Thursday, May 24, 2018

University of Minnesota Medical School fellowship removed from University website after article stirs controversy

May 23, 2018 (Minnesota Daily): University-hosted abortion fellowship removed after article stirs controversy, by Cleo Krejci and Madeline Deninger:

A University of Minnesota Medical School fellowship application was removed from a University website following controversy surrounding its reproductive healthcare training, which included abortion procedures. The posting was taken off the website in early May after Campus Reform, a conservative news organization, published an article on the topic, which sparked discussion about the fellowship among anti-abortion groups, University officials and lawmakers.

Medical School Dean Jakub Tolar said in a statement the fellowship, which was slated to begin this upcoming fall, was delayed for at least one year while the medical school examines the "value" of the training.

The Reproductive Health Access Project (RHAP) would have funded the fellowship, said Lisa Maldonado, RHAP’s executive director. After completing the program, the fellow would be encouraged to remain in reproductive health following the conclusion of the fellowship with Planned Parenthood in St. Paul. RHAP has sponsored and funded similar fellowships around the United States for the past ten years.

One day after the article was published, Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life, an anti-abortion advocacy group, contacted University President Eric Kaler and state legislators to express concern about the fellowship. University officials decided to remove the position from the University’s website following MCCL’s statements, a University spokesperson said.

After legislators were contacted by MCCL, Dean Tolar sent a letter addressed to Minnesota State Senator Michelle Fischbach, R-Paynesville, laying out the fellowship’s future at the University. 

“In the future, we will have a more robust and comprehensive review process for positions and training programs to ensure proper due diligence and proper notification to stakeholders,” Tolar said in the letter.

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