A More Scandalous Relationship: Catholic Colleges and Planned Parenthood – A Special Investigative Report
Updated September 10, 2015
Introduction and Methodology
The mission of Planned Parenthood has nothing in common with the values of the Catholic Church, and no Catholic college should be collaborating with Planned Parenthood or its representatives on any matter—most especially those related to sexuality or the education of young adults.
That has been the message of The Cardinal Newman Society since 2011, when our researchers identified and exposed more than 150 instances of Catholic college ties to Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion business and purveyor of artificial contraception. The report, A Scandalous Relationship: Catholic Colleges and Planned Parenthood, exposed associations with Planned Parenthood that were discovered on college websites through April 2011. Many colleges responded by deleting, moving, or hiding the online evidence of scandal, and so the report was updated in May 2011.
Prompted by recent videos exposing Planned Parenthood’s harvesting and selling of aborted baby body parts, The Cardinal Newman Society has again conducted a public search of Catholic college websites. We have identified 63 new or continued relationships with Planned Parenthood and its representatives since May 2011.
This report is limited to evidence found online. We have ample reason to believe that ongoing associations with the abortion giant have been scrubbed from many Catholic college websites since our 2011 report. And as we noted then, “What is publicized on the Internet often indicates more extensive concerns hidden from public view, so while the information contained in this report is shocking and scandalous, it is only based on a rudimentary search of college websites and likely does not capture all ties to Planned Parenthood at Catholic colleges and universities.”
Every one of the relationships that we expose in this report ought to appall any Catholic who values human life and relies on Catholic educators to teach in complete fidelity to the Catholic faith. The scandal is only greater because of the recent revelations of the abhorrent practices at Planned Parenthood. There is no minor instance of a Catholic college’s cooperation with Planned Parenthood or employment of a past employee or representative of Planned Parenthood, unless the employee has clearly disavowed support for the organization and indicated full agreement with Catholic teaching.
As in 2011, the relationships include referrals to Planned Parenthood for “health” services, internships and fellowships with Planned Parenthood, unapologetic disclosures of employees’ past work with Planned Parenthood, and other ties. The problems are again spread across many institutions, with a high concentration of Jesuit colleges.
We repeat our conclusion four years ago:
If one considers—from a faithfully Catholic perspective—the fact that Planned Parenthood is the largest abortion provider in the United States and a leading contributor to what Pope John Paul II labeled a “culture of death,” any relationship to Planned Parenthood or those who have worked for such an organization is simply unacceptable. In no way can the work of Planned Parenthood be considered compatible with the mission of Catholic higher education or the moral teachings of the Catholic Church.
Furthermore, any relationship to Planned Parenthood endangers students who may develop a sense of comfort with an organization that destroys innocent lives, ruins souls, and plays a leading role in the demise of American culture. A Catholic educator who cares for the wellbeing of students would do everything possible to dissuade a student from entering the doors of a Planned Parenthood clinic. Nothing good can come of it.
Finally, the brazen manner in which Catholic colleges and universities are publicly disclosing—even proudly touting—their ties or the ties of their employees, students and alumni to Planned Parenthood is shocking. There appears to be a pervasive attitude toward Planned Parenthood that regards the abortion and contraceptive agency as benign. This attitude is simply inconsistent with a genuine Catholic sensibility.
We urge Catholic colleges and universities to embrace a no-tolerance position for any relationship with Planned Parenthood—including disqualifying candidates for teaching positions with previous experience working with or for pro-abortion organizations.
There are matters of Catholic identity which require discernment and which may not point to simple solutions. There is no such nuance here—Planned Parenthood is a serious danger to the health, lives and souls of innocent students. There is no place for Planned Parenthood on a Catholic campus.
Counseling and Medical Referrals
On its website, Alverno College (WI) offers a City of Milwaukee Health Department brochure on domestic violence that recommends Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin for medical assistance. The web link indicates that the brochure may have been posted by the College’s human resources department.
