Update: On Oct. 28 a Cal Catholic reader pointed out that Planned Parenthood was still listed in “FAQs about Sexual Re[productive Health.” A call to Daniel Telles, assistant director, media relations, brought this response: “I checked on this and can confirm that we plan to remove that listing as well. In this case as well as the last one, the individuals who posted the content were not aware of our content restrictions. Thank you for reaching out to us.”
Original Oct. 27 story: As recently as Oct. 21, a resource page on the University of San Diego’s website included a list of nearby Planned Parenthood facilities and their phone numbers. The list disappeared after a reporter from California Catholic Daily contacted the school.
The university claims a Catholic identity. It describes its mission, in part, this way: “The University of San Diego is a Roman Catholic institution committed to … preparing leaders who are dedicated to ethical conduct and compassionate service.”
The list of eleven Planned Parenthood facilities was featured as part of the university’s Project TeamUP. According to the university website, the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration awarded the university two grants in 2017 and 2019, in an effort to expand the number of professionals trained to work in the field of behavioral health and with those suffering from opioid addiction. The grants allowed the university to form TeamUP, which provides training and financial assistance to students.
Project TeamUP created a digital library of “curated, evidence-based clinical resources for current students, alumni, and community partners,” which is where the Planned Parenthoods were listed, under the Local Resources button. Most of the resources are listed with a brief explanation of what it offers. The Planned Parenthoods were noted to offer “information, education, OB-GYN, STD/HIV, birth control and abortion.”
At least two pro-life pregnancy centers are also listed, and the explanation of what the centers provide is prefaced with “anti-abortion.”
A California Catholic Daily reporter contacted the university on Oct. 21, asking how referring for abortions and birth control was compatible with the school’s Catholic identity. The following day, having received no response, but seeing that Planned Parenthood was removed from the list of resources, the reporter contacted the university again.
The university then gave this statement: “As a Catholic university, the University of San Diego has a long-standing position not to feature Planned Parenthood on our website or to host the organization on our campus. The link on the page in question was inconsistent with our practice and after review has now been removed from the website.”
The university did not respond to inquiries about how the information had been posted in the first place, who made the decision to take it down, and whether the student health center refers for abortions.
Events offered by Project TeamUP over the next two months include: “Seminar Series: Relational Violence in the LGBTQ+ Community” and “BLCI Workshop: Supporting your LGBTQ+ Youth.”
California Catholic story by Mary Rose. Thanks to tfpaction.org for the story tip.