Some ‘double down,’ say internships with abortion providers help students ‘best understand the world’
More Christian universities have begun promoting abortion since the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in 2022, with one in 10 now maintaining some type of relationship with an abortion provider, according to new research by a leading pro-life organization.
The report from Students for Life of America and the Demetree Institute for Pro-Life Advancement found a 10 percent increase in universities promoting abortion or abortion providers between 2021 and 2023.
The research examined 767 Christian colleges and universities in the U.S., and noted 185 pro-life infractions at 76 schools. These included promoting Planned Parenthood, the largest abortion provider in the U.S., as a health care service to students, advertising internships with abortion providers, hosting events with pro-abortion leaders, and issuing statements in support of abortion or abortion providers.
Students for Life Director of Strategic Initiatives Michele Hendrickson lamented “the ability for some schools to cave so quickly as culture shifts when they are supposed to be founded on biblical values.”
“Yet as the culture shifts, then they did, too, and to see how quickly that happens was the most concerning part,” Hendrickson told The College Fix in an interview last week.
One of the schools was Holy Cross College, a private Catholic institution in Massachusetts, according to the report.
Students for Life gave the university an A+ grade in 2021. However, after the U.S. Supreme Court’s Dobbs v. Jackson abortion ruling in 2022, its Women and Gender Studies Department “used the school’s website to ‘condemn’ the decision, thereby demonstrating their commitment to abortion over biblical values,” according to the report.
The Fix contacted the university twice within the past month asking for its reaction to the report, but it did not respond.
Another school, Bethany College, a private, Protestant institution in West Virginia, also was downgraded initially after having received an A in previous years. However, Students for Life said the college quickly fixed the problem and its top grade was restored.
The problem was a 2022 event that the college hosted with a Planned Parenthood representative about the “state of reproductive rights,” according to the report.
After being contacted by Students for Life, “Bethany College applied our recommendation of removing the historical record of this event so that Planned Parenthood would not be considered a reputable organization,” the report noted.
The college did not respond to two requests for comment from The Fix within the past month asking about its views on abortion and its response to the report.
Another school, Moravian University in Pennsylvania, received an F grade for having at least four infractions and “doubling down” on its support for abortion providers, according to the report.
The university promotes internships with Planned Parenthood – “the nation’s largest abortion vendor” – through its Psychology Department and repeatedly “has defended this relationship,” the report states.
Contacted by The Fix for comment, a spokesperson for Moravian responded via email: “Our president, Bryon Grigsby, has repeatedly shared the same response with your organization when inquiries are made, and that has not changed. His statement is essentially the same every time: We will continue to support the internship at Planned Parenthood for our students because it is important for them to best understand the world they are entering.”
The university maintained its statement when The Fix followed up to clarify that it had not previously contacted the university for comment about the 2023 report.
To Students for Life, a Christian university promoting an internship at an abortion provider is “akin to preparing law enforcement for the criminal landscape by suggesting they ‘intern’ for drug lords or join a gang.” Citing Planned Parenthood’s annual report, it said the abortion group destroyed the lives of 374,155 unborn babies in 2022.
The pro-life organization said colleges instead should encourage students to intern at local pregnancy resource centers.
In addition, the report stated that eight colleges already have corrected infractions in response to its investigation this year, and 42 made life-affirming improvements since 2021.
Hendrickson told The Fix that the goal of their report is to raise awareness about Christian colleges’ connections with abortion.
“For these schools to flip, if we are not being hyper-vigilant and stewarding this promise that we have made to be a school of Christian values, then it will fall by the wayside because they would rather fall in line with the world than with God,” she said.
IMAGE: Students for Life/Demetree Institute for Pro-Life Advancement