further allocations to the Crittenton House coincided with Crittenton's decision to provide therapeutic abortions.
Thomas Pettigrew, professor of Social Psychology, supported Barker's letter yesterday saying that "the letter is in tended to-alert the Harvard community to the facts about the United Fund and to ask them if they believe in contributing to a United Fund which sets out its political beliefs concerning abortion."
Pettigrew said that he would like the United Fund "to learn a lessons not to use their allocations for political purposes."
Phyllies Cosand, executive director of Crittenton House, said yesterday that her organization applied for a license to perform abortions because abortion service would be "in line with our efforts to provide all possible resources to women who find themselves involuntarily pregnant."
Will Spencer, as executive director of United Fund said yesterday that "it was merely coincidence that Crittenton House was dropped from the budget the same year that they applied to the state for a license to perform abortions." He said that it shouldn't have surprised Crittenton House that they were dropped this year because they had been told that their activities fell into United Fund's "low priority group."
Cosand said yesterday: "We were shocked to be dropped by the United Fund. We have been receiving funds since 1936."
Cosand said that the Crittenton-Hastings House had contacted the Massachusetts Civil Liberties Union to investigate possible outside political pressures which might have influenced United Fund's decision.
Spencer denied that that the Catholic Archdiocese of Boston had exerted any pressure on the United Fund to cease funding Crittenton House.
In previous years Harvard University has aided the United Fund collections by allowing professors to deduct a certain sum from their monthly pay checks to be sent to the United Fund as a contribution. This year, for the first time, Bok's letter gave the professors the opportunity is specify charities other than the United Fund.