For 18 years, The Cardinal Newman Society has exposed scandalous activity at many Catholic colleges and universities. Although today we are beginning to see some movement toward a renewal of Catholic identity in Catholic higher education, serious problems remain.
Current public attention to Planned Parenthood—the largest abortion provider in the United States, responsible for extensive promotion and distribution of contraceptives—prompted us to perform a simple, public search of the websites of Catholic colleges and universities.
Despite the Catholic Church’s unambiguous teaching on abortion and contraception, we discovered referrals to Planned Parenthood for “health” services, internships and fellowships with Planned Parenthood, seemingly boastful disclosures of employees’ past work with Planned Parenthood, and other ties to this and other “pro-choice” organizations. The problems are spread across dozens of institutions, with occasional concentrations at highly secularized institutions like Georgetown University and Seattle University, two leading Jesuit institutions.
What is publicized on the Internet often indicates more extensive concerns hidden from public view, so while the information contained this report is shocking and scandalous, it is only based on a rudimentary search of college websites and likely does not capture all ties to Planned Parenthood at Catholic colleges and universities.
If one considers—from a faithfully Catholic perspective—the fact that Planned Parenthood is the largest abortion provider in the United States and a leading contributor to what Pope John Paul II labeled a “culture of death,” any relationship to Planned Parenthood or those who have worked for such an organization is simply unacceptable. In no way can the work of Planned Parenthood be considered compatible with the mission of Catholic higher education or the moral teachings of the Catholic Church.
Furthermore, any relationship to Planned Parenthood endangers students who may develop a sense of comfort with an organization that destroys innocent lives, ruins souls and plays a leading role in the demise of American culture. A Catholic educator who cares for the wellbeing of students would do everything possible to dissuade a student from entering the doors of a Planned Parenthood clinic. Nothing good can come of it.
Finally, the brazen manner in which Catholic colleges and universities are publicly disclosing—even proudly touting—their ties or the ties of their employees, students and alumni to Planned Parenthood is shocking. There appears to be a pervasive attitude toward Planned Parenthood that regards the abortion and contraceptive agency as benign. This attitude is simply inconsistent with a genuine Catholic sensibility.
We urge Catholic colleges and universities to embrace a no-tolerance position for any relationship with Planned Parenthood—including disqualifying candidates for teaching positions with previous experience working with or for pro-abortion organizations.
There are matters of Catholic identity which require discernment and which may not point to simple solutions. There is no such nuance here—Planned Parenthood is a serious danger to the health, lives and souls of innocent students. There is no place for Planned Parenthood on a Catholic campus.
See report here: Cardinal Newman Society