The Boston College Law School (MA) website includes the booklet, Consent to Medical Treatment by Minors in Massachusetts: A Guide for Practitioners, a publication of the School’s Juvenile Rights Advocacy Project, which advises doctors on minors’ legal rights to obtain family planning services and abortions and offers a list of family planning providers in Massachusetts, including Planned Parenthood/Preterm Health Services of Greater Boston and Planned Parenthood of Central Massachusetts in Worcester, Mass. Both the Boston and the Worcester centers advertise “Abortion Services,” “Morning-After Pill (Emergency Contraception)” and “Birth Control.” Although the booklet was published in 2006 and exposed in The Cardinal Newman Society’s 2011 report on Catholic college associations with Planned Parenthood, it has not been removed from the School’s website and instead has been moved to a new URL.
The library at the College of Saint Rose (NY) recommends and links to Planned Parenthood as a “Health and Wellness” resource for “Sexual health and family planning services for both men and women.” The same page points to the pro-abortion group Our Bodies, Ourselves as a resource. No Catholic or pro-life options are included.
The Health Services at the College of Saint Rose (NY) provides online advice at “Ask the Nurse Practitioner: Questions & Answers from Campus,” including the recommendation that students with questions about sexually transmitted infections contact the Upper Hudson Planned Parenthood Albany Health Center in Albany, N.Y. It also recommends www.itsyoursexlife.com, a website that details condom and birth control use, tips for “safe sex” and methods of preventing pregnancy. Upper Hudson Planned Parenthood advertises services including “In-clinic abortion (up to 14 weeks),” “Abortion pill (up to 9 weeks),” “Emergency contraception (EC) or the morning after pill,” and other artificial contraception.
Through its student support services regarding sexual assault, Gonzaga University (WA) provides students a “community resource map” from the Spokane Crime Victim Service Center. It refers students to Planned Parenthood for “health care” services.
Update September 10, 2015: Links removed from site.
Mount Carmel College of Nursing (OH) health sciences library lists Planned Parenthood under its “patient education” resources for “Women’s Health.” The site links to a form for scheduling injections of the contraceptive Depo-Provera at six clinics affiliated with Planned Parenthood of Central Ohio. Now titled Planned Parenthood of Greater Ohio (according to its website), the clinics advertise services including “Abortion services –abortion pill or in-clinic abortion,” “Birth control” and “Emergency contraception – also known as EC or Plan B.”
Update September 10, 2015: Links referring to “Sexual Health Resources” removed from site. Redirects to University’s Sexual Assault Information and Counseling Services.
A chart of “Sexual Health Resources” on the Mount Mercy University (IA) website identifies and links to Planned Parenthood of the Heartland in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, as a resource for “Pregnancy/STI Testing,” “HIV/AIDS Resources,” “Health Education,” “Women and Children’s Services,” “Sexual Health Advocacy” and “LGBT Resources.” The description of Planned Parenthood of the Heartland mentions services including “Birth control supplies and information; Pregnancy testing; Abortion pill; In-clinic abortion; …Emergency contraception (ECP’s/Plan B).” A similar chart on the University’s website for “Counseling and Therapy Resources” identifies and links to Planned Parenthood of East Central Iowa (which has now merged with Planned Parenthood of the Heartland) for “General Counseling,” noting that “Specially trained staff members are available that can talk with individuals about their pregnancy options.” Another similar chart for “Family and Youth Resources” identifies Planned Parenthood of East Central Iowa as a resource for “Family.” Each of the charts is produced by Linn County Community Services, but the URLs suggest that the first two were posted to the University website as Student Life resources, and the third is labeled “academics.”
The Health and Wellness Center at Trinity Washington University (DC) recommends and links to the Planned Parenthood Federation of America as a “Women’s Health” resource. The same page links to the Emergency Contraception Website as a resource for students.
The Xavier University of Louisiana website includes a “counseling” resource published by Safe Horizon, which encourages victims of sexual assault to contact Planned Parenthood and provides contact information.
Internships and Job Referrals
A Boston College (MA) list of past credited internships for sociology students, with the notation “Last Updated September 1, 2014,” includes the Planned Parenthood League of Greater Boston and the Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts. In the same document are “listings” for available internships “Added August 2013,” including a position at the Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts. It notes, “The mission of PPLM is to protect and promote sexual and reproductive health and freedom of choice by providing clinical services, education and advocacy.” The Greater Boston center advertises “Abortion Services,” “Morning-After Pill (Emergency Contraception)” and “Birth Control.”
