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Cutting Back From the United Fund


By Amanda Bennett

The United Fund moved last year to discontinue support to the Crittenton-Hastings House, an institution providing aid to unwed mothers. The move coincided with Crittenton's decision to provide therapeutic abortions as part of their service to women who find themselves involuntarily pregnant.

On Wednesday, Pierce Barker '68, a teaching fellow in Social Relations and Psychology, disputed the Fund's decision to stop its financial aid to Crittenton. He framed his protest in a letter responding to President Bok's annual appeal to department chairmen urging them to participate in the Fund's charity drive.

Thomas Pettigrew, professor of Social Psychology, supported Barker's position. "The letter is intended to alert the Harvard community to the facts about the United Fund and to ask them if they with to contribute to a United Fund which acts out its political beliefs concerning abortion," he said.

But Will Spencer, an executive director of United Fund, denied that there was any political influence in the Crittenton decision from the Catholic Archdiocese of Boston, or any other quarter.

"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.

Phyliss Cosand, executive director of Crittenton House, said that she was "shocked" that the Fund had stopped its financial aid, since Crittenton had been receiving payments since 1936.

In previous years. Harvard has aided the Fund's collection by allowing professors to deduct contributions from their monthly paychecks. This year, for the first time, Bok's appeal gave professors the opportunity to specify charities other than the United Fund: Barker, Pettigrew and other professors will likely do just that.

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