When I speak with supporters of Students for Life, they often ask how many pro-life student groups we have at Catholic universities. Many believe that our nation’s Catholic universities are all pro-life and supportive of our pro-life student groups. However, this is not always case. Everyday, pro-life students face discrimination and resentment from both their peers and administration on these campuses and, some of these campuses are even, shockingly, advocates for abortion.
Reports in recent years prove that we really do need to hold these institutions accountable for speakers, comments, and programs promoted on campus that directly violate the teachings of the Catholic Church and promote abortion.
We can all remember the controversy over President Obama’s 2009 speech at Notre Dame’s graduation and the videos of prayerful protesters, including one of 80-year-old priest being arrested for standing for Life and opposing the university’s decision to invite the most pro-abortion President in our nation’s history to speak.
In recent years, controversies have ensued at Boston College Law School and Georgetown Law School when they were found promoting internships with Planned Parenthood and at Holy Cross College when they were caught hosting a Planned Parenthood Teen Conference on sexual education. And the list could go on.
Unfortunately, it is now crystal clear that Catholic universities are not “safe” from the cultural battle that plagues our nation.
A couple of weeks ago, news spread that Seattle University has been offering and advertising internships with pro-abortion organizations such as: Planned Parenthood, the National Organization for Women, and the Feminist Majority Foundation. In addition to the internships, it has been discovered that Seattle University has been hiring former Planned Parenthood employees, honoring students affiliated with the organization, and referring students to this abortion Goliath.
Pope John Paul II’s Ex Corde Ecclesiae clearly states that, “It is an honor and responsibility of a Catholic University to consecrate itself without reserve to the cause of truth. This is its way of serving at one and the same time both the dignity of man and the good of the Church…”
Undoubtedly, the most critical and pressing attack on the human dignity of man is abortion and the abortion industry. Therefore, it is essential that Catholic universities form their students in Truth to prepare them to stand for the dignity of Life in society.
It is the responsibility of all Catholic universities to uphold the teachings set out by the Magisterium and protect and promote the dignity of man through education and the pursuit of Truth. Offering or advertising internships with organizations that seek to end Life and directly oppose Church teaching is unacceptable. Cecile Richards, President of Planned Parenthood, has openly attacked the USCCB for their firm pro-life stance. Just read her op-ed published in the Huffington Post from the 2009 health care debate.
Catholic universities are the hope for the future of the Church, and without sound moral instruction and direction, the future is placed in question. We need to hold these institutions accountable for their education and activities, so that they can continue to be a beacon of light for the future. Please call Seattle University now and express your concern with their recent decisions supporting abortion.
Kristan Hawkins is Executive Director of Students for Life.