Boston College (MA) highlights the successful employment of graduates who majored in linguistics, including a 2011 graduate who is “Advocacy and Communications Coordinator at Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts.”
Update September 10, 2015: Links removed from site.
The Office of Advising and Student Services at the DePaul University (IL) College of Science and Health and the University’s Career Center both recommend that pre-health students consider volunteering for Planned Parenthood.
Mount Saint Mary’s University (CA) touts the success of its students generally—and also specifically its history, political science, and health care policy students—in getting internships with Planned Parenthood.
Update September 10, 2015: Document removed from site.
Stonehill College (MA) recommends “Planned Parenthood Counselor” as a potential professional career path for gender and sexuality studies majors in the college’s official Book of Majors.
Update September 10, 2015: Document removed from site.
The University of Dayton (OH) book Careers of Sociology Majors celebrates “some of the occupations of UD alums from our department,” including a Planned Parenthood “Agency or Program Director.”
Faculty, Staff, Leaders
Kate Pew Wolters currently serves as a director on the Aquinas College (MI) Foundation Board, a fundraising board. As a major donor of more than $1 million to Aquinas, she also is a former trustee. As chairman of the Steelcase Foundation and president of the Kate and Richard Wolters Foundation, she helped direct at least $296,000 to Planned Parenthood.
The College of Saint Rose (NY) employs Ellen Cole, a visiting psychology professor who is a current board member for Upper Hudson Planned Parenthood—a fact that is fully disclosed on her C.V. on the College website. The Cardinal Newman Society first exposed the scandal in June 2012, citing an August 2011 press release that announced Cole as a board member. Upper Hudson Planned Parenthood advertises services including “In-clinic abortion (up to 14 weeks),” “Abortion pill (up to 9 weeks),” “Emergency contraception (EC) or the morning after pill,” and other artificial contraception. The C.V. also indicates that Cole was on the board of directors of Planned Parenthood of Alaska from 2003 to 2007.
Creighton University (NE) employs Samantha Senda-Cook, an assistant professor of communication studies, despite the fact that she previously volunteered for the Planned Parenthood Federation of America—which is disclosed on her C.V. on the University’s website.
Craig Klugman, the incoming chairman of health sciences at DePaul University (IL), has endorsed the services of the Planned Parenthood clinic where his mother once worked. “I always viewed my mom as doing important community health work for women who could not get services elsewhere because of finances, lack of education, or living in fearful relationships,” he wrote. He publicly defended Planned Parenthood’s disbursement of aborted fetal parts as “a legal and (debatably) ethical enterprise” with “the intent of saving lives and improving the quality of life.” Klugman’s blog was reposted by Georgetown University, with the caveat that the views on the website “do not necessarily represent” those of the Jesuit institution.
Fairfield University (CT) employs Michael Pagano, an associate professor of communication, despite the fact that he acted as a physician’s assistant at Planned Parenthood of Eastern Oklahoma and Western Arkansas in the early 1990s—a fact revealed in his C.V. on the University website. Pagano’s employment at Fairfield continues despite a Cardinal Newman Society article exposing the scandal in March 2014.
Georgetown University (DC) employs John May, adjunct assistant professor of demography in the University’s Department of International Health. May is a visiting scholar at the Population Reference Bureau, a relationship that is highlighted on his faculty page despite the Bureau’s advocacy for contraception. According to his C.V. on the University website, May has worked for projects funded by the International Planned Parenthood Federation.
Georgetown University (DC) employs Sameh El-Saharty, adjunct assistant professor in Georgetown’s Department of International Health, and notes on his faculty page that he has worked for the International Planned Parenthood Federation as well as the United Nations Fund for Population.
Georgetown University (DC) employs Jennifer Demma, clinical faculty director and adjunct instructor in the nurse-midwifery program, even though she states openly in her C.V. that she was a certified nurse-midwife from 2007 to 2012 for Planned Parenthood of Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota. The Planned Parenthood affiliate advertises services including “Abortion Services,” “Pregnancy Testing and Options Counseling,” “Birth Control” and “Morning-After Pill.” Her C.V. also reveals that Demma was a Registered Nurse at the Philadelphia Women’s Center, an abortion clinic that performs surgical abortions before 22 weeks of pregnancy.
