Facing harsh criticism for allowing an abortionist to speak on campus, a Catholic university in Seattle is backtracking on the event.
In February, Students for Life reported to LifeNews that Seattle University, a Jesuit Catholic school in Washington state, had flyers posted across campus advertising the event “Catholics and Full Spectrum Reproductive Healthcare: One Provider’s Perspective.” The flyer had an image of a rosary surrounding an IUD birth control device that looked like a crucifix.
That “provider’s perspective” happens to be an abortionist from the largest abortion chain in the nation, Planned Parenthood. From the organization’s Facebook event, it looks like the event would encompass a conversion to the gods of reproductive healthcare:
Dr. [Sara] Pentlicky from Planned Parenthood of Seattle will be giving a presentation and discussing her experience of being raised Catholic and how she came to be a full spectrum reproductive healthcare provider. She will also be holding a Q&A for any and all questions related to her work and reproductive healthcare in general.
The event, planned by the Nursing Students for Sexual and Reproductive Health, upset many pro-life and Catholic students and community members. After learning about the event, Students for Life and other pro-life groups encouraged people to contact the university about canceling the event.
Kristan Hawkins, president of Students for Life of America, previously said the event was directly opposed to Catholic teachings.
“They are allowing someone who rips apart tiny human beings every day onto their campus to speak from a position of authority,” Hawkins said before the event was postponed.
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Now, LiveAction News reports, the university has removed the flyers from campus and postponed the event in response to a flood of pro-life complaints.
John Pisciotta, director of Pro-life Waco and founder of Hometown Pro-life Action Facebook page, received this statement from university President Stephen V. Sundborg, S.J. in an email:
The promotional materials associated with this event were outrageous and offensive to the Catholic character of our university. The way the event was promoted is not acceptable as it denigrates Catholicism and the materials should have never been approved. The event will not be taking place this evening and the students involved in the planning will be looking to include additional viewpoints and perspectives before seeking to reschedule it.
LiveAction reports more details on the story:
But the president’s response to Pisciotta contradicts one he allegedly sent to the Seattle Spectator which reports that, “Contrary to these requests, in an e-mail statement to the Spectator, Sundborg said that the group would not be required to include more perspectives. Hirsch also said that those requests were merely recommendations.”
Pisciotta told Live Action News that the response, although appreciated, was not enough. He said he was disappointed that the president’s response indicated that the Catholic University still intended to allow the pro-abortion event to take place:
He admitted the flyer design was approved at some level of this “Catholic” university. The Jesuit president plans to help the nursing students deliver the event promoting abortifacient birth control in opposition to the moral standards of the Catholic Church.The Seattle Spectator described the outrage the school received from Catholics and pro-lifers around the country as an “avalanche of negative response.” In addition, a spokesperson for NSSRH told the paper that campus administration was receiving calls for their group to now “be expelled” and “disbanded” as well as prohibited from ever hosting any future events on campus.
Seattle University is not the only Catholic school to invite pro-abortion speakers on campus in the past few months. LifeNews reports Georgetown University recently invited Cecile Richards, the president of the nation’s largest abortion business, Planned Parenthood, to speak to students and staff next month.
Meanwhile, the University of Notre Dame recently announced that it will give its highest award to pro-abortion Vice President Joe Biden.
“In truth, the University’s praise and honor for Vice President Joe Biden creates a toxic religious environment on Notre Dame’s campus and in the broader public, betrays the University’s religious mission, and sends the clear message that a Catholic who unrepentantly and publicly opposes Catholic moral teaching deserves a Catholic university honor for being a model Catholic citizen,” the Cardinal Newman Society said in a column at LifeNews.