Petition demands ‘public retraction’ of prof’s view that people have ‘right to choose’ abortion
Following pressure on his Christian college from a pro-life group, a professor has apparently recanted the muddled views on abortion he articulated in a campus forum.
That’s not good enough for Created Equal, which started a petition campaign against Indiana Wesleyan University demanding that the school “not tolerate pro-abortion professors.”
As The College Fix previously reported, IWU professor Greg Fiebig called himself “equally pro-choice and pro-life” in the “Life vs. Choice” forum in November, which provoked Created Equal’s social-media campaign against him.
Fiebig said he had “cognitive dissonance” on abortion, calling himself personally pro-life but unwilling to impose that view on those without the same moral underpinnings and beliefs.
Fiebig followed up with a letter to the editor of The Sojourn, the campus newspaper, sharing that he and his wife considered an abortion during a troubled pregnancy. He said free will means “people still have the right to choose” abortion even if it’s immoral.
The clamor led IWU President David Wright to publish a statement last month saying the school is “firmly opposed to abortion,” without acknowledging Created Equal’s pressure.
Citing a “faculty member” he didn’t name, Wright said there was “confusion” about the school’s stance, which comes from the Wesleyan Church’s doctrinal statements against abortion.
IWU faculty must sign a statement every year “indicating their agreement with the doctrines” of the denomination, though they are “encouraged to explore all relevant perspectives on the issue under discussion,” Wright said.
The “faculty member whose comments are at the heart of the current confusion” has clarified to the administration that “he believes wholeheartedly in the sanctity of human life and is in agreement with the position of the Wesleyan Church and the university,” Wright said.
Neither Fiebig nor Wright responded to The Fix’s request for comment.
Professor justifies abortion through ‘abuse of Scripture’
Wright’s statement didn’t satisfy Created Equal, which said on its petition page that the president “offered no evidence to change the perception that Dr. Fiebig supports legal abortion.” The petition demands “a public retraction” of Fiebig’s support for legal abortion.
The group also wrote a public letter to Wright, saying that Fiebig’s statements on abortion at the forum – posted on YouTube – and his letter in The Sojourn make it hard to believe he is in line with Wesleyan Church teaching.
“Dr. Fiebig’s abuse of Scripture is apparent” – he cited the book of Genesis to defend legal abortion – and he conflated “one’s free moral agency” with “a legal right” to abortion, Created Equal told Wright.
Wright also didn’t address that Fiebig presumed to speak for the Wesleyan Church in his Sojourn letter, saying the denomination is just as “conflicted” about abortion because it acknowledges humans have the God-given “ability to choose between right and wrong.”
“Which is it?” Created Equal asked Wright. “Is Indiana Wesleyan University’s position in line with the codified view of the Wesleyan Church? Or is your institution’s position on abortion to be defined by Dr. Fiebig’s teaching that men and women have the ‘right to choose’?”
Created Equal did not respond to The Fix’s request for comment.
The group is aiming for 1,000 signatures on the Fiebig petition by Jan. 16, and plans to hand-deliver it to Wright. As of Sunday night, it had 235 signatures.
Created Equal’s stated mission is working to “end injustice,” specifically the killing of the unborn, which the group calls “age discrimination.” It helps organize pro-life student outreach on campus, using graphic images of aborted fetuses.
In its year-end summary of 2014 accomplishments, Created Equal takes some credit for falling abortion rates in Ohio and Florida, “the two states in which we have been focusing much of our outreach over the years.”
Its work was recently featured by WND, formerly WorldNetDaily, in an article about violent attacks and vandalism against pro-life activists.
College Fix reporter Michael Sorge is a student at SUNY Purchase.