A sophomore at an independent Catholic school in Greenwich, Connecticut, has been permitted to remain at her school and display her sticker that says, “I Stand with Planned Parenthood.”
“The school has reversed their earlier decision and is allowing Kate to leave the sticker on her laptop,” Tracy Murray, mother of Kate Murray, announced, according to Greenwich Time. “Kate has chosen to continue to display the sticker and is happy to remain a part of such a special community. We are moved by the outpouring of support by the alumnae and the community at large and are heartened by its encouragement of one young woman’s voice.”
Kate had originally been told she would have to remove her sticker in support of the abortion giant in order to remain a student at Sacred Heart.
However, in explaining the reversal of the decision, Sacred Heart Head of School Pamela Juan Hayes says the issue of Kate openly supporting the nation’s largest provider of abortions in a Catholic school was one of “freedom of expression.”
In an op-ed at the Stamford Advocate titled “Nurturing Freedom of Expression at Sacred Heart,” Hayes, also an alumna of the school, wrote Sacred Heart has been dealing with “such important issues as freedom of expression, diversity of thought and mutual respect” under intense media scrutiny.
“As it has been for generations, a major focus of our policies and actions is on protecting constructive dialogue and freedom of expression,” she added. “Stickers, banners and buttons will always play a role in our public discourse. But on the campus and in the classrooms of Sacred Heart Greenwich, we’ll continue to do our best to keep that role as unobtrusive as possible.”
Bishop Frank Caggiano of the Diocese of Bridgeport gave full support to the school’s original decision to have Kate leave the school if she did not remove the Planned Parenthood sticker.
“The Catholic Church’s opposition to abortion is almost universally understood, as is its consistent pro-life ethic, which defends the right to life of all those among us, particularly the most vulnerable in our society,” the diocese said in a statement last week. “As such the diocese fully supports the commitment of Head of School Pamela Hayes to affirm the Church’s teaching, while also recognizing and respecting the right of students to question and challenge as they grow in the learning process.”
According to Greenwich Time, however, the decision to have Kate remove the sticker or risk losing her place in the school “drew fierce backlash from alumnae of the school.”
More than 2,500 people also signed an online petition called, “I Stand With Kate Murray.”
The petition states, “Unless Kate is allowed her freedom of speech, all of my future donations that would have been allocated to Sacred Heart Greenwich will now and forever be donated to Planned Parenthood.”
“Some have misinterpreted our position as opposition to a specific organization or an attempt to shut down independent thinking on our campus.” Hayes wrote, defending the reversal of the original decision. “We would never dismiss a student for what she believes or a cause she supports and will not now,”
“I support Planned Parenthood and the the [sic] amazing and necessary women’s health services they provide,” said one Sacred Heart parent, Lesley King, in response to the news of the reversal. “And in addition I support a young woman’s right to have a strong opinion about any issue and express that with bumper stickers or slogans on clothing.”
Another parent who requested anonymity told Greenwich Time Kate should have removed her sticker immediately.
“It is a Catholic school so these are the values that they feel they want to embrace,” she said. “I think this is sad that this is happening.”
Kate’s situation drew the attention of national media – some of whom minimized the significance of the Planned Parenthood sticker in a Catholic school and referred to the original decision by the school as a “threat” to a student speaking her mind.
Kate also received support from departing Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards, who tweeted to her, “Kate, Planned Parenthood is so proud to count you as a supporter. Keep fighting for what you believe in.”
The U.S. Department of Justice has launched a formal investigation into Planned Parenthood in the wake of allegations that the abortion vendor has profited from harvesting the body parts of babies aborted in its clinics.
Planned Parenthood also recently condemned the U.S. House’s approval of a bill that would require abortionists to immediately provide emergency medical care to an infant born alive during an abortion.
The Diocese of Bridgeport did not immediately respond to Breitbart News’ request for comment on the school’s reversal of the decision.