A Catholic high school in the Philadelphia Archdiocese, Archbishop Wood, is rewarding students with extra-credit for participating in pro-life demonstrations outside a Planned Parenthood clinic. Planned Parenthood and Catholics for a Free Choice have registered their objections. Catholic League president William Donohue commented as follows:
“We are delighted with the news that pro-life students at Archbishop Wood are getting extra-credit for their noble efforts. Those who have a financial or ideological interest in promoting the cause of abortion, such as Planned Parenthood, Catholics for a Free Choice and the Philadelphia Inquirer, are understandably upset. Wait till they find out what we’re going to do.
“Linda Hahn of Planned Parenthood Bucks County has said that her clinic has seen ‘more than a few’ students from Archbishop Wood. She did not say whether she plans to out them. Nor did she say whether students who attend public, Jewish or Protestant schools frequent her clinic with greater regularity.
“Frances Kissling of Catholics for a Free Choice says it amounts to ‘coercion’ to give the students extra-credit. She did not say whether it amounts to coercion when pro-choice students are given extra-credit for their efforts.
“Reporter Matthew Blanchard of the Philadelphia Inquirer describes the teacher who is giving the extra-credit, June Littel, as a ‘morality-class teacher,’ and calls the student club involved in this issue an ‘antiabortion club.’ He is twice wrong. He did not call the teacher what she is—a theology teacher—and did not call the club by its right name, namely the school’s Pro-Life club.
“The Catholic League will now work with Archbishop Wood to enhance its pro-life work and will urge Catholic schools across the nation to adopt its strategy. We will also consider awarding cash grants to those students who distinguish themselves in their pro-life efforts.”