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Catholic College Cracks Down on Student Pro-Life Group's Social Media Posts

05-13-2019

Even though the Roman Catholic Church teaches that all life has dignity and abortion is a moral evil, a Catholic college in Montana is dictating to its Students For Life group how they should criticize Planned Parenthood, both on campus and online. 

The College Fix reports the local chapter known as "Saints for Life" group at Carroll College in Montana received an email from an administrator telling club leaders that he would be reviewing all the club's social media posts, "including but not limited to Snapchat, Instagram, InstaStories, MySpace, and Facebook."

All social media posts must be approved by both the administrator and the club's adviser before being posted online, the group was told. That stipulation was approved by the college's unanimous student senate in April, according to The Fix. If the club does not follow the student senate's requirements, they could be decertified. 

A spokesperson for the college told The Fix the administrator's email conveyed "the policy of the Associated Students that was passed by students, not a policy of the college administration, nor was it suggested by the administration."

Chato Hazelbaker, vice president of enrollment management and marketing, wrote in an email that the student senate decision is "under review as we have almost entirely new leadership at the college."

In a recent blog post, the local Students For Life group reported how the administration had not allowed them to fully participate in the "Planned Parenthood Truth" tour on their own campus. The tour is the Spring 2019 campaign being hosted on campuses across the country. Students For Life is working to expose the unsanitary and unsafe conditions at Planned Parenthood, relying primarily on government inspection reports and mainstream news sources, according to the organization's website. 

The administration did allow the set up of the "Cemetery of the Innocents" as a way of recognizing abortion victims. The school also allowed signage proclaiming "Defund Planned Parenthood" as well as handouts.

In an e-mail to Students For Life, Hazelbaker wrote, "Marko and the group just talked about the fact that they would be talking specifically about Planned Parenthood and that they would have handouts from your group and the national campaign. That information has already been included in their social media posts. We did ask that they limit some large banners. I think we have supported the group here and have them in a high visibility spot and added some support with an event with the highest ranking folks at the college."

Kristan Hawkins, president of Students for Life of America, said in the blog post: "Christian universities should be playing a key role in abolishing abortion on their campuses and in their communities. There is a real problem when 25% of women who obtain abortions identify as Catholic and those in leadership at Catholic colleges won't let students even speak out against those who commit the violence of abortion."

"To help those in crisis and end the violence of abortion, Catholic colleges should be open to the discussion about abortion, who commits it, and how Christians can serve those in crisis. We must lead on this issue, not shy away from it," the post read. 

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