Monday, April 11, 2011

Your Child’s Reproductive Health Care Needs

Are well attended to at Catholic Colleges and Universities around the country according to sad, but not altogether unexpected, findings from the Cardinal Newman Society. Their report, released today, details more than 150 referrals, job opportunities, internships and recommendations for students and staff in Catholic higher ed to make a visit to the nation’s largest abortion provider, Planned Parenthood.

All of the mentions of Margaret Sanger’s eugenic murder machine were found right on the colleges’ web sites, leading the National Catholic Register to comment that the Newman report, “probably only represents the tip of the iceberg.”

I’m going to highlight just one of the 150+ Planned Parenthood referrals Newman reports on. It’s not the most egregious, but it denotes something important about Catholic higher ed which is indicated across the Newman report. If you are a student at Mount Saint Mary’s College and you visit the ‘Student Life – Health and Fitness’ section of the school’s web page looking under the heading of “Human Sexuality - Pregnancy” you’ll find a pdf with referrals including these:

Planned Parenthood
http://www.plannedparenthood.org/
Santa Monica Center of Planned Parenthood (for Chalon students)
1316 3rd Street Promenade
Santa Monica, CA 90401
800-576-5544

Los Angeles Center of Planned Parenthood (for Doheny students)
1014 1/2 N Vermont Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90029
800-576-5544
-Provides pregnancy options education, as well as information on pregnancy planning and prenatal care, birth control, the prevention and treatment of HIV and other STDs.

Catholics For Choice
http://www.catholicsforchoice.org
– CFC helps Catholic women to make thoughtful decisions through respected publications that address Catholic doctrine and the moral and ethical issues involved in reproductive health decisions.

The document where this information appears bears the logo of the school’s ‘Counseling & Psychological Services’ department.’ So somebody in that office compiled this list and provided the commentary – and nobody at the university told them to take it down.

Here’s why I think that is significant in a way that applies to all the Catholic colleges which refer to Planned Parenthood. If tomorrow, I decided to put up a blog post recommending to my young pregnant readers that they visit Planned Parenthood or form their consciences on the issue of abortion by reading Catholics For Choice, it would mean I’ve got another job lined up. That’s because I:

1. Work for a Catholic institution,

2. Know I work for a Catholic institution,

3. Know the expectations of working for a Catholic institution,

4. And know the consequence of violating such a core principle of that institution would mean I’m fired.

A lot of my friend’s on the left criticize the Cardinal Newman Society for the lacunae in their reporting on the Catholicity of Catholic Colleges and/or a perceived theological bias – What about the mission trips? What about the service learning? What about the justice education? Cardinal Newman is not telling the full story about our Catholic colleges, they say.

But let us not ask the Cardinal Newman Society. Let’s ask the employees of Catholic Colleges whether they:

1. Work for a Catholic institution,

2. Know they work for a Catholic institution,

3. Know the expectations of working for a Catholic institution

4. and know that the consequences of violating core principles of a Catholic institution would mean their discharge.

In a way, by looking at whether a college refers its students to an abortion mill, the Cardinal Newman Society has simply let the employees of Catholic colleges answer those questions for themselves. And in at least 150 instances, the reply was a resounding “NO!”

Read the whole report here.