SPOKANE, Wash. – Whitworth University announced on Thursday that it is cutting all ties with Planned Parenthood, which means the university will no longer offer internships for credit with the organization.
The national debate surrounding Planned Parenthood made its way to Whitworth University’s front steps. In a campus-wide email, University President Beck Tylor explained his decision to cut ties with the organization. Tylor wrote in part, the relationship “sends a confusing signal to many of our constituencies.”
The move comes six months after an opinion piece in the school newspaper urged the school to do just that, but not all students agree.
Whitworth Juniors, Margot Spindola and Sarah Dixit were disappointed after hearing the news. The two are part of a group called Planned Parenthood Generation Action. There are more than 275 campus groups across the country, and they wanted their own group at Whitworth University.
“It’s really inclusive organization which is why we wanted to be a part of that,” Dixit said.
The Planned Parenthood Generation Action have been trying to become a chartered group on campus since November.
Being a chartered group would mean access to funds, the ability to officially organize on campus, and be a part of the Associated Students of Whitworth University. The official school organization that includes dozens of clubs including a pro-life group, Students for Life.
Now, they are worried their affiliation with Planned Parenthood will stifle any plans they had of becoming a legitimate campus club.
“I think we worked so hard as a team to make sure all students are represented on campus so it’s really disappointing,” Spindola said.
The group has the option to drop their affiliation with Planned Parenthood to possibly get approved as an official club by the school, but they said they should not have to do that.
“Never the less, we're going to fight because we're very passionate about this and we don't want to back down," Dixit said.
The Vice President of Whitworth Students For Life said he supports the decision.
"Put simply, I support Whitworth University's cutting of ties with Planned Parenthood. In light of Whitworth's noble mission as a university, I believe this is a good decision. From my point of view, Whitworth should have no business affiliating with Planned Parenthood. It is my hope that in response, individuals in the Whitworth community will not condemn those with whom they disagree. Rather, I hope they will engage in good, healthy dialogue, seeking understanding and truth in a positive, productive manner."