Franciscan students send message to senators: defund Planned Parenthood



“Defund Planned Parenthood” is the message that Franciscan University students are sending to senators in the nation’s capital via a letter campaign organized by Students for Life.

Through this project, students are able to voice their stance on recent bills calling for the discontinuation of funding for Planned Parenthood.

The Political Initiative Committee of Students for Life, a branch of the Students for Life club, organized letters to be signed, sealed and sent to each state’s senators in Congress. Students were able to find their senators’ names from a provided list. Additionally, students’ home addresses were used so that the senators’ aides know constituents from their home states support the defunding of Planned Parenthood.

This campaign is part of the Political Initiative Committee of Students for Life mission, which aims to provide a way for students to contact their state legislators.

“Last year, students wrote letters and brought them for students within the club to sign, but this year we wanted to get the whole campus involved,” said sophomore and political science major Andrea Moury, who is head of the Political Initiative Committee of Students for Life.

Within the letters, the main issue being brought up is the defunding of Planned Parenthood. While the letters do not address the issue of abortion outright, they still address life because of the numerous abortions Planned Parenthood performs each year with the help of federal funding.

“The letters were urging our senators to do everything they can to defund Planned Parenthood,” said Moury. “Planned Parenthood receives around $520 million from taxpayer funding every year; they also abort over 300,000 babies.”

The organized letter signing took place Sept. 30 and Oct. 22 in the upper level of the J.C. Williams Center. The club has sent around 300 letters to the senators. With two rounds of letter signing, the feedback has been positive.

“All the students that came to the table were excited about it and wanted to support it and sign the letters,” said Moury.

At Mass on campus on Oct. 5, about 240 letters were blessed by Bishop Jeffery Monforton, who prayed that they would have a positive impact on the people who received them, said Moury.

This past year saw several undercover videos of possibly illegal deals within Planned Parenthood regarding the sale of fetal tissue. This led to questioning of whether or not Congress should continue to provide funds for this organization. H.R.3134 ­ Defund Planned Parenthood Act of 2015 passed the House of Representatives but failed in the Senate earlier this year.

Since the first bill to defund Planned Parenthood, there have been several other similar bills. The letters do not address any particular bill but have one common theme, namely, to defund Planned Parenthood.

So far another date has not been scheduled for more letter signing, but Students for Life is hoping to do this project again.

“We are definitely planning on doing this again; it depends on what bills are up for vote,” said Moury.

Students for Life meets every Monday in the Fireside Lounge at 11:00 a.m. to discuss more projects concerning the dignity of life.

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