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Who’s Afraid of Planned Parenthood?: The Newman Society

Who’s Afraid of Planned Parenthood?: The Newman Society

This past Monday, the conservative Cardinal Newman Society announced that two dozen Catholic colleges had removed mention of Planned Parenthood from their websites. While some colleges said that they had indeed deleted the material (including listings for internships and mentions of Planned Parenthood by students and faculty), five of the colleges (and some of the most well-known ones) said that they had not in fact removed mention of the reproductive-rights organization. As the Chronicle of Higher Education reports, many of the web pages that the Newman Society pointed out for “touting” Planned Parenthood still indeed mention the organization.

Describing the Newman Society as having “long criticized Catholic colleges for promoting practices that it believes are inconsistent with Catholic doctrine,” the Chronicle of Higher Education says that, during last month’s debates about federal support for Planned Parenthood, the Newman Society released a report, in which Catholic colleges and universities were criticized for mentioning Planned Parenthood. A detailed list can be found here.

24 colleges have since removed mention of Planned Parenthood, but some — including some “more-prominent institutions on the list,” such as Boston College — said that they had not deleted such mention. Said Jack Dunn, a spokesman at Boston College:

The Cardinal Newman Society has no academic standing and has been admonished by Catholic bishops for using scare tactics that are designed to induce elderly donors into supporting their misguided efforts. As a Jesuit, Catholic university, Boston College has never been influenced by them.

Officials at Gonzaga University, the University of San Diego, the University of San Francisco and Dominican University of California all countered the Newman Society’s report and said that references to Planned Parenthood remained on their webpages.

It’s disappointing, if not galling, that an outside organization can think it has the authority to control what colleges say on their web pages. Students, not to mention the general public, can certainly have their opinions about groups like Planned Parenthood and reproductive issues, but the Newman Society is simply trying to control the flow of information. Students simply have the right to make their own decisions about learning about a group like Planned Parenthood. By seeking to eliminate any mention of the group, the Newman Society reveals how intimidated, if not frightened, it is by the notion of women being able to make their own choices about their own bodies.

A quote in the Chronicle of Higher Education from the president of the Newman Society, Patrick J. Reilly, about the discrepancies, suggests that his organization might conduct future web-research with a bit more care:

“I have no explanation for that,” he said.


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10:26PM PDT on Jun 14, 2011

Michael O'Leary: I fail to see the similarity between a people who felt superior due to their Christianity and therefore felt it was their right to persecute and execute millions of viable, actual people and those who choose to have an abortion of a non viable fetus. Oh wait, there is an unexpected similarity; in both cases "uber" Christians consider themselves to have superior knowledge and decide to make unscientific decisions for everyone.

5:21AM PDT on May 23, 2011

planned parenthood is just as evil as the nazis were in ww2. all their butchers(so called doctors)should change their names to mengele. the director of planned parenthood should change their name to himmler and they should all have pictures of hitler on their wall when you enter. they should all be displaying the nazi flag on the front of their buildings. that is what they represent.

11:28PM PDT on May 17, 2011

I suspect the story's really the other way around: Planned Parenthood probably fears groups like the Newman Society! And no wonder; the tide against this rotten "McDonald's of abortion" is growing, threatening that all-important money supply...

2:34PM PDT on May 10, 2011

thank you

8:42AM PDT on May 10, 2011

two steps backwards

4:37AM PDT on May 10, 2011

Some persons should have no children ever because they are not fit to be parents.

3:11PM PDT on May 9, 2011

I can think of no example in which a fundamentalist movement has not sought to control women's sexuality and reproductive lives. Apparently, some men -- and religious zealots of all stripes -- are terrified by the prospect of women having autonomy over their own economic, sexual and reproductive lives.

11:04AM PDT on May 9, 2011


10:39AM PDT on May 9, 2011

It is all very smug and self assuring to condemn Catholics as mindless morons and the Church as an institution so far removed from the cares and concerns of the poor as to be irrelevant.
But I still see these people who think frightful human behavior is simply a matter of form or opinion. Such as skinning a live cat, or trampling a tiny puppy to death for sexual gratification. Or butchering a live horse or torturing a human to death. There seems to be a remarkable absence of concern for humanity and life itself among the Church's critics, people who hide behind their anonymity, like the people cheering the killing of Bin Laden.
And who are these nuns I see on National Geographic running around in beat up Range Rovers delivering food and medicine to remote communities that even volunteer workers refuse to go to? And the priests who left the church to join the nationalist revolutions as leaders, to work in the black neighborhood despite their cardinals orders?
The middle classes and upper classes could always get abortions, the law didn't matter. The poor could only go to the subsidized clinics. The middle classes and upper classes have large families, 8-15 children. The poor seek abortions largely because they can not support their children. Is it only the well to do that shall have children?
Abortion may well be a tragedy, but it is also an indictment of the values of the entire society.

11:16PM PDT on May 8, 2011

...because having children when you are not ready is in the best interest of children and babies (sarcasm!)!
It is crap that people think that children should not be planned for and avoided if it is a bad time to bring them into the world!

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