Whitworth has a number of “community partners”—organizations that the university collaborates with in different ways, typically involving volunteer opportunities or student learning. There are 151 of these organizations listed on the Whitworth Serves webpage.
Planned Parenthood is one of those partners. While investigating the issue further, it became clear that there are numerous connections between Whitworth and Planned Parenthood and a number of ways in which the school is supporting the abortion industry.
According to students who had taken Intro to Women’s and Gender Studies (WGS 201), Planned Parenthood is portrayed in a positive light. The textbook being used supports that sentiment.
In a WSG 201 textbook, “Women’s Voices Feminist Visions,” there’s a section devoted to abortion. There’s an essay from “Ms. Magazine” in the book called, “The Anti-Abortion Clinic Across the Street,” which depicts pro-life people as violent misogynists. The hatred Kathryn Joyce, author of the essay, feels toward pro-life individuals is palpable. Two other essays and commentary from the book’s authors reinforce this narrative.
These tactics aren’t confined to WGS. The textbook for Health Science 385, Sexuality and Society, regurgitates similar pro-abortion talking points. Throughout the chapter about pregnancy, the book highlights benefits of abortion while severely downplaying the negatives, including the emotional impact on the mother and the immorality of taking an innocent human life. The most egregious example is on page 310 where the book claims that women who have an abortion before the age of 21 fare better in life than those who don’t. This willful blindness to the realities of abortion in a university textbook is astonishing.
What’s truly tragic is that the students in these classes are being fed malicious lies. Study after study on abortion trauma show that abortion harms women.
A study published in the Journal of Psychiatric Research by researchers at Bowling Green University found causation between abortion and a host of mental disorders. “What is most notable in this study is that abortion contributed significant independent effects to numerous mental health problems above and beyond a variety of other traumatizing and stressful life experiences. The strongest effects based on the attributable risks indicated that abortion is responsible for more than 10% of the population incidence of alcohol dependence, alcohol abuse, drug dependence, panic disorder, agoraphobia, and bipolar disorder in the population. Lower percentages were identified for 6 additional diagnoses.”
These findings are corroborated by dozens of other similar studies. All of this is hidden from students by the abortion industry and university textbooks because, for many Progressives, pushing the agenda of the sexual revolution is more important than intellectual honesty or the well-being of women.
On walls around campus, there are flyer cards referring pregnant women to Planned Parenthood. To the school’s credit, there is also a crisis pregnancy center on the card, but any reference of students to Planned Parenthood is damning enough.
Whitworth referring pregnant women to Planned Parenthood is tantamount to referring them for an abortion. There are three pregnancy-specific services provided to pregnant women by Planned Parenthood, according to Planned Parenthood data reports: prenatal care, adoption referral and abortion. In 2014-2015, 94 percent of their pregnancy related services (323,999 out of 343,422) were abortions. The organization does everything they can to steer women toward abortion by giving each of their facilities an abortion quota according to former employees. Here is former clinic director, Sue Thayer, discussing the quotas. Pictures taken at a Planned Parenthood in Aurora, CO indicate that facilities which exceed those quotas are given awards.
In March, Whitworth sponsored a community fetal tissue research event. A recap of the event published on the website of the Northwest Association for Biomedical Research shows Planned Parenthood was defended against claims of wrongdoing. Furthermore, the event highlighted a supposed upside of abortion: using the body parts of preborn human beings for science. The event was called “Reflection on Precious Gifts: The Stewardship of Fetal Tissue.”
Whitworth also signs off on accredited internships done through Planned Parenthood. This can be found in Planned Parenthood’s annual report archives, and was confirmed by multiple Planned Parenthood representatives.
Two weeks ago, Whitworth included a Planned Parenthood booth at the school volunteer fair. Multiple students signed up with the organization’s employee.
When asked about the aforementioned actions in regard to abortion and Planned Parenthood, Associate Provost, Randy Michaelis, who was speaking on behalf of school administration, said that “well-meaning, thoughtful Christians disagree about a number of social issues.” About most social issues, I would concur. However, this issue is not one where well-meaning, thoughtful people can disagree. Here’s why.
