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Georgetown law program placed fellowship winner with Planned Parenthood

December 23, 2009

The Women's Law and Public Policy Fellowship Program at one of the nation’s leading Jesuit universities placed a fellowship winner with the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, according to the university’s web site.

Typically, organizations such as Planned Parenthood must apply to the Women's Law and Public Policy Fellowship Program of the Georgetown University Law Center in order to host a fellow. Once the university’s fellowship program approves the organization’s application, a grant is awarded to the organization so that the fellow can be paid a stipend.

“The Women's Law and Public Policy Fellowship Program (WLPPFP) accepts applications from organizations located in the Washington, D.C. area that would like to host a Women's Law Fellow for the upcoming Fellowship year,” notes the web site of the Georgetown University Law Center. “The Women's Law Fellow must be assigned to work on legal and public policy issues affecting the status of women … If your organization is awarded a Women's Law Fellow, the $37,500 annual stipend will be covered by WLPPFP through a grant to your organization.”

“The Women's Law and Public Policy Fellowship Program makes every effort to accommodate the Fellows' placement preferences,” notes another university web page. “However, the Program cannot guarantee any particular placement organization, even if an applicant has a prior relationship or connection with an organization involved in legal and policy issues affecting women.”

During the 2006-7 academic year, fellowship winner Diana Aguilar worked in the Public Policy Law and Litigation Department of Planned Parenthood Federation of America. According to a university web page:

Fluent in Spanish, Diana has represented her department at two international conferences, one in Peru last fall and one in Colombia this spring. One of her major research projects this year has dealt with an employment discrimination case, where Diana analyzed all of the Title VII Supreme Court cases from the last decade as well as related decisions written by the two new Supreme Court Justices prior to their appointment. In the case at issue, known as In re Union Pacific Railroad Employment Practices Litigation, the plaintiff argued that an employer engages in sex discrimination if it covers prescription drugs in its health insurance plan but refuses to cover prescription contraceptives. Diana has also investigated issues ranging from complex constitutional law principles to the standards for granting a rehearing en banc in federal circuit court litigation. She also reports on the activities of the department for an electronic bi-weekly newsletter.

“Her Fellowship with Planned Parenthood Federation of America,” noted another university web page, “is generously supported by the Huber Foundation and the Robert Sterling Clark Foundation.”

According to a recent university publication, the fellowship program “celebrates the continued achievements of our outstanding alumni, who strive to improve the lives of women and their families throughout their careers. Our alums constitute a powerful network of experienced and committed lawyers across the United States and Africa … Diana Aguilar continues to serve as an Associate Staff Attorney with the Public Policy Litigation & Law department at Planned Parenthood Federation of America.”

In that capacity, Ms. Aguilar is working to prevent the appearance a ballot initiative that would allow Alaska voters to decide whether minors should inform their parents before having an abortion.

Founded in 1789 by the Jesuits, Georgetown University has 15,318 students, 7,092 of whom are undergraduates.


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