Georgetown University (DC) employs Debora Dole, assistant professor and assistant program director in the nurse-midwifery program, whose C.V. on the University website clearly identifies her past employment as a certified midwife with Planned Parenthood of Cincinnati. Dole’s C.V. indicates that she is also a full-time assistant professor at Xavier University (OH), but the latest reference to Dole on Xavier’s website is in a 2013-2014 student handbook for the School of Nursing.
Georgetown University Law Center (DC) employs Zoe Segal-Reichlin as adjunct professor of law at Georgetown University Law Center (DC)—but her full-time job is Associate General Counsel of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, a fact that is brazenly highlighted in her Georgetown profile. The scandal was exposed in the Newman Society’s 2011 report on Planned Parenthood ties to Catholic colleges, but Georgetown’s website indicates that Segal-Reichlin continues to teach.
Georgetown University Law Center (DC) employs Rebecca Reingold as an associate of the Center’s O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law. Her faculty profile highlights her past work as an advocacy coordinator at International Planned Parenthood Federation/Western Hemisphere Region, as well as her past work for the pro-abortion Center for Reproductive Rights and her past membership on the board of directors of the pro-abortion Law Students for Reproductive Justice.
In 2014, Loyola Marymount University (CA) came under fire when it was revealed that the final two candidates for dean of its Bellarmine College of Liberal Arts had both previously worked with Planned Parenthood. Dr. Robbin Crabtree was hired by LMU from her position as dean of arts and sciences at Fairfield University (CT), despite her past service on the Advisory Board and Media Relations Committee for Planned Parenthood of Putnam County, Ind., according to her online C.V. (see page 64). The other finalist for the dean position was Ramón A. Gutiérrez from the University of Chicago. On his C.V., under the banner of consultant, Gutiérrez listed “Planned Parenthood Federation of America, New York, New York (Hispanic attitudes toward sexuality).”
Loyola University Chicago (IL) employs Christine George as associate research professor in the Center for Urban Research and Learning, despite her past employment as an organizational consultant for Planned Parenthood Midwest Region.
Santa Clara University (CA) lists Carol Mayer Marshall on the advisory board of the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics, noting that she has served on “numerous Boards” including “local and State Planned Parenthood” and the pro-abortion “NARAL (Chair of Leadership Committee).” The University also notes that Marshall has been “Active in pro- choice Republican politics.”
Seattle University (WA) employs Debbi Lewang, an adjunct faculty member in fine arts, whose C.V. on the University website shows that she worked as an accountant for Planned Parenthood in Seattle, Wash., for three years.
Seattle University School of Law (WA) employs Sara Ainsworth, visiting assistant professor, who co-authored a report on The Deceptive Practices of Limited Service Pregnancy Centers for Planned Parenthood and Legal Voice. According to her faculty profile, Ainsworth has served more than a decade as senior counsel of Legal Voice, which advocates for abortion rights and same-sex marriage.
Siena College (NY) employs Diane Strock-Lynskey, a professor of social work, whose faculty profile notes that she worked as a project director of a Teen Pregnancy Prevention Training Program for Planned Parenthood.
The University of Notre Dame (IN) employs Dianne Pinderhughes, presidential faculty fellow and professor of Africana studies, even though her C.V. on the University website touts her past service on the “Local Advisory Council” of Planned Parenthood of Champaign.
The University of Portland (OR) employs Marie Napolitano, associate professor of nursing, whose C.V. on the University’s website reveals that she had been a nurse practitioner with the Virginia League of Planned Parenthood in Richmond, Va., for three years.
The University of San Diego (CA) employs Kathy James, associate professor of nursing, and notes in her “biographical sketch” that she studied under Planned Parenthood and UCSF for a certificate in “Obstetric/Gynecological Nursing.
Honors and Platforms
In spring 2014, Kate Pew Wolters was honored by Aquinas College (MI) as commencement speaker, identifying her as chairman of the Steelcase Foundation. In that role and as president of the Kate and Richard Wolters Foundation, she helped direct at least $296,000 to Planned Parenthood.
