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Seattle University students, staff criticize ‘dangerous decision’ from school’s president

Seattle University President Stephen Sundborg is facing flack after his decision to cut ties with Planned Parenthood.

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Sundborg made the call to remove the organization from a list of online health resources promoted by the school, in response to a letter from Virginia-based anti-abortion group, Students for Life of America.

The Seattle Times detailed a response from over 1,000 Seattle University students and staff, who delivered a letter of their own Monday outlining their concerns.

“Collectively, we are frustrated with administrative decisions that do not consult or reflect the beliefs of your students,” the letter reads. “We the undersigned call upon you to rescind the removal of Planned Parenthood as a resource on the grounds that it is an ill-informed, irresponsible, and dangerous decision.”

The letter goes on to note that “Planned Parenthood is not synonymous with abortion,” pointing to services like STD testing, cancer screenings, preventative care, and more. The organization also lists pregnancy services, HIV testing, general health care, and men’s health services among its offerings.

Students for Life of America’s request to remove Planned Parenthood from listed resources was issued to a handful of other schools across the country. As of publishing, Seattle University is the only school to comply.

In an interview with the school’s newspaper, The Spectator, Sundborg noted that the decision was made in concordance with the Catholic Church’s own position on abortion.

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“There’s one thing about what a range of Catholics believe, think and so forth, and what the official teaching of the Catholic Church is publicly,” said Sundborg. “We’re a public Catholic institution, and therefore, that’s why I needed to make that decision.”

The move from Sundborg was consistent with a similar decision in 2011, when Seattle University removed three references to Planned Parenthood from its website.

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