Planned Parenthood has an ugly history. It was founded in 1916 by Margaret Sanger. Sanger was a self-described eugenicist, meaning she advocated for population control of groups of people she deemed “undesirable.” Here is one example among many from Sanger describing her vision for Planned Parenthood and how she would use eugenics to cleanse the world of undesirables in a New York Times article: “Birth Control means the release and cultivation of the better racial elements in our society, and the gradual suppression, elimination and eventual extirpation of defective stocks — those human weeds which threaten the blooming of the finest flowers of American civilization.”
In addition to a history of disparaging rhetoric, Planned Parenthood continues to take morally unconscionable actions. In April, Indiana passed a law that banned abortions based on sex, race or disability. Planned Parenthood sued the state so that preborn children could be aborted based solely on his or her sex, race or disability.
Planned Parenthood lobbies for infanticide. In 2013, one of their representatives, Alisa LaPolt Snow, argued in a legislative session in Florida against a born-alive protection act which mandated that children gain full human rights when they are born. Snow contended that children who survive botched abortions and are born alive should be left alone to die if still unwanted.
If you are well-meaning and you think about these things happening inside Planned Parenthood, the only conclusion you can come to is that it is absolutely wrong and that a Christian institution whose mission is “equipping its graduates to honor God, follow Christ and serve humanity” should have nothing to do with it.
The mere fact that Planned Parenthood is the nation’s largest human butcher shop should be enough for the school to cut ties. Through the manipulation of language, Planned Parenthood frames itself as an organization that does good and provides health care. However, real health care providers don’t stop tens of thousands of beating hearts each year. Real health care providers don't end human life, they preserve it. Planned Parenthood doesn’t “terminate a pregnancy.” They tear apart a living human being limb-from-limb while the child squirms away from the clamps. They tear young boys and girls apart until all that’s left is a bloody pile of human flesh and bone that gets vacuum-sealed and thrown in a freezer. This is immoral, and it is not something that well-meaning, thoughtful people can disagree on.
There are some topics of discussion that are morally gray, and on those issues, Whitworth is perfectly justified in remaining in its place atop the “narrow ridge.” But this is not one of those issues. Whitworth trustees, administration and applicable faculty have a responsibility to take a stand on the issue of abortion and Planned Parenthood. To those whom this applies: If you have any semblance of a working moral compass, if you care anything about the ethical standing of this university and if you have any regard whatsoever for your God-given responsibility to defend the defenseless and stand for what is right, take the following steps.
First, remove Planned Parenthood from your list of volunteer community partners and do not allow Planned Parenthood to recruit student volunteers and interns on campus in the future.
Second, remove Planned Parenthood cards from campus walls.
Third, review the textbooks being used in classrooms. Discuss the content and accuracy of the claims being made in reference to abortion and consider getting new books.
Fourth, publicly condemn the bloodshed that goes on inside Planned Parenthood.
Fifth, be a part of the solution. Develop a community partnership with I-Choice, a crisis pregnancy center just a few miles away on North Ash. I-Choice provides free pre- and post-natal care for pregnant mothers, as well as emotional and relational support. They even provide free shelter and a loving family atmosphere for those mothers and/or fathers who have nowhere to go.
The only mitigating factor of my distaste towards the actions of the school in regard to Planned Parenthood and abortion is the fact that I know this isn’t just a Whitworth problem.
To students around the country, especially those attending other Christian institutions, look into whether or not your school is supporting the abortion industry. If they are, find out to what extent and bring it into the light. Submit articles to campus publications or start a Students for Life club at your school. Contact me at the email below if you would like help doing either. It’s up to the Pro-Life generation to put a stop to this.
Proverbs 24:11-13: “Rescue those being led away to death; hold back those staggering toward slaughter. If you say, ‘But we knew nothing about this,’ does not he who weighs the heart perceive it? Does not he who guards your life know it? Will he not repay everyone according to what they have done?’”
Contact James Silberman at firstname.lastname@example.org