Whitworth: Cut ties with Planned Parenthood

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 jsilberman17@my.whitworth.edu

Classrooms should use debate to facilitate learning

All Whitworth classrooms should utilize debate as a teaching tool.

Classroom debates can provide an environment where students may take the information learned through lecturing and homework and apply it in a meaningful way to better understand the information.

University debate teams such as the Whitworth Forensics team, which I am a part of, provide the opportunity to debate in a structured environment against other people from schools regionally, nationally and internationally.

In a study published in the International Journal of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, Bloomsburg University professor  Ruth Kennedy said that in-class debates are, “fertile ground for active learning and the cultivation of critical thinking and oral communication skills.”

The benefits gleaned from participating on a university’s competitive debate team should not be constrained to just those students, as principles of the competitive debate format can and should apply to all classes.

According to the National Dropout Prevention Center, active learning is defined as “a general term for teaching and learning strategies that engage and involve students in the learning process.”

The center also states that active learning activities such as debate reduce boredom, prevent dropout and give students control of their education.

Critical thinking is a skill significantly improved by participating in classroom debate, and has been shown to be significantly lower than expected among college students, according to Academically Adrift: Limited Learning on College Campuses, a book by New York University sociologist Richard Arum. 

The book is based by a study done on college students that found that 45 percent of college students in their first two years made no significant improvement in critical thinking, reasoning or writing skills. After four years, 36 percent showed no significant gains in their critical thinking skills.

According to a Job Outlook 2011 survey by the National Association of Colleges and Employment (NACE), recent college graduates lack oral communication skills that are necessary to be effective employees.

Since presumably the reason for students to attend college is to gain an education and better job prospects, employable skills are necessary to learn.

Debate does those things. If professors utilize debate, either as individuals doing a formalized debate or a as classwide discussion arguing issues at hand, students will be able to actively learn and develop critical thinking and oral communication skills, which will hopefully result in a more employable student after graduation.

Emily Goodell



All students should work during college

Emily Goodell


College is a busy time for everyone. There are assignments to do, tests to take, extracurricular involvements to manage and friendships to maintain. The last problem a college student needs is another obligation, right?

Whether a parent(s) or legal guardian(s) is financing the student’s education in part or in full or the student is paying the balance themselves, employment during college is important. 

Many students are already working. According to the U.S. Department of Education in 2014, more than 78 percent of undergraduate students have some form of employment during their college career. That being said, the benefit received from working as a student should be a priority to all students.

Working during school makes successful students, according to a 2015 study by the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce, “Learning While Earning: e New Normal.” The study found that obtaining early work experience establishes good habits like time management and budgeting and allow students to make connections that will be useful in their future careers.

According to Whitworth’s website, 69 percent of Whitworth students receive federal student loans while at Whitworth. Considering that the average student loan repayment for 20 to 30 year olds was $351 a month in 2015, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s Consumer Credit Panel, lowering student loan debt is crucial to a student’s future financial well-being.

One counterargument against student employment is the constrained amount of time students have which prohibits them from working; however, there are ways to mitigate that problem.

According to BTIG research, the average Netflix subscriber consumes two hours of television or movies per day. According to a study done by Geoffrey Graybeal, a media and communications professor at Texas Tech University, nine out of 10 college students use Netflix. Using those numbers, it can be inferred that 90 percent of college students spend more than 10 hours a week watching Netflix.

The above number does not include non-required reading, social media usage, cable TV or time spent with friends. This does not mean that any of those things are bad or that they are things that do not have value, but they are things that could be decreased in order to make room for a job.

The minimum wage in Washington is $9.47, according to the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries. If a Whitworth student worked 10 hours a week for a month, approximately two hours a weekday, before taxes are taken out, that student would make $378.

That may not seem like much money to some people, and it is a lot to others, but it is money that a student earns themselves to do with what they want. The more money they have saved up, the easier it will be to maintain personal and financial stability in the future. Sickness, theft or accidents could happen that would require extra funds. Or a student could be offered an opportunity for service, study abroad or vacation for which they have insufficient funds.

Regardless of a student’s current financial status, the future is uncertain. Although money is not the sole measure of happiness or success in the world, life is easier for people when they know that they have enough money saved up to deal with worst case scenarios.

Another argument against student employment is that it negatively impacts students’ grades, but according to a joint study by Ohio University and the Bureau of Labor Statistics, that is not the case. This study found that the average GPA of freshmen at four-year universities who worked one to 20 hours per week was 3.13, and those students who were not employed had an average GPA of 3.04. This means that working some during college can positively impact a student’s GPA.

