Christian colleges and universities are generally held to a high moral and ethical standard, as it should be since they outwardly represent Jesus Christ and his mission of compassion, love, mercy, justice and the respect for all human life. So would it be surprising to learn that it is on these campuses of supposedly Christ-centered teaching that it is the hardest places to start pro-life clubs? Is it surprising to learn that many Christian colleges and universities house school administrations that are openly hostile to pro-life students who want to educate their fellow students on abortion alternatives and help students facing crisis pregnancies?
Students for Life of America works with over 900 college and high school pro-life clubs and students come to us every week with problems they are facing at their Christian colleges and universities.
At a Christian college prep school in California, factual postcards about Planned Parenthood’s abortion business was confiscated from the Students for Life club by a school administrator during club rush.
At a self-proclaimed Christ-centered university outside of Portland, OR, the school denied the request to start a Students for Life club specifically because of the fact that college-aged women have the majority of abortions and therefore many would be affected by a pro-life club on campus. Um, isn’t that a good reason to have a pro-life club on campus, to help these women realize there is another choice, that they don’t have to choose between their child and their education? The logic of this particular school was dumbfounding.
Back in California, at the University of San Francisco, the administration washed off students’ pro-life chalk from a public sidewalk bordering the school and refused to permit any on-campus advertising of the Walk for Life or have official representation of the school at the Walk, despite advertising and having official representation at the 2015 Pride Parade. The university, despite its Catholic identity, also praised the same-sex marriage Supreme Court decision.
These stories are the tip of the iceberg. There are many, many stories like this unfortunately. In particular, Christian beacons of higher education are especially reticent to talk about Planned Parenthood and their business of abortion. Why would they not take every opportunity to out this horrible excuse of a healthcare provider, one that was repeatedly caught on video casually discussing the harvesting and selling of aborted baby body parts?
And even worse, many students who find themselves pregnant at Christian schools feel intense shame and will choose an abortion to hide that embarrassment instead of seek help because the school environment is so hostile.
Is that a model that Christ would have endorsed? Absolutely not.
Christians are sinners just like everyone else. School administrators at Christian schools who believe that their students aren’t engaging in behaviors that students who attend secular schools do are hiding their heads in the sand. Seventy-two percent of women of women who have had an abortion report some kind of religious affiliation. Christian colleges and universities are failing their students, failing to create loving, compassionate and merciful environments. They are failing to allow pro-life students the freedom to peacefully and lovingly educate their fellow students on their business model pushing abortion to college-aged women. They are failing to place resources for pregnant and parenting students at the disposal of students who need them.
Not all is lost however. Earlier this semester, Students for Life of America released a list of top schools in the nation that are friendly to pregnant and parenting students – where lactation rooms and diaper decks were available, where pregnant students could live in special housing on campus or receive scholarships, where childcare was easily available. A majority of the schools on that list were affiliated with a Christian denomination.
But those schools are in the minority. Christian colleges and universities do not have to condone premarital sex in order to create an environment that is friendly to pregnant and parenting students.
It’s time for Christian schools to walk the walk and support pro-life groups on campus. They need to walk in Jesus’ steps. He didn’t talk about popular things. He talked about the truth – and it ultimately led to his death. Anything other than boldly proclaiming that truth and supporting both pro-life groups on campus and students facing unplanned pregnancies goes against the very core values they claim to stand for – and the Savior they claim to follow.