MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — In a story May 31 about student activists at the University of Minnesota trying to reinstate a medical school fellowship in reproductive health, The Associated Press, relying on information from the Minnesota Daily, erroneously reported that fellows would have worked at Planned Parenthood after the fellowship ended. They would have worked there during the fellowship.
A corrected version of the story is below:
Students, anti-abortion group at odds over fellowship
Student activists at the University of Minnesota are trying to reinstate a medical school fellowship in reproductive health that the school has delayed following opposition from anti-abortion groups
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MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Student activists at the University of Minnesota are trying to reinstate a medical school fellowship in reproductive health that the school has delayed following opposition from anti-abortion groups.
University officials announced this month that the fellowship would be delayed for a year as they examine the value of the training. The program was scheduled to begin this fall.
Students from the Minnesota Student Association and Professional Student Government launched a petition last week addressed to university President Eric Kaler and medical school Dean Jakub Tolar, Minnesota Daily reported.
“Our hope is that our voices are heard loud and clear to administration . due to the thousands of students that indicated concern on the petition,” Trish Palermo, outgoing undergraduate student body president and co-author of the petition.
The Reproductive Health Access Project would’ve funded the fellowship, said Lisa Maldonado, RHAP’s executive director. Fellows would have worked at Planned Parenthood in St. Paul and then been encouraged to remain in reproductive health care after completing the fellowship.
Opposition to the fellowship began after an article was published in Campus Reform, a conservative higher education news source, according to a university spokesman.
An anti-abortion advocacy group called Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life contacted Kaler and state legislators to express concern about the fellowship after the article’s publishing. The group said it was concerned the fellowship would promote abortions.
The petition accuses the university of giving in to pressure from lawmakers who threatened to pull funding if the institution didn’t remove the fellowship. The petition said that the university as a public institution shouldn’t let partisan politics influence educational programs.
“The Medical School did not make this decision alone,” the university wrote in a statement. “The decision was made by President (Kaler) and his senior advisers at a critical point in the legislative session with the threat of elimination of the university’s bonding request.”
Gov. Mark Dayton signed the bonding bill Wednesday. It provides the university with $80 million in funding for infrastructure projects on all five campuses.
Five Republican state senators have introduced a new bill that would prohibit the university’s Board of Regents from supporting fellowships that provide “training, advocacy or education related to abortions.” It will be reintroduced for consideration next February since it’s late in the session.