Washington University Apologizes, Says St. Louis U Not Doing Abortion Training

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Oct 1, 2009   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Washington University Apologizes, Says St. Louis U Not Doing Abortion Training

by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
October 1
, 2009

St. Louis, MO (LifeNews.com) — Washington University officials have apologized to officials at St. Louis University for claiming the Catholic school jointly participated in an abortion training project. The project has Washington University joining forces with Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Planned Parenthood of St. Louis to train students in abortions.

LifeNews.com exposed the program last month when it carried an opinion column from Joe Oertwerth, the director of the Missouri Family Policy Council.

Oertwerth explained how the Family Planning Fellowship Program has the stated goal is to "develop tomorrow’s leaders in reproductive health." Fellows in the program are trained to become "expert" in all methods of first and second trimester abortions.

"The program website states that fellows will participate in abortions at the Reproductive Health Services clinic operated by Planned Parenthood of St. Louis," he wrote then. "The website also explains that Washington University is collaborating with St. Louis University ‘to accomplish the goals of the Family Planning Fellowship.’"

Now, Washington University officials are saying they were wrong to state that St. Louis University participated in the program.

SLU spokesman Jeff Fowler told the St. Louis Post Dispatch that it has never heard of the abortion training program.

"We’ve never had any collaboration with the program, or anything to do with the program," Fowler said. "We were surprised as anyone else when it was brought to our attention."

Fowler said "senior administration officials" at Washington University had apologized for including SLU.

"We feel like we were wronged," he told the newspaper. "The questions we’d like answered are, number one, who put that information on there, and two, how they would have made the assumption that SLU would be affiliated with that program."

The Dispatch indicates the declaration was removed from the web site earlier this week and that WU officials will not answer further questions beyond confirming that SLU was not involved.

"The Washington University Family Planning Fellowship is not connected with St. Louis University," the Post-Dispatch reported WU spokeswoman Joni Westerhouse saying. "SLU faculty have never been involved in the fellowship program."

The WU web site indicates two of the professors involved in the abortion training program are SLU professors, but SLU’s Fowler says they "were not teaching anything related to the fellowship."

Oertworth, the pro-life advocate who originally exposed the WU-SLU abortion training link at LifeNews.com, talked with the pro-life news service about the latest developments.

“It’s all well and good for Washington University to apologize for misrepresenting St. Louis University’s involvement in their abortion training program," he said. "But that’s not the real issue."

"Washington University and Barnes-Jewish Hospital need to put an end to their sleazy partnership with Planned Parenthood," he added. "Both institutions need to wash their hands of the vile and vicious business of training doctors to be professional killers of preborn children.”

Oertworth urges pro-life Missouri residents to contact the following and urge them to end the abortion training program:

Washington University, Mark Wrighton, Chancellor, Washington University, Campus Box 1192, St. Louis, MO 63130, e-mail: [email protected]

Stephen Brauer, Chairman of the Board, Washington University, North Brookings Hall, Room 220, Campus Box 1081, St. Louis, MO 63130

Barnes-Jewish Hospital:
• Stephen Lipstein, President and CEO, BJC Health Care
• Andrew Ziskind, MD, President, Barnes-Jewish Hospital
• Patrick Stokes, Chairman of the Board, Barnes-Jewish Hospital

Address for above Barnes Hospital contacts: One Barnes-Jewish Hospital Plaza, St. Louis, MO 63110

Barnes Jewish Hospital Contact Us link: https://www.barnesjewish.org/groups/contactus.asp

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