by Katelynn Richardson
Students for Life of America’s (SFLA) recently documented dozens of Christian-affiliated schools that maintain ties with or reference to Planned Parenthood.
Campus Reform found many of these schools are also tied to abortion in other ways. Below is a sampling of Christian-affiliated universities and colleges that promote abortion advocacy and providers.
Texas Christian University
Affiliation: Disciples of Christ
Planned Parenthood is promoted as a student internship option for the English Department. In 2016, Campus Reform reported that the History Department was offering credit for an internship with Planned Parenthood.
In November 2021, the Department of Women & Gender Studies also published a “TCU Abortion Story Collective” document opposing Texas SB8. Named the “Heartbeat Bill”, the bill bans abortion once a heartbeat is detected. The document was a campus campaign to demonstrate “that there are many reasons people choose abortion” and that “everyone deserves access to safe, legal, and affordable abortion” by sharing staff and student stories.
The same department website also documents the history of abortion advocacy and conversations on campus beginning in 1971.
Texas Christian University maintains “strong and vibrant” ties with the Disciples of Christ.
“TCU has a historical and intentional connection with a religious body, the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), that embraces pluralism, rejects sectarian narrowness, encourages a reasoned faith and affirms the rights of informed individual conscience in religious preference,” its undergraduate catalog states.
Virginia Wesleyan University
Affiliation: United Methodist
The university website explains that the Methodist church is “part of our heritage” and notes that “the Virginia Conference of the United Methodist Church is the largest single donor to Virginia Wesleyan’s Annual Fund.”
The College of St. Rose
The university’s Neil Hellman Library Health and Wellness resource page also provides links to Planned Parenthood and the online information provider Our Bodies, Ourselves, which advocates for abortion.
In 2019, SFLA contacted the university librarian regarding these links on the website. The librarian stated, “We support freedom of choice in reproductive health care for our students.” A college spokesman later clarified that the university “does not have an official position on this topic.”
The College of St. Rose identifies as “a progressive, independent college sponsored by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet.”
Wittenberg University’s website advertises Planned Parenthood as a “Womyn’s Center” resource for pregnancy, contraceptives, and emergency response. The Campus Police page also lists Planned Parenthood as a sexual assault resource.
The university promotes itself as “a nationally ranked Lutheran-affiliated liberal arts college.”
St. John Fisher College
The student newspaper also published a piece in December 2021 advocating for the organization and advertising four local locations.
St. John Fisher College’s mission is “guided by its liberal arts tradition and its Catholic heritage, as expressed in the motto of its founders, the Basilian Fathers: ‘teach me goodness, discipline, and knowledge.’”
Southern Methodist University
Affiliation: United Methodist
Planned Parenthood is listed as a local student health service resource. A Women’s Resources page lists Planned Parenthood of North Texas, the National Abortion Federation, and the National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League as resources.
SMU’s mission statement commits to affirming “its historical commitment to academic freedom and open inquiry, to moral and ethical values, and to its United Methodist heritage.”
Planned Parenthood is recommended as a community health resource, an internship site for communications, psychology, and gender studies, as well as a sexual health resource and a hiring organization. VOX Voices for Planned Parenthood is listed as a volunteer opportunity.
In its catalog, the college states that its relationship to the Presbyterian Church “has remained close and unbroken since 1855.”
Pacific Lutheran University
Planned Parenthood is listed on the PLU website as a “Sexual and Reproductive Health” resource, a birth control resource, and an off-campus leadership opportunity. On a Transgender and Gender Non-Conforming resource page, a local Planned Parenthood office and the Ceder River Clinic abortion facility are also listed.
In 2018, SFLA reported that the university theatre department sponsored a pro-abortion event for women to share their abortion stories.
The university says that it is “rooted in the tradition of Lutheran Higher Education” but also notes that it “values the various religious and spiritual traditions and practices within our campus community.”