However, the study also found that working more than 20 hours a week was detrimental to academics. Freshmen who worked over 20 hours a week had an average GPA of 2.95. This means that whether student employment positively or negatively affects GPA is determined by the amount of hours worked per week.

A final concern about students working is feasibility of finding and keeping a job while in school. Concerns like transportation, availability and the job market are not unfounded, but are manageable and will result in a return investment in the future.

Eventually most students will be living alone on their own dime. Even if that is not currently the case, it is good to start learning how to do it now.

Having a job is hard. Having a job and going to school is harder. Balancing life and work and school and everything else on a student’s plate is hard. Though it may be harder to have a job while in school, it is manageable and profitable in the long run. 


Contact Emily Goodell at egoodell18@my.whitworth.edu

Why people should prioritize mental health above all else

Emily Goodell


Your mental health is more important than your grades. It is more important than your future. It is even more important than your physical health. Why?

Because caring for your mental health is the foundation for achieving good grades, being successful in the future, and maintaining physical health.

According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), one in four young adults between the ages of 18 and 24 has a diagnosable mental illness. This means that Whitworth, which has an undergraduate population of around 2,346 students, has approximately 586 students on this campus may have a mental illness.

Mental health is the most important health consideration during your years at college. This is a formative time; you are all alone, having new experiences, getting out in the world. This means you have a lot of stress and worry about the future. Not seeking out mental health resources is detrimental to you.

If you are hesitant to believe that you have issues with mental health, it may be because of the stigma regarding mental health issues and seeking treatment for them. NAMI statistics show that more than 40 percent of college students feel more than an average amount of stress. More than 80 percent of students feel overwhelmed and 45 percent have felt that things were hopeless. This goes to show that even if you do not have a diagnosable mental illness, you still may not be mentally healthy.

If you currently have good mental health, that does not mean it is going to stay that way. Anything can happen to affect your mental health, including trauma, stress or changes in your life, as well as possibly developing a mental illness later on in life. Prioritizing it now gives you ways to manage future obstacles.

Whether you have a diagnosable mental illness, are struggling with mental health, or are in good mental health, mental health is important. It is more important than everything because of the dire consequences that can occur from not taking care of your mental health.
Last year was a difficult year for me. I was taking a full load and was stressed and overwhelmed with trying to keep up with those obligations. The toll that stress took on my body was significant. I was so busy and stressed that I was getting less than six hours of sleep a night, and sometimes less than four.

Last spring, I ended up coming down with a double ear infection and a sinus infection simultaneously. Then I added bronchitis on top of that. From that, I developed pneumonia. I was unable to get out of bed. I had to be taken to the urgent care center, the emergency room and a family physician. I was out of school, work and my extracurriculars for weeks. Due to the nature of pneumonia, I was unable to participate fully in anything for the rest of the school year. Months later, I am still not 100 percent.

Think of your body (physical health) as a ship, and your brain (mental health) as the captain.

According to the Mayo Clinic, when you are stressed, your body goes into fight-or-flight mode, which is a response from your adrenal gland. Adrenaline pumps through your body, much like it does when you are attacked or feel threatened. This overuse of the adrenal gland can lead to immune system problems.

That is what happened to me. After months of being in a constant state of adrenaline, my immune system was weakened and had trouble fighting infections. The more stress I had, the sicker I became, and the sicker I became, the more stressed I was. This cycle spiraled until I ended up in the hospital.

Stress is a mental health issue. So are anxiety and depression, symptoms that many college students experience, according to NAMI. The American College Health Association reported that in 2011, students said the main issues impeding their academic performance were anxiety and depression.

Think of your body (physical health) as a ship, and your brain (mental health) as the captain. If there is no captain, the ship will not move. If the captain is sick, the ship will not move well and is in danger of sinking. In order to navigate difficult waters (your future, academics), you need to be ship-shape.

In order to do anything, you need to take care of your mental health. To do that, you need to know how.

Receiving help for mental health issues does not mean that you have a diagnosable mental illness, and having a diagnosed mental illness does not mean that you cannot succeed in college. What will prevent you from succeeding, diagnosis or not, is lacking proper mental health care.

Whitworth provides a number of resources for students. There is the counseling center, the Marriage and Family Wellness center and the Student Success team.
You can talk to your adviser, reach out to a friend or practice meditation. If you are stressed out and not sleeping, you can skip class for a day to rest. You can hammock, read or binge-watch a show on Netflix. Sometimes you need a break. Sometimes you need help. That is ok. What is not ok is not taking care of yourself.

