Georgetown Cancels Workshop that Uses Papayas to Teach Students to Perform Abortions

A cut open Papaya

Georgetown University, a Catholic institution, has shut down a workshop that was designed to teach students how to perform an abortion. The creators of the “Papaya Workshop” hoped to teach students how to perform abortions with the Mexican fruit standing in for a human baby.

According to a report by the College Fix, Georgetown University has shut down a controversial workshop that aimed to help students learn how to perform an abortion. The workshop, which forces participants to simulate an abortion on a Mexican fruit, was created by University of California, San Francisco professors in a 2005 research paper.

“The Papaya Workshop,”  which has taken place around the country since 2005, claims that it teaches participants how to manually perform an abortion. VICE News published a report in July 2019 on the bizarre workshops during which participants perform an “aspiration abortion” on papayas.

Thill, a New York City-based abortion provider, was explaining the anatomy of the uterus to a group of about a dozen of us, in Verso Books’ Brooklyn office on a Monday night. The narrow part of the papaya, where the stem would be, is like the cervix, she said. The broader portion of the papaya is like the upper area of the uterus known as the fundus—and it’s that part we would want to avoid puncturing with our tools when, in just a few minutes, we would practice performing an aspiration abortion on our own papayas.

Creators of the workshop claim that their program helps “demystify and destigmatize” abortion. But that didn’t stop Georgetown University officials from shutting down the event. A Georgetown University spokesperson said that the “Papaya Workshop” was not consistent with the university’s Catholic faith.

“Consistent with our Catholic and Jesuit identity, Georgetown University does not support or allow for the demonstration or training of abortion procedures in any classroom or reservable space on our campus,” the spokesperson said.

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