Catholic Students Demand ‘Public Apology’ over Removal of Planned Parenthood from Resource List

Supporters and patients of Planned Parenthood take part in a "Pink the Night Out" rally at City Hall, which is part of a nationwide series of actions in support of the organization and in opposition to US President Donald Trump's health care proposal, in Los Angeles, California on June 21, …
MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images

The student senate of Catholic school Edgewood College has demanded a “public apology” from its interim president for cutting abortion provider Planned Parenthood from its list of resources.

Students planned to meet with Sister Mary Ellen Gevelinger Friday since she removed a link to Planned Parenthood from the school’s list of resources, reported school media outlet On the Edge News.

Prior to the abortion chain’s removal, the Wisconsin school’s TFP Student Action organization, a group that describes itself as one that works to “proudly affirm the positive values of tradition, family and private property,” garnered over 15,000 signatures on its petition to cut Planned Parenthood from the “wellness resource” list.

Some Edgewood students appeared to be angry with TFP Student Action’s massive petition.

On the Edge News reported:

The Student Senate has now called on Gevelinger to publicly apologize for responding to TFP’s demands, and Student Senate President Sydney Wilcox has informed students there will be a “public apology” tomorrow, Dec. 6, at 12 p.m. in Sonderegger 108. However, Wilcox said Gevelinger did not state whether she planned to apologize. “There was some confusion on her part as to why an apology is needed.”

Student Senate Vice President Jordan Smith said Gevelinger should start with an apology. “Start with the apology, lead to the truth,” she said.

Wilcox said, “I am looking forward to hearing the statement that will be provided by Sister Mary Ellen at the forum. I’m interested in seeing what that dialogue will look like between her and students, and how this very, very important and critical issue is going to be addressed.”

According to the student news outlet, Wilcox presented Gevelinger a letter signed by 40 students that listed “demands of the student body and the importance of upholding and demonstrating our Dominican Values.”

Included in the letter was the statement:

Students courageously spoke their truth about the disappointment they experienced in response to your careless act of siding with an alt-right group that stands for and supports sexism, homophobia, transphobia, xenophobia, and white supremacy.

Gevelinger reportedly responded that the letter from Wilcox and the student senate contained false information.

On the Edge News continued:

Gevelinger said she did order the link removed, but other information circulating on campus about the incident is “lies,” according to Sean O’Brien, the president of SAFE and a student who met with Gevelinger Thursday.

O’Brien said Gevelinger opened the Student Senate letter at their meeting Thursday afternoon. “The first words out of her mouth are something along the lines of, ‘Well this is all lies, I can’t read this,’” he said. “ . . .  She keeps saying the word, ‘lies.’.”

“It felt as if what our student body was saying and asking of Sister Mary Ellen and the college wasn’t taken seriously or considered,” Wilcox said, according to the school news outlet. “And I had raised the point that even if what’s currently circulating is a lie, this is still an opportunity for you to work on those demands.”

Jordan Smith, student senate vice president, also said some students “didn’t feel heard, they didn’t feel validated.”

While TFP Student Action Director John Ritchie told the College Fix he was happy his group had achieved its goal of having Planned Parenthood removed, Gevelinger said she herself made the decision to remove Planned Parenthood’s name from the resource list, without any influence from the petition:

As I understand the decision to put Planned Parenthood [PP] on the website, it was because the College had reduced the number of on-campus health services in recent years, and was pointing students to other areas for service, such as health care for women and men, and testing for certain diseases.

Since Planned Parenthood is a major provider of abortions, I asked that it be removed from the College website. This has been done without any public notice, and there has been no public response. The PP info was buried deep in the website.

In October, Father Stephen Sundborg, S.J., president of the Jesuit-run Seattle University, also removed Planned Parenthood from its list of student healthcare resources.

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