Inner city lives matter: Detroit’s disadvantage

James Silberman

Millions of Americans feel that their lives don’t matter. They believe they are in a system that prevents them from rising.

Upon examination of the places where these people live, one cannot possibly disagree.
The American inner city is plagued by broken families, failing schools, poverty, violent crime, drugs and unemployment. This is still America, and even those who grow up in these grief-stricken regions have the opportunity to better themselves if they make good decisions in life, but there is no questioning the fact that the people growing up in American inner cities are at a disadvantage.

There is no restoration in sight for these communities. This is because there is little serious political discussion about how so many black communities have become broken, and who has presided over this malaise for decades.

Consider this from prominent social activist, Dumisami Washington: “You can take a knee during the Anthem, refuse to acknowledge the flag; dissect the country’s slave and Jim Crow past; change the names of streets, cities, and historical buildings that honor racists and slaveholders; change whose face is on the currency; put a black man or woman in the White House for the next 50 years, or listen to ‘Fight the Power’ for the 1 millionth time. None of that is going to restore our broken homes, fix the schools that are failing our children, or create business owners and entrepreneurs.”

Life in the inner city sucks, and political posturing and virtue signaling don’t do a thing to help those in need. What they need is new policies. Is it not fair to ascribe much of the blame to the political overseers of inner cities?

Since World War II, Detroit has had exactly one Republican on its city council. And in 54 years, there has never been a mayor who wasn’t a Democrat.

Baltimore has had Democratic mayors for 43 consecutive years and has had an all-Democrat city council for 73 consecutive years.

Chicago has had a Democratic mayor for 85 years running and only two Republican city council members in the last 32 years.

In L.A., Philadelphia, Seattle and just about every other major metropolitan area, the story is much the same. Even in conservative states such as Louisiana, Texas and Georgia, the left controls the major cities like New Orleans, Houston and Atlanta. Democrats have virtually monopolized the American inner city since black families, schools and communities began their tragic economic and social decline.

A large portion of this decline is directly connected to the Democratic Party’s social, economic and educational policies.

First, the social.

Marx, Trotsky, Alinsky, Horkheimer and all the great left-wing thinkers of history have known that if the state can dissolve the nuclear family, it can take over the essence of a nation. The American Left has succeeded at doing just that in inner cities.

First, they used the sexual revolution to separate sex from marriage. Then they waged the “War on Poverty” in 1964, which subsidized bad decision-making and promiscuous sexual activity.

Through the massive expansion of the welfare state, the government essentially replaced the inner city male by taking over his share of financial responsibility for the family. If a mother was single, she received significant aid from the government. But if she got married, the benefits were cut off. The increase in the rate of single-parenthood in the black community since the War on Poverty has been shocking, increasing from 21 percent in 1960 to 72 percent in 2010, according to a study done at Princeton. Due to the War on Poverty and the sexual revolution, inner-city families have successfully been broken up and the surviving individuals are completely dependent upon the government.
Second, the economic.

Detroit was once the epicenter of the American Dream and upward mobility. According to the US Census Bureau, in 1960, Detroit had the highest income per capita of any major American city. But 50 years of progressive Democratic governance has turned that prosperity into unprecedented poverty.

The first in Detroit’s string of Democratic mayors was Jerome Cavanagh (1962-70). He expanded economic regulations, raised taxes and increased welfare. Cavanagh’s successors built upon his progressive, welfare-city reforms for over 40 years until Detroit’s economic growth had been wholly strangled.

In July of 2013, the city of Detroit declared Chapter 9 bankruptcy. It is the largest public entity ever to do so in the United States. According to the Brookings Institution, Detroit’s poverty rate currently stands at 40 percent, the highest among the 25 major U.S. metropolitan areas.
Third, the educational.

Democrats have become the party of the public-sector union. Teachers' unions spend massive amounts of money to help elect Democrats, who then stand in the way of vital educational reforms like charter schools and vouchers. In most inner cities, families that can’t afford private schools and can’t afford to move to better school districts have no choice but to send their children to the failing local public school.

Because of opposition to school choice from the Democrats, these schools have no incentive to improve. The best incentive would be competition, but wherever and whenever inner-city families have a charter school option, the waiting lists for these charters are massive, indicating how desperate people are to escape the failing public school system.

Over the past 50+ years, the progressive monopoly on inner cities has trapped millions in generational poverty and depression. Those people need pro-growth economic policy, choice-based education policy and pro-family social policy. In other words, inner cities need conservatism. If we’re serious about fixing our inner cities, there’s no better place to start than changing the leadership and the policies that have managed their decline.