Last week, Isaac Schorr ’20 wrote a pretty divisive letter to the editor concerning the Class Council gala fundraiser for Planned Parenthood. In the space below I’m going to discuss both Isaac’s letter and the campus response it received. Saying that Planned Parenthood is a divisive organization isn’t a novel claim. Nor is the claim that the Class Councils, who purport to represent the interests of their corresponding classes, shouldn’t plan events fundraising for divisive organizations. I can only imagine what would’ve happened if the gala were raising money for the NRA …
This was not the column I was expecting to write this week, but in a way, I’ve been ready to write this column my whole college career. I’m the daughter of two scientists, a feminist, a liberal and I’m pro-choice. However, there a lot of other things about me that you might not expect. For example, I also weep and pray at the thought of dead babies. Where the pro-life — or, more accurately, anti-choice — crowd and I differ is I don’t equate abortions with dead babies, and I certainly don’t equate Planned Parenthood with murder either.
A little over a month ago, Dr. Leana Wen, President of Planned Parenthood, confirmed what the American pro-life movement has recognized for years when she tweeted: “First, our core mission is providing, protecting, and expanding access to abortion and reproductive health care.” In the words of its own leader, Planned Parenthood is an organization that believes its primary purpose is to push for more abortion, full stop. This admission renders the decision made by the Class Councils of 2021 and 2022 to fundraise for Planned Parenthood at their Valentine’s Day Gala completely inappropriate and extraordinarily insensitive. Although the majority of Cornellians may favor abortion rights to one extent or another, there exists a great many of us who believe that the result of the procedure is the ending of a distinct human life deserving of dignity like any other. Despite my own strong feelings on the matter, I understand that in a diverse community such as ours, disagreement on this issue is inevitable. What I fail to understand, and what I object to, is the Class Councils’ reckless decision to spend money collected from each and every undergraduate via the Student Activity Fee on a fundraiser for such a deeply divisive organization — an organization that performed 332,757 abortions in 2018 alone.
On Tuesday, the New York State Senate passed three bills — the Reproductive Health Act, the Comprehensive Contraception Coverage Act and the Boss Bill — that aim to change the future of women’s reproductive rights.
In an upcoming talk postponed since March due to weather, Gloria Feldt, former president and CEO of Planned Parenthood, will address her advocacy work throughout her career and share the personal impact of her Jewish values.
As a Lutheran pastor, I have protest in my blood. After all, Lutherans were the first “Protestants,” protesting articles of faith which we believed were wrong. In fact, the entire Protestant Reformation began with a public call for a debate when 95 Theses were nailed to a Wittenberg church door by an Augustinian monk who also served as a Roman Catholic priest and a professor at the fairly new college at Wittenberg. I was surprised to hear that a similar set of circumstances — a call for debate, eventually leading to protest — was fermenting at the Cornell campus. An abortion debate to be held this week at Goldwin Smith Hall, (jointly sponsored by organizations representing both sides of the issue), is being protested by the Cornell affiliates of Planned Parenthood.