Washington University Cancels Bristol Palin Abstinence Talk

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jan 28, 2011   |   2:46PM   |   St. Louis, MO

Washington University in St. Louis, one of the most highly-regarded colleges in the nation, is raising eyebrows with its sudden cancellation of a speech on abstinence education Sarah Palin’s daughter Bristol Palin was slated to deliver.

The college says it “mutually agreed” with Bristol that she should not participate in a panel discussion on abstinence and that it did not have a contract with Palin.

“Because of the growing controversy among undergraduates over the decision to pay for her talk with student-generated funds, the Student Health Advisory Committee and Palin decided that the message that they intended on sharing would be overshadowed by controversy,” the school said in a statement.

The decisions appeared to come after some Washington University students protested Palin’s inclusion on the panel and they described the use of students funds to allow her to be a part of the program. The talk was supposed to take place next month during the University’s “Sexual Responsibility Week”

The protests were led in part by “Private Practice” star Kate Walsh, a member of the Planned Parenthood board of directors who has been in trouble with pro-life advocates for urging donations and support for the abortion business.

“Welcome to the Idiocracy…please join students at Wash.U. to boycott Bristol Palin’s speech on abstinence. What does she know about college or abstaining?” Walsh tweeted.

Dan Loesch, the editor of the conservative news and opinion site BigJournalism.com condemned the decision.

“Funny that people who once accused conservatives of turning a blind eye to single moms as social issue, now ridicule Bristol Palin,” she said, adding that some people “assume that an overpriced education prohibits learning from life experience. I am a Wash U grad, and this is despicable. I am ashamed and will be letting my alma mater know it.”

She said some students and detractors don’t understand that the budget for the event was $20,000 and that the entirety of the funding was not going to Bristol directly.

“Just be honest in the opposition to Bristol Palin. You hate her because of her mom. No need to lie about $ and trash young mothers,” she added. “Wonder how much in student fees Van Jones received when he spoke at Wash U last year. No protest then. “Why do progressive want censorship? Do they realize how it can go the other way when they’re out of power? Why would anyone want that?”

“All that money for higher education and we’re still down the list in terms of achievement compared to other countries. Its a joke,” she said. ‘Second biggest criticism of Bristol speaking? She didn’t go to college.”

Instead of Palin, the panel will now feature Dr. Katie Plax, who is head of adolescent medicine and associate professor in the Department of Pediatrics at the Washington University School of Medicine.

The former “Dancing with the Stars” contestant became pregnant at the age of 17 and is a single mother to a two-year-old boy, Tripp. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that Palin has signed up with Single Source Speakers, where she should command “between $15,000 and $30,000 per speech.” Bristol is also the Teen Abstinence Ambassador for The Candie’s Foundation, an organization dedicated to preventing teen pregnancy.