In October 2013, Fairfield University (CT) hosted actress America Ferrera for its “signature lecture series,” despite the fact that Ferrera was a well-known activist for Planned Parenthood, having headlined events for the abortion giant including its “Playing Politics With Women’s Health: The 2012 Election an d Why It Matters ” luncheon put on by the Planned Parenthood Action Fund. She also hosted the event at which Planned Parenthood bestowed its highest honor, the Margaret Sanger award, to Hillary Rodham Clinton. Ferrera appeared in a commercial urging voters to vote against Proposition 8, which legally codified marriage as between a man and a woman.
In November 2014, the Politics Department at Fairfield University (CT) funded “Let’s Talk Sex,” a student event which featured Planned Parenthood representatives and a discussion of “all the types of sex that can be had.”
In February 2015, Georgetown University (DC) hosted a sexual health panel, during which adjunct nursing professor Carol Day told students that they had a “right” to contraception. The panel featured representatives from Planned Parenthood Metropolitan Washington.
In October 2014, the O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law at Georgetown University (DC) collaborated with the International Planned Parenthood Federation to host an event featuring Planned Parenthood award winner Janet Benshoof, who also founded the Center for Reproductive Choice. The event celebrated a publication partly sponsored by the Georgetown Institute, Conscientious Objection and Abortion: A Global Perspective on the Colombian Experience, which examines doctors’ rights to refuse to carry out abortions, beginning with an argument by the regional director of the International Planned Parenthood Federation for Latin America and the Caribbean.
In May 2014, the School of Education at Loyola Marymount University (CA) invited President and CEO of Planned Parenthood Los Angeles Sue Dunlap to speak on campus regarding “Education’s New Role in Women’s Health.” The 20 centers of Planned Parenthood Los Angeles provide a “comprehensive range” of services including abortion and birth control.
Update September 10, 2015: Planned Parenthood mention removed from alumna profile.
In March 2012, Mount Mercy University (IA) honored alumna Maureen Osako as a “Woman of Influence,” noting her service on the board of directors of Planned Parenthood of East Central Iowa (which has now merged with Planned Parenthood of the Heartland). The University itself lists services at the clinic including “Birth control supplies and information; Pregnancy testing; Abortion pill; In-clinic abortion; …Emergency contraception (ECP’s/Plan B).”
In October 2012, the Seattle University School of Law (WA) hosted “reproductive justice roundtables,” with speakers including a Planned Parenthood representative to “discuss the Affordable Care Act and what it means for students and their reproductive health.” The event was organized by the University’s Law Students for Reproductive Justice.
In November 2014, the University of San Diego School of Law (CA) hosted a reproductive rights discussion, “Burwell v. Hobby Lobby: The Decision and its Impact on Reproductive Rights,” including panelist Tracy Skaddan, whom the University identifies as general counsel of Planned Parenthood of the Pacific Southwest. According to the clinic’s LinkedIn page, its services include “contraception, STD testing and treatment, sterilization, and safe and legal abortion.”
Academic Activities and Referrals
The library at Georgetown University (DC) provides a research guide on “Health Inequities/Political Economy of Health: Activism” that describes Planned Parenthood as “a commonsense approach to women’s health and well-being,” while also providing a direct link to the organization’s website. While pointing students to Planned Parenthood and NARAL Pro-Choice America, the guide does not include links to pro-life resources.
In an official note dated April 2015, Antoinette Hays, president of Regis College (MA), touted nursing students’ service as nurse-midwives for Planned Parenthood in Grenada. Although abortion is not legal in Grenada, Planned Parenthood promotes and distributes birth control.
Update September 10, 2015: Public access to document now denied.
Regis University (CO) offers a course for its Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy, in which students are required to complete a “creative project” to “get personally involved in an area of gender or sexuality that you have not experienced.” An option is to
“Volunteer for or involve yourself in an organization or event that addresses gender or sexuality issues,” and suggested organizations include Planned Parenthood and homosexual groups (but no pro-life organizations).
The Markkula Center for Applied Ethics at Santa Clara University (CA) provides a biology lesson plan that encourages the teacher to teach students about birth control “and then enlist the assistance of qualified speakers.” The Center advises, “Planned Parenthood continues to be a good reference/resource in this area” and provides a link.
