Pro-Lifers to Seattle U: Stop Promoting Pro-Abortion Groups

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Mar 23, 2011   |   12:21PM   |   Seattle, WA

More than a dozen pro-life groups are banding together for a letter to the president of Seattle University asking that the Catholic institution end its promotion of the Planned Parenthood abortion business.

Earlier this month, Seattle University came under fire for offering students internships with the local Planned Parenthood abortion business.

In a section on “Public Affairs Student Internships,” Seattle University lists Planned Parenthood of Western Washington and encourages students to contact its career services department for additional information. No internship possibilities with pro-life groups or crisis pregnancy centers are listed.

The problems go beyond the mere listing as the Women Studies department at Seattle University encourages students to “get involved” with pro-abortion groups. The Women Studies web page states:  “On the Seattle University Campus, in the Northwest, and across the Nation there are countless women’s organizations for you to get involved with. Here are some links to help you get started.”

Immediately after this “get involved” offer, students find pro-abortion groups such as the National Organization for Women, the Feminist Majority and Legal Momentum.

A group of 16 national pro-life leaders, led by The Cardinal Newman Society and Students for Life of America sent a letter to the president of Seattle University calling on him to put an end to the institution’s numerous connections to Planned Parenthood and other pro-abortion organizations. The Catholic Church’s unequivocal condemnation of abortion renders a Catholic university’s association with any pro-abortion rights organization grossly inappropriate, they said.

“Seattle University, as a Catholic and Jesuit institution, has a God-given responsibility to live up to its religious identity,” said Patrick Reilly, the president of CNS. “Such an identity certainly precludes involvement with those organizations facilitating the slaughter of the innocents.  May Seattle University today turn a corner and resolve to sever these scandalous connections.”

Kristan Hawkins, the executive director of Students for Life of America, told, “Promoting and glorifying Planned Parenthood and other abortion organizations on any campus is unacceptable, most especially on a Catholic campus.  Planned Parenthood is the nation’s abortion Goliath and has repeatedly been found to protect rapists, racists, and sex traffickers of minors. Time and time again, Planned Parenthood has proved its business is abortion, plain and simple. Seattle University must remove Planned Parenthood from campus and sever all ties with the abortion industry.”

Some of the other pro-life groups signing on to the letter include: Priests for Life, Human Life International, Susan B. Anthony List, Concerned Women for America, Live Action, Human Life Alliance, Catholics United for the Faith, Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute, Culture of Life Foundation, and many others.

The letter to Rev. Stephen V. Sundborg, dated today, follows:

Rev. Stephen V. Sundborg, SJ
Seattle University
901 12th Ave.
Seattle, WA 98122-1090
E-mail: [email protected]

Dear Father Sundborg,

It has come to the attention of The Cardinal Newman Society and Students for Life of America — who are joined by the Catholic and pro-life leaders listed below — that Seattle University has many disturbing ties to Planned Parenthood, the largest abortion provider in the United States. In addition, the University’s website encourages student involvement in pro-abortion organizations that directly oppose Catholic teaching.

The University refers students to Planned Parenthood for “sexual health” services, allows and promotes student internships with Planned Parenthood, hires employees with past experience with Planned Parenthood and highlights that experience on the University’s website, and honors students for their past work with Planned Parenthood. Please see the enclosed summary of information that was gathered from public data on the Seattle University website.

Trusting in your commitment to Catholic education and your concern for the dignity of all human life,we urge you to sever any ties to pro-abortion organizations and to institute policies that would prevent further cooperation with such organizations, including referrals.

We also urge you to institute policies that would prevent employment or any sort of honor for an individual who formerly worked or volunteered for Planned Parenthood or another pro-abortion organization and has not publicly disavowed such prior work.

With prayers for you and Seattle University.

The pro-life group TFP Student Action originally highlighted Seattle University’s promotion of Planned Parenthood and pro-abortion groups.

“Should Catholic universities aid Planned Parenthood and other pro-abortion groups?” it asked. “The answer is obviously no. However, Seattle University – a Catholic institution – offers students the option of interning for Planned Parenthood of Western Washington on its web site.”