From the Desk of Dean Waite

Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students

The important thing in life is to have an opinion and make others aware of where you stand.

Did you know?


At the Chatham College for Women Student Government (CSG) meeting on March 31st, 2011, Dr. Melissa Bell and students, Emily Hurley, Elizabeth Humphries and Amber Phillips shared their thoughts about the Pence Amendment . . . I listened intently and here’s what I have gathered from their presentation and my views after looking in to the matter . . .


The Pence Amendment, sponsored by Rep. Mike Pence, R-Ind., bans Planned Parenthood from receiving federal funds and reinstates the Global Gag Order permanently. The Republican-dominated House of Representatives approved the amendment 240-185 after a debate that featured Democratic Rep. Jackie Speier recounting the story of receiving an abortion due to a complication with a pregnancy.

According to an AOL News Review by contributor Torie Bosch, “If made into law, the Pence Amendment would prevent Planned Parenthood and 102 affiliated organizations from receiving any federal funds — including money for STD testing, pregnancy testing and cancer screenings. Planned Parenthood also charges that the Pence amendment would “cut off 48 percent of Planned Parenthood patients — approximately 1.4 million people — from their source of health care.”

What Planned Parenthood does is it uses federal dollars to perform cancer screenings, as well as STD and STI testing. It is important to recognize that Federal dollars are not used to perform abortions unless the woman’s life is in danger, or in cases of rape and incest. Planned Parenthood provides low-cost and no-cost health care coverage on a sliding scale. With the proposed budget cuts under the Pence Amendment, that sliding scale will essentially disappear. Nearly half, 48%, of Planned Parenthood patrons will lose access to their services and (cut out) critical health care services. Of the various services provided in Western Pennsylvania, 20% were free of charge and 16% were reduced charge.

Currently, the Hyde Amendment (1976) bans the use of federal funds for abortion excluding instances of rape, incest, and threat to the woman’s life. Therefore, no funds are being cut from abortion. This amendment has no impact on abortion outside of rape, incest, and threat to the woman’s life.

Rep. Mike Pence of Indiana

If the Pence Amendment is enacted, we will not see more jobs, reduced deficit, and fewer abortions. We will most likely see an increase in sexually transmitted infections and diseases, an increase in unwanted pregnancies, an increase in untreatable cancers, a decrease in health care coverage, and an increase in uninformed – and consequently at-risk – students.

By not funding Planned Parenthood, the Pence Amendment will reduce spending by approximately $75 million dollars in upfront costs. That $75 million would fund only 3 hours and 51 minutes of the War on Terror. Also, for each dollar spent on contraception, $3 are saved on birth costs alone, not including the costs of raising a child, the decreased wages from unintended births, and the loss of tax revenue from those unable to work or are working less due to unintended birth.

I have shared my views and would love to hear yours. This is an important and controversial topic, one we likely do not – and need not – agree on.

What is your opinion on the Pence Amendment?

Let your Senators Robert P. Casey Jr. and Patrick J.Toomey know directly by clicking on the link:

Do you vote outside of Pennsylvania? To find Senators in your state, please go to:


  1. I really like this blog. So informative and it educated me on the issues of women’s rights and health policies that concern us today. Thank you for sharing!

  2. THANKS Grace – appreciate it. Stay tune for more.

  3. Love your core beliefs – really looking forward to reading this monthly. Don’t wait until the last minute to start thinking of topics.

    When I clicked on the blog and clicked on the link to register it came up all jumbled. I comments via Grace’s link.

  4. Echoing Jim, but really love the core beliefs! Looking forward to reading more posts.

  5. This is outstanding! I can’t wait to read more.

  6. This is really interesting, thank you for sharing! I cannot wait to read more over the upcoming months.

  7. To the beginning of an AMAZING blog!!

  8. This is great information! I’m looking forward to reading more!

  9. What a great entry to start this blog! Looking forward to the rest to come.

  10. Well done…I like core value # 4…I’m looking forward to future blogs…

  11. I really like the 5 core beliefs and look forward to future blogs!

  12. What a great idea! I appreciate that you have given students a way to engage on important issues and I look forward to participating in these important conversations.

    On this particular issue…the only thing that makes me angrier than limiting women’s choices, is the fact that so many of the people trying to do it are rich, white, old MEN. The following video, while admittedly a bit crude, pretty much sums up my position on the whole thing:

    Thanks again for the blog!

  13. Great blog. I’ll be sure to add you to my links.

    I like that you chose such an important and focused topic to begin.

    I don’t imagine there will ever be an end to the controversy of abortion in my lifetime, but I am disappointed that there is still an inability to separate the issue of abortion from the issue of contraception.

    The need for contraception is clear – on a level of health, finance and unsustainable population growth. Planned Parenthoods initiatives in prevention and education are essential.

    Unfortunately this message is buried under the weight of the abortion issue. As with most issues, politicians can be bent to will of the people, if the people speak up enough. The problem is that not enough education is given to the masses about the beneficial roles of Planned Parenthood, and that education is replaced by fear-mongering and water-muddying by those who can afford to create their own “public awareness” campaign.

    Planned Parenthood has many benefits to society and it’s too bad they don’t have the PR funds and management that their opposition does.