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Massachusetts partners with Planned Parenthood for college ‘abortion readiness’ plans

Colleges must help students in procuring abortion drugs under new law

A new Massachusetts law requires public universities to create “abortion readiness” plans – and at least a few are partnering with Planned Parenthood.

The plans are required as part of a new law in effect that requires each public higher education institution to “develop a medication abortion readiness plan for its students.” The law specifically names Planned Parenthood as a partner in implementing the requirements, along with other pro-abortion groups.

Ann Scales, a spokeswoman for the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, told The College Fix in an email that all 29 institutions have sent in their plans.

Governor Maura Healey’s administration, in conjunction with Reproductive Equity Now, prepared an abortion “toolkit” to assist the schools in creating their plans, which was released last November.

The toolkit is “a tool to help colleges and universities in Massachusetts develop a medication abortion readiness plan, provide medication abortion on college campuses, or make referrals for medication abortion care,” according to the document.

Most of the universities contacted by The College Fix did not respond for requests for comment.

The Fix contacted the 29 Massachusetts public institutions of higher education (five University of Massachusetts campuses, 15 community colleges, and nine state universities), asking for the details and a copy of each of their plans twice in the past three weeks. All but four did not respond to the request.

Fitchburg State University has published its plan on its website. The plan says that the school has developed a relationship with the Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts and provides links to the abortion vendor on its website.

A spokesman for Salem State University said the school is “not able to participate” in answering the questions but did choose to emphasize that the school is “providing safe and necessary reproductive healthcare services to our students.”

A spokesman for the University of Massachusetts at Boston pointed to the abortion toolkit and said that the school is “following that guide, and it will result in a comprehensive set of policies and procedures.”

Renee Tastad, the assistant vice president of student affairs at Holyoke Community College, told The College Fix in an email that because the school does not have a health services web page.

Tastad said the school’s “responsibility under the law is to establish a referral relationship” with an abortion vendor “such as Planned Parenthood of Western Mass.” Tastad said a memorandum of understanding was pending legal review.

Other universities have ordered their own abortion drugs.

UMass Amherst previously paid $677,250 for an abortion drug stockpile, in conjunction with the governor’s office, as The Fix previously reported.

MORE: Feds investigate Pitt research using aborted baby organs

The new law drew criticism from a pro-life organizer who is also a resident of Massachusetts.

Megan Cawley, a Students For Life of America regional coordinator for the New England region, criticized the entire premise of abortion readiness plans in an email to The College Fix. “Not only do these drugs kill a preborn child, but due to their extensive negative ramifications, they also jeopardize female students’ health, safety, and fertility,” Cawley said.

“College campuses, and the state as a whole, should be doing more for young women, not less,” she said.

Cawley also questioned the motives of lawmakers in requiring the plans. “These new ‘abortion readiness plans’ are clearly showing that the abortion lobby isn’t really interested in women’s wellbeing,” she said. “They’re just interested in abortion.”

The pro-life Charlotte Lozier Institute identified both mental health and physical consequences of abortion drugs, including an increase in emergency room visits related to their use.

MORE: Barnard College launches movie contest to ‘celebrate’ abortion

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About the Author
College Fix contributor Brendan McDonald is a student at Thomas More College of Liberal Arts in Merrimack, New Hampshire.