College Buckles Under Public Pressure, Lifts Campus Ban on Pro-Life Students Who Videotaped Planned Parenthood Event
March 12th, 2009 | Contact: 323.454.3304, firstname.lastname@example.org
CLAREMONT – Pomona College banned two pro-life students from campus last week after they videotaped the question-and-answer session during a Planned Parenthood representative’s talk and asked the representative tough questions about recent Planned Parenthood scandals. Pomona rescinded its ban this week after facing strong opposition from students, faculty, and alumni. The pro-life students, David Daleiden, 20, and Kyle Kinneberg, 21, are members of the youth-led right-to-life advocacy group Live Action.
Daleiden and Kinneberg both attend Claremont McKenna College, part of the Claremont College Consortium together with Pomona and three other undergraduate institutions. A hand-delivered letter from Pomona’s Dean of Women Marcelle Holmes notified the students of the ban, claiming their videotaping had been “against college policy.” But Daleiden, President of Live Action’s Claremont chapter and Director of Research for the national organization, said Pomona never produced the specific policy they said his group had violated, and that he and Kinneberg were denied their due process rights under the Claremont Colleges’ Policy on Demonstrations.
“When alumni found out about this Orwellian situation, they were outraged,” explained Daleiden. “Pomona accused us of conspiring to ‘disrupt the proceedings, intimidate participants, and chill the free exchange of ideas,’” Daleiden said. “But nothing could be farther from the truth. We were entirely respectful when we asked our questions—as our video shows.”
The videotaping in question took place on February 19, during a presentation by Serena Josel, public affairs manager for Planned Parenthood of Los Angeles. Administrators told Daleiden that after the event, PPLA contacted Pomona College about his conduct. Daleiden notes that PPLA has extensive ties to Pomona, which regularly promotes internships and raises money for the abortion provider.
“It’s understandable that Planned Parenthood’s Serena Josel was angry at us for our recording—she made several spurious and even contradictory arguments defending Planned Parenthood’s lack of accountability for mandatory child abuse reporting,” Daleiden continued. “But campus disciplinary procedures should never be used as a tool for political retribution.”
“We are grateful to the Claremont McKenna alumni and administration who reacted quickly to correct this abuse,” Kinneberg added. “This is not the first time pro-lifers have been persecuted for questioning Planned Parenthood, but victories like this should inspire us never to be afraid to stand up for the truth.”
Part 1 of the video:
To read the ban letters, view the Facebook Group: