“If this were a fundraiser for the KKK, a group seeking to marginalize the homeless, or an anti-immigration group, there is no way it would be tolerated,” Stephenson said. “It is deeply disturbing that the University refuses to extend the same defense of human dignity to the unborn.”
The petition calls Planned Parenthoood’s founder, Margaret Sanger, a eugenicist and “virulent anti-black racist,” and highlights the strong condemnations of abortion by Pope Francis, who said, “Is it right to eliminate, to take a human life to solve a problem? Is it right to hire a hitman to solve a problem? That’s what abortion is.”
"We hope you see through rationalizations that ‘Planned Parenthood does more than just abortions,’” the petition states. “The mafia also produces olive oil.”
The petition urges the Women in Politics club to find another organization to support that is not at odds with Church teaching. Approximately 1,800 people had signed the petition as of Thursday afternoon, and another related petition drive had garnered thousands of additional supporters, Stephenson told CNA.
Women in Politics is “an organization created for the purpose [of] fighting for women’s equality on and off of campus,” according to the club’s website.
“We strive for a strong emphasis on intersectional feminism,” the website states. “We are committed to making racial justice and LGBTQ+ women, gender queer, and non binary individuals a priority in our fight.” The website displays pictures of students holding pro-abortion signs. The club did not respond to CNA’s request for a comment.
Stephenson told CNA that “part of LMU’s mission is education of the whole person; this is truly a missed opportunity to teach these young women that political action does not have to be divisive.”
“They could have chosen any number of recipients for their fundraiser that would have helped to build bridges in working together for women’s advancement rather than creating division and scandal,” she said.
Planned Parenthood is the largest abortion provider in the United States. According to its annual report, the abortion giant performed 354,871 abortions in 2019-20.
Philip Zampiello, a Loyola Marymount graduate and founder of RenewLMU, says the university must take a strong stand in defense of Church teaching and the unborn threatened by abortion.
“Throughout its tenure, RenewLMU has heard from many students, parents, professors and alumni who feel ostracized and marginalized as Catholics at LMU,” Zampiello said in a statement to CNA.
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“We attempt to support those who feel ostracized and marginalized as Catholics at LMU, and anyone who seeks to encourage LMU to faithfully support its mission and identity as a Catholic University,” he said.
“As Pope Francis, a Jesuit, has made clear, abortion takes a human life. As Catholics we are required to serve and protect those at the periphery of society as encouraged by Pope Francis,” Zampiello said.
“The most vulnerable people at the periphery of our society are the innocent unborn children in the womb,” he said. “They must be protected and cannot be forgotten or discarded as Pope Francis has convincingly argued.”
Joseph Bukuras is a journalist at the Catholic News Agency. Joe has prior experience working in state and federal government, in non-profits, and Catholic education. He has contributed to an array of publications and his reporting has been cited by leading news sources, including the New York Times and the Washington Post. He holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from the Catholic University of America. He is based out of the Boston area.