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University to Donor Fighting Abortion Law: Here's Your $21.5M Back

Hugh Culverhouse Jr. has been calling for boycott of University of Alabama
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 7, 2019 12:45 PM CDT
In this Sept. 20, 2018, photo, Hugh Culverhouse Jr., right, and wife, Eliza, in Tuscaloosa, Ala., show off T-shirts from the the University of Alabama law school, which now bears his name.   (Gary Cosby Jr./The Tuscaloosa News via AP)

(Newser) – Lots of people are upset about the passing of a law in Alabama almost totally banning abortion, none more so than Hugh Culverhouse Jr. Now the trustees at the University of Alabama are set to return the $21.5 million Culverhouse has donated to the school after the donor called for a boycott of both the state in general and the school specifically over the new bill. AL.com, which reports the board voted Friday to give Culverhouse his money back, notes that both of Culverhouse's parents are UA alumni, and that they both were staunch supporters of women's reproductive rights—his father was even an active Planned Parenthood officer when Culverhouse Jr. was young. A UA release, however, cites an "ongoing dispute," accusing Culverhouse of making "numerous demands" on how the university's law school was to spend his donation, and asking for $10 million of it back.

The release also says none of the problems had anything to do with the new abortion law. Culverhouse refutes that. "I expected this response from UA," he says in a statement, per AL.com. "I want to make clear that I never demanded that $21.5 million be refunded and wonder if the University is attempting to silence my opinions by their quick response. I will not be silenced. Once again, I call on students to protest and reconsider their educational options in Alabama. I also appeal to out-of-state and international businesses to consider the consequences of conducting business in a state that discriminates against women and defies constitutional law." (Read more University of Alabama stories.)

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