Ohio Wesleyan University
Affiliation: United Methodist
Planned Parenthood is listed as a Psychology internship site and a Spanish internship site. The campus Women’s Resource Center also links to the organization as an “emergency contraception” resource and links to another pro-abortion website, “Sister Song: Women of Color Reproductive Justice Initiative,” as a “reproductive justice” resource.
On the Department of Africana, Gender, and Identity Studies resource page, Planned Parenthood is listed alongside the National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League.
Ohio Wesleyan maintains ties to the United Methodist Church.
On Nov. 29, the college hosted a “Know your abortion rights” event.
The college has a connection to the Presbyterian church but says that it is open to students of all traditions.
Affiliation: Evangelical Lutheran
In March 2021, Young Americans for Freedom reported that the student senate approved a $5,000 contraceptive vending machine purchase that would make Plan-B available to all students for free.
Gettysburg is affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America.
Affiliation: United Methodist
The Emory School of Public Health provides an entire list of abortion resources including Planned Parenthood. Planned Parenthood is also a Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics practice location and a partner for its Family Planning Division. The Emory Healthcare clinic provides abortions.
Campus Reform reported in August 2021 on a workshop series put on by Emory, in collaboration with Planned Parenthood and other local institutions, designed to teach students about abortion advocacy and “de-stigmatization.”
Emory University “maintains a formal affiliation with the United Methodist Church” and hosts one of 13 United Methodist seminaries.
Affiliation: Reformed Church in America
Part of the colleges’ “Covenant of Mutual Responsibilities” with the Reformed Church of America includes maintaining “an appreciation for the Reformed tradition and its implications for the integration of faith and learning.”
Affiliation: Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
Additionally, a biology faculty member’s page advocated for removing parental involvement laws in order to improve access to abortions for underage teenage girls.
Muhlenberg states that it “takes seriously its deep roots with the ELCA and its connections with area congregations.”
Affiliation: Church of the Brethren
Elizabethtown College states that its roots are “firmly planted in the tradition of the Church of the Brethren” and its values are “peace, service, nonviolence, social justice, and human dignity.”
Seven Planned Parenthood clinic locations are listed on the Women’s Resource Center list. The organization is also listed as an emergency contraception resource, sexual health counseling service, past community partner for the LEAD Fellows program, and as a community health care resource for birth control.
The university states that its education is “guided by the faith and values of the Lutheran church.”
Planned Parenthood is listed as an emergency contraception resource, a Psychology Department internship on the department website and internship handbook from the 2016-2017 school year, and a birth control emergency resource in the student handbook.
Planned Parenthood is listed as an off-campus career opportunity, an LGBTQ Community Resource, a Gender Studies internship opportunity, a Spanish major career suggestion, and as a biology research resource in the library guide.
The Center for Health and Wellness lists “comprehensive counseling of all options, including referral to abortion clinics” as part of its sexual health services.
Macalester College maintains an association with the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A).
A few dozen additional universities also maintain three or fewer references to Planned Parenthood on their website, including California Lutheran University, American University, Oklahoma City University, and Luther College.
“At some Christian schools, any pretense of being faithfully aligned with the Christian faith has been completely thrown out the window through deep, pervasive infestation of the abortion industry on their campus,” Christian Schools Project team leader and SFLA Media Strategist Lauren Enriquez told Campus Reform.
Other universities originally flagged by SFLA ultimately did choose to sever ties, though not all notified them, as Campus Reform discovered.
Despite the number of colleges promoting abortion, Enriquez says those that made a decision to change were encouraging, as were the 49 universities SFLA discovered that promote free nonviolent pregnancy resources–along with having no relationship to Planned Parenthood.
Enriquez believes that more Christians contacting the schools and raising their voice will cause the schools to “ultimately do the right thing and disassociate themselves with the abortion industry.”
“And if they don’t, we think they should stop calling themselves Christian,” she said.
Campus Reform reached out to every university mentioned; this article will be updated accordingly.
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Katelynn Richardson is a Senior Nevada Campus Correspondent with Campus Reform. She is a senior at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas majoring in English with a concentration in creative writing. She works part-time as a copywriter and enjoys blogging about everything from books to culture and theology.