Taxing Abortion Collaborators

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by Kristine Christlieb  •  ChurchMilitant.com  •  February 25, 2020   

Missouri takes aim at Washington University

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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (ChurchMilitant.com) - Opening up a new front in the abortion wars, Missouri legislators are using their state's tax law to hammer universities involved in the global abortion cartel. HB1522 — scheduled for a hearing on Wednesday, Feb. 26 at 6 p.m., would tax the endowments of abortion-involved universities at a rate of 1.9% of the funds' fair market value.

With a nearly $8 billion endowment, the institution with a bullseye on its back is Washington University in St. Louis (WUSTL). If the legislation passes, tax on the institution's endowment would amount to approximately $160 million annually for state coffers. 

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Fellowship in Family Planning Sites

Only One Missouri Institution Affected

The legislation is not a money grab — its purpose is to bring Washington University's deep involvement in abortion out of hiding. 

Freshman Missouri state Rep. Jeff Shawan told Church Militant, "Other universities in the state don't have a problem with the proposed new law. Because the institutions are tax-supported, they would be breaking Missouri law if they used tax dollars in any abortion-related activity."

The University of Missouri-Columbia (MU) learned its lesson the hard way. In 2015, when it was discovered that MU hospital employees were collaborating with Planned Parenthood to provide abortion services, a lengthy legislative investigation ensued that required testimony from the chancellor and put the university in a highly negative light.  

Washington University is aware it will be the sole Show-Me State institution affected by the legislation. In a Feb. 3 letter to Rep. Shawan and other members of the Missouri House, Andrew E. Newman, chairman of Washington University's Board of Trustees wrote: "Only one institution in the state would be impacted by this legislation — Washington University."


Samuel R. Lee, a veteran pro-life lobbyist, has called the new legislative strategy "groundbreaking." Summarizing the 4-page letter's content for Church Militant, he said, "We're [Washington University] not going to talk about abortion. We want to talk about all the good things the university does." And indeed, the letter did not once reference "abortion." Shawan went on to say, colloquially, "The guilty dog ducks."

WUSTL's Role in Training Abortionists

Despite its avoidance of the topic, Washington University's involvement in the abortion industry is a secret hiding in plain sight. Cheryl Sullenger, Operation Rescue's Senior Vice President, recently published an extensively researched article "Targeted for Depopulation: This Organization Is Training Thousands of New Abortionists in America — and YOU are Paying for It!" 

The article's premise is that the abortion cartel wants to expand, but its biggest roadblock is the scarcity of doctors trained to perform abortions. The Bixby Center for Global Reproductive Health at the University of California San Francisco (UCSF) is the organization to which Sullenger's article referred.

Only one institution in the State would be impacted by this legislation — Washington University.

Established in 1999, the Bixby Center created two programs designed to boost the number of abortionists: the Ryan Residency Training Program in Abortion and Contraceptives (Ryan Program) and the Fellowship of Family Planning (FFP), both of which train new abortionists in the U.S. 

According to Sullenger:

Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Missouri, has used Reproductive Health Services [RHS] Planned Parenthood in St. Louis as a training site for both Ryan Program residents and FFP fellows until last fall when the program was moved to the new Fairview Heights Planned Parenthood abortion facility in Fairview, Illinois, due to efforts on the part of the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) to revoke the RHS Planned Parenthood's abortion facility license over safety concerns.

Even though Washington University's School of Medicine is among the top 10 medical schools in the nation, WUSTL-trained physicians at the RHS Planned Parenthood have a history of medical emergencies and irregularities that recently led to the facility being denied a license, primarily because the physicians involved in investigating several cases refused to participate. 

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Dr. Randall W. Williams

At an Administrative Hearing Commission hearing in October, Dr. Randall W. Williams, Missouri's Director of Health and Senior Services (himself an obstetrician and gynecologist), called the physicians' refusal to cooperate with the state's investigation "unprecedented." 

Shawan told Church Militant the proposed tax "is a choice designed to encouraged Washington University to quit participating in the slaughter of innocent victims."

Who Is Supporting the Legislation

Lee, an independent Catholic lobbyist, Missouri Right to Life and a loose coalition of Missouri pro-life activists are supporting the House version of the bill. Church Militant contacted the Missouri Conference of Catholic Bishops to inquire whether it supports the legislation, but as of press time received no response.  

Interested and media-savvy parties can link to the hearing and watch it live.

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