John Jalsevac


Catholic college denies credit for student’s Planned Parenthood internship

John Jalsevac

COLCHESTER, Vermont, April 6, 2011 ( - A Catholic liberal arts college has denied a student credit for her time interning at Planned Parenthood.

The St. Michael’s College student newspaper The Defender published in February the story of senior Samantha Culver, who had applied for the position with Planned Parenthood of Northern New England, something she described as an “awesome opportunity.”

But while Culver says the internship had been initially approved, internship director Joanne LaBrake Muehlberger later denied Culver credit for the position, a mix-up Culver chalks up to an initial miscommunication about the organization in question. Culver, who says she believes Planned Parenthood shares her interest in women’s rights, called the denial “really upsetting” and has continued interning at Planned Parenthood.

Muehlberger confirmed that the school’s Catholic identity prevented recognition of the internship at the abortion giant.

“There is an attempt to make sure things we do agree with the Catholic belief,” said St. Michael’s dean Jeffery Trumbower.

Conservative watchdogs such as the Cardinal Newman Society and TFP Student Action have criticized several Catholic campuses for encouraging student internships or offering health referrals to Planned Parenthood.

TFP Student Action in February launched a protest petition against Seattle University, a Jesuit Catholic institution, for offering internships at Planned Parenthood to fulfill degree requirements for a Public Affairs degree.

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