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Catholic Alumni: Finalists for Loyola Marymount Dean Both Worked at Planned Parenthood

Loyola Marymount UniversityLoyola Marymount University has narrowed the search for the new dean of its liberal arts school to two candidates, both of whom have worked for Planned Parenthood, according to RenewLMU, an organization committed to promoting the Jesuit University’s Catholic identity.

RenewLMU is calling on the University to re-start the selection process and “ensure the new Dean of the Bellarmine College of Liberal Arts demonstrates a strong record of furthering Catholic mission and identity so that LMU will be, in the words of Pope Francis, an ‘uncompromising witness…to the Church’s moral teaching.’”

Robbin Crabtree, who is currently Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Fairfield University, has been selected as one of two finalists for the position.

Crabtree, according to her CV available online, worked on the Advisory Board & Media Relations Committee of Planned Parenthood of Putnam County, Indiana from 1991 to 1993.

Also, according to her CV, in 2000 and 2001 Crabtree was a member of a group called “Las Adelitas” which she describes as an “organization promoting women’s candidacy for public office” in New Mexico. But the group seems to have another agenda, at least according to its former president who was quoted in the Santa Fe Reporter.

Samantha L Johnson, president of Las Adelitas Women in Politics, worries about the lack of pro-choice female legislators in New Mexico. When Adelitas began in 1993, Johnson says there were no pro-choice female legislators. Now, she says, there are eight, but that number is still too few for Johnson's comfort. During the most recent legislative session, a bill that would have required minors seeking abortions to obtain parental notification almost passed. "It made it onto the Senate floor with a 13-39 vote," Johnson says. "Luckily it didn't end up passing the House of Representatives." Another bill that concerned Johnson would have allowed women who suffered miscarriages to obtain death certificates for fetuses." Once you define what life and death are it's easier to outlaw abortion," Johnson says of her concern with the bill.

In 2004, the Albuquerque Journal explicitly stated that the group was “a political action committee which endorses and financially supports pro-choice, Democratic women candidates for state-level offices.”

The other finalist for the dean position, according to Renew LMU, is Ramón A. Gutiérrez from the University of Chicago. On his CV, under the banner of consultant, Dr. Gutiérrez lists “Planned Parenthood Federation of America, New York, New York (Hispanic attitudes toward sexuality).”

RenewLMU reports that Dr. Gutiérrez is also one of five members of the Organization of American Historians’ Committee of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ) Historians and Histories, which issued a statement in July of last year lauding the U.S. Supreme Court decision to overturn Proposition 8, which defined marriage as between one man and one woman in California. 

Gutiérrez has also written that gender and sex are societal inventions. In an article titled “Mapping the Erotic Body: Gay New York” that appeared in the American Quarterly he wrote, “If recent historical scholarship has taught us anything, it is that race, gender, and sex are status distinctions of human invention that have constantly evolved.”

RenewLMU is urging people concerned about the candidates to sign a letter to the president of the University sharing their concern. “The fact that both candidates worked for Planned Parenthood, and that one of them joined in issuing a statement praising the redefinition of marriage in California, indicates something is very wrong,” states the letter. “The search committee was either insufficiently diligent in checking facts or it lacked sensitivity to Catholic values in qualifying applicants for this most important position.”

The group is urging the university to hire a dean “who brings a Catholic perspective and is supportive of the Catholic Church’s moral teaching.”

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