In the “Human Sexuality” course  at the College of Saint Rose (NY), “Planned Parenthood will visit class and talk about safety and equipment for protection. Explicit pictures will be used and scientific terms will be used to refer to sexual parts and acts.”
The Women’s and Gender Studies program at the University of Detroit Mercy (MI) recommends “external sites of interest” including the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, the Feminist Majority Foundation and the National Organization for Women.
Student and Alumni Recognition
In May 2014, the Interdisciplinary Ed.D. Program in Leadership at Creighton University (NE) praised an alumnus for accepting a position as director of outreach and education for Planned Parenthood of the Heartland.
The Public Interest Law Scholars Program at Georgetown University (DC) provides financial assistance for law students dedicated to public service. The profiles of 2014 awardees include one who “spent her summers interning at Planned Parenthood.” One of the 2017 awardees  previously worked in the Office of the President of Planned Parenthood Federation of America.
For a series of student profiles, the Georgetown University (DC) School of Foreign Service chose a graduate student who previously worked as a team leader with Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts.
Update September 10, 2015: References to Planned Parenthood removed from Bedient and Reidelberger Scholarship descriptions.
The Master of Fine Arts program in creative writing at Saint Mary’s College of California touts the fact that two scholarships are named for women who worked with Planned Parenthood. The Bedient Scholarship for Excellence in Poetry is named for Vanessa Bedient, whom the College says was director of Planned Parenthood in Santa Barbara and San Francisco. The Reidelberger Scholarship for Excellence in Poetry is named for Molly Reidelberger, who volunteered at Planned Parenthood for 15 years, according to the College.
The Sullivan Leadership Award at Seattle University (WA) is a full-tuition scholarship for students “with diverse leadership styles and personal backgrounds.” The University’s profiles celebrating the awardees include a Class of 2019 recipient who volunteered for the Planned Parenthood Teen Council, a Class of 2016 recipient who was a Planned Parenthood Teen Council Member, and a Class of 2011 recipient who was a member of Planned Parenthood’s PEER (Peer Education Encourages Responsibility) group.
In 2012, the Seattle University (WA) College of Arts and Sciences gave the Fr. Eugene Buechel, S.J., Award, for an undergraduate anthropology student who has achieved “the highest standards in both scholastic achievement and service to others,” to a student with the following description: “[Name deleted] declared her major in cultural anthropology after taking a class called Culture and Reproduction, which dealt with many issues of sexual and reproductive health around the world. Sexual and reproductive health has been a passion of hers for many years. Annelie has spent time living in Denmark and Costa Rica as well as the United States and was fascinated by the drastically different ideas these places have about issues such as family planning and sex education. Throughout her time at Seattle University, she has been a very active volunteer with Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest as well as completing an internship with their education department.
Next year, Annelie is planning on serving with AmeriCorps in the Seattle area. Annelie eventually hopes to go to graduate school for a Masters in Public Health or Nurse-Midwifery and work for an organization such as Planned Parenthood.”
In 2012, the Seattle University (WA) College of Arts and Sciences gave the Public Affairs Program Wilson Award to a student who is described as a political activist who worked for Planned Parenthood Votes Northwest.
Update September 10, 2015: Planned Parenthood mention removed from alumna profile.
The University of San Diego (CA) Department of Political Science and International Relations praises a recent graduate for her contributions in the sexual health field and work with Planned Parenthood Mar Monte.
The new video evidence of Planned Parenthood’s abhorrent practices only strengthens The Cardinal Newman Society’s argument that Catholic colleges should avoid all cooperation with Planned Parenthood and its employees and volunteers. Such an association—which undermines the Church’s pro-life efforts, endangers the health and purity of students and employees, and risks leading both Catholics and non-Catholics astray from the Church’s teaching on the dignity and sanctity of human life—is a scandal and violates the mission of Catholic higher education.
Entrusted with the health and well-being of their students, Catholic colleges should be accountable to Catholic teaching in all areas of institutional life. We urge Catholic educators to end any association with Planned Parenthood and to teach respect for all human life.
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