CSU Students for Life push back against student government’s ‘pro-abortion’ resolution

The Students for Life group at Colorado State University isn’t backing down after the university’s student government passed a resolution banning reproductive resource centers which discourage abortion from advertising their services on campus.

During an April 21 hearing, Resolution 5008 passed, which was aimed in particular at the Alpha Center, a pregnancy resource center near CSU’s campus that’s rooted in Christian values and offers a variety of services to its patients at no charge, including professional counseling, STD testing, pregnancy tests and limited ultrasounds. The resolution effectively forbid the Alpha Center and others resource centers like it from promoting their services on campus, calling it “misinformation.”

Father Rocco Porter, pastor of St. John XXIII Parish, which serves CSU’s students, expressed disappointment at the resolution.

“It just proves that they’re not actually ‘pro-choice,’” he said. “They don’t want people to have choices. They’re pro-abortion.”

The bill’s proponents said they merely wanted to hold the Alpha Center accountable for its campus advertisements. But CSU’s Students for Life group said the bill uses language that is both outdated and harmful.

“The negative language directed at the Alpha Center throughout the hearings and within the resolution, including a request that ‘CSU takes action in preventing (anti-abortion counseling centers) from spreading misinformation about reproductive health care,’ perpetuates harmful and outdated stereotypes that similar resource centers in Colorado, such as the Alpha Center, are dangerous when no evidence proves that to be so,” CSU Students for Life vice president Laura Rencher wrote in a letter to the editor published by CSU’s newspaper The Collegian.

Rencher noted that “Two of CSU’s Principles of Community are ‘social justice’ and ‘inclusion,’ both of which encourage open dialogue on important issues. Thus, many welcomed the opportunity to promote civil conversation regarding the resolution’s claims.”

However, during the hearing, one student senator stated in reference to the Christian employees of the Alpha Center that “people that are pro-life are not pro-life, they are anti-choice,” and the author of the resolution nodded in agreement.

“This language does not reflect the inclusive language our University rightfully works to promote and is the very misinformed and non-inclusive language Resolution 5008 claimed to be working against,” Rencher stated.

This Saturday, May 15, Students for Life will host an educational Zoom meeting during which several of the resource centers and medical clinics targeted in the resolution will detail the many ways they serve communities and address common falsehoods about their services, including several misconceptions mentioned in the CSU student senate hearings, with a Q&A session afterward.

All are invited to attend, regardless of their views on this topic. For more info, contact studentsforlifecsu@gmail.com

COMING UP: Q&A: USCCB clarifies intent behind bishops’ Eucharist document

Sign up for a digital subscription to Denver Catholic!

Last week, the U.S. bishop concluded their annual Spring meeting, during which much about the Church in the U.S was discussed. In particular, the bishops voted to draft a document on the meaning of Eucharistic life in the Church, which was approved by an overwhelming majority.

Since then, speculation about the nature of the document has run rampant, the chief of which is that it was drafted specifically to instigate a policy aimed directly at Catholic politicians and public figures whose outward political expressions and policy enactment do not align with Church teaching.

The USCCB has issued a brief Q&A clarifying the intent of the document, and they have emphasized that “the question of whether or not to deny any individual or groups Holy Communion was not on the ballot.”

“The Eucharist is the source and summit of Christian life,” the USCCB said. “The importance of nurturing an ever
deeper understanding of the beauty and mystery of the Eucharist in our lives is not a new topic for the bishops. The document being drafted is not meant to be disciplinary in nature, nor is it targeted at any one individual or class of persons. It will include a section on the Church’s teaching on the responsibility of every Catholic, including bishops, to live in accordance with the truth, goodness and beauty of the Eucharist we celebrate.”

Below are a few commonly asked questions about last week’s meeting and the document on the Eucharist.

Why are the bishops doing this now?

For some time now, a major concern of the bishops has been the declining belief and understanding of the Eucharist among the Catholic faithful. This was a deep enough concern that the theme of the bishops’ strategic plan for 2021-2024 is Created Anew by the Body and Blood of Christ: Source of Our Healing and Hope. This important document on the Eucharist will serve as a foundation for the multi-year Eucharistic Revival Project, a major national effort to reignite Eucharistic faith in our country. It was clear from the intensity and passion expressed in the individual interventions made by the bishops during last week’s meeting that each bishop deeply loves the Eucharist.

Did the bishops vote to ban politicians from receiving Holy Communion?

No, this was not up for vote or debate. The bishops made no decision about barring anyone from receiving Holy Communion. Each Catholic — regardless of whether they hold public office or not — is called to continual conversion, and the U.S. bishops have repeatedly emphasized the obligation of all Catholics to support human life and dignity and other fundamental principles of Catholic moral and social teaching.

Are the bishops going to issue a national policy on withholding Communion from politicians?

No. There will be no national policy on withholding Communion from politicians. The intent is to present a clear understanding of the Church’s teachings to bring heightened awareness among the faithful of how the Eucharist can transform our lives and bring us closer to our creator and the life he wants for us.

Did the Vatican tell the bishops not to move forward on drafting the document?

No. The Holy See did encourage the bishops to engage in dialogue and broad consultation. Last week’s meeting was the first part of that process. It is important to note that collaboration and consultation among the bishops will be key in the drafting of this document.


Featured photo by Eric Mok on Unsplash