Loyola Marymount University has named Dr. Robbin Crabtree dean of its Bellarmine College of Liberal Arts, despite her past consultancy work with a Planned Parenthood-sponsored clinic and her involvement with a pro-abortion rights organization.
Crabtree, according to her CV available online, worked on the Advisory Board and Media Relations Committee of Planned Parenthood of Putnam County, Indiana, from 1991 to 1993.
The Jesuit University’s Vice President for Mission and Ministry Father Robert Caro, S.J., defended the hiring in an email obtained by The Cardinal Newman Society, describing Crabtree’s consultant work with the abortion giant and her work with a pro-abortion political action committee (PAC) as “brief association with two small community organizations from as far back as 20-plus years ago.”
He said they “do not reflect her recent involvements or reputation.” He even called the details “misleading.”
The email to “LMU Alumni, parents, and friends” states:
The concerns raised about Dr. Crabtree include inaccurate and misleading assertions that she “worked for Planned Parenthood” and aligned herself with a pro-choice women’s political action committee. For the record, more than 20 years ago, Dr. Crabtree consulted with a small woman’s health clinic in rural Indiana that was sponsored by Planned Parenthood and was one of the few healthcare resources for the poor and disadvantaged women in the area.
She was not an employee of the clinic but served only as an outside communications consultant.
LMU professor Jim Hanink responded to the email by asking if “the small Planned Parenthood affiliate she assisted only [carried] out, shall we say, small abortions?”
He added, “Planned Parenthood boasts of its public health services while year by year functioning as the U.S.'s leading abortionist.”
Fr. Caro also defended Crabtree’s work with a pro-choice PAC called Las Adelitas. He wrote:
…while in New Mexico over 15 years ago, Dr. Crabtree was briefly involved with a budding political organization, whose primary purpose was to find and support women candidates to run for state office. The organization has grown substantially and changed significantly since she left New Mexico. Associating Dr. Crabtree’s brief involvement with the group’s subsequent makeup and evolving political agenda is misleading.
But the PAC’s former president was quoted in the Santa Fe Reporter, indicating that the group’s pro-abortion goals were clear from the organization’s first days in the early 1990s:
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.”
Fr. Caro acknowledged in his letter that Crabtree “does not share our Catholic faith.” But Joseph Hellige, executive vice president and provost of LMU, in a release, cited Crabtree’s “strong commitment to the values that flow from Catholic education in the Jesuit and Marymount traditions” as areason to support her.
RenewLMU, an organization committed to promoting Loyola Marymount University’s Catholic identity, released a petition urging the University to reconsider its selection.
“The departments of Theology, Philosophy, and Pastoral Studies are ‘mission critical’ to the University, and should not be overseen by someone whose views are incongruous with the Catholic Faith,” states the petition. “The failure of this selection process demonstrates the urgent need to reform the method of qualifying candidates for academic and administrative positions. If Loyola Marymount University is ‘institutionally committed to Roman Catholicism,’ and if the University ‘takes philosophical and theological disciplines seriously,’ then it is time, starting now, to hire for mission.”
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