Students Push Back Against Inclusion of Pregnancy Care Clinic in Student Resources

The faith-based resource has been listed in reproductive health services posters around campus
Posters hung by Wellness Center including the Pregnancy Care Center of Wayne County, shown here crossed (Photo courtesy of Julia Garrison ’25).
Julia Garrison, Contributing Writer

Upon entry to any women’s or all-gender restroom on campus, you might find a Reproductive Health Services poster hung by Longbrake Student Wellness Center (LSWC). Below the heading, the poster details all services that LSWC offers through their own operations at their location on Wayne Avenue. At the bottom of the poster, four resources are listed for different “Pregnancy Care Options in Ohio.” These four options include the Pregnancy Care Center of Wayne County, Akron Women’s Medical Group, Preterm, and Northeast Ohio Women’s Center. Listed below each option is a brief list of services provided, alongside an address and contact information. These posters were placed within bathrooms by LSWC last semester. 

On Nov. 3, a group of students supported by faculty wrote an email to Interim-President Wayne Webster out of concern that the Pregnancy Care Center of Wayne County (PCC) was being listed as a resource for students to utilize. The PCC of Wayne County is not directly related to any larger grouping of corporate pregnancy centers; however, crisis pregnancy centers such as the PCC of Wayne County exist throughout Ohio, and more broadly, the entire country. Stories within Ohio have been circulating ever since Roe v. Wade was overturned during the summer of 2022, causing confusion for women seeking non-partisan counseling from legitimate women’s reproductive health services. Crisis pregnancy centers are faith-based pregnancy centers that discourage abortion and promote continuing pregnancy. According to the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA), The Pregnancy Care Center of Wayne County is a certified ministry. The short description of their operations explains that the center “provides life-affirming information, assistance, and guidance to those facing pregnancy decisions.” Recently, the PCC of Wayne County made a social media post in support of the overturning of Roe v. Wade this summer, which was another point of concern for students involved with the original inquiry about the center being included.  

The Nov. 3 email to Interim President Webster outlined students’ concerns regarding the PCC being listed, citing Planned Parenthood’s article written about “fake clinics,” also known as crisis pregnancy centers. The Planned Parenthood article expands upon sentiments that women seeking information about pregnancy or abortion should look elsewhere. Savannah Sima ’23 and Artemis Swanson ’23 were two students involved in the email to Webster, citing their concerns with how the PCC of Wayne County operates as a single-faith based organization that discourages abortion and preventative measures of protection (condoms, contraceptives, “the pill,” etc.). The email, including Sima and Swanson as two of the concerned students, requested that this resource be taken off posters around campus as to “not lead [our] students, staff, or faculty into a deceptive environment that can be incredibly traumatizing” (Sima).  

Upon further correspondence with Interim President Webster and forwarding of the thread to LSWC, students asked for answers on why the resource was added to the poster initially. A meeting was held in November with concerned students and staff from LSWC to discuss the poster and a possible solution to showing this service on posters throughout campus. The eventual response from LSWC was to recreate the poster with a QR code that students could scan for updated resources as they became available instead of four concrete resources listed. A quote from former President Sarah Bolton’s email on the College’s involvement in emergency medical funding was also added to the bottom of the revised poster. Although this attempt was helpful for providing more up-to-date information during a time of change in relevant laws, upon scanning the QR code, the PCC of Wayne County still appears at the bottom of the page as a resource. LSWC replied on Dec. 1, explaining that they were in the process of seeking out specific information about local Planned Parenthoods, as well as printing their new posters and getting them displayed around campus.  

The group of students, including Sima and Swanson, felt as if their original request had not been honored through the continued inclusion of the PCC of Wayne County. Swanson explained that their “big concern is not with the Wellness Center or any one employee of itself; they have done their due diligence in looking into this center… our larger concern is that these centers are known for misrepresenting what they do, including offering some legitimate resources to lure people in.” On Jan. 10, the group of students and staff followed-up on this Dec. 1 correspondence from LSWC to inquire why the PCC was still being included..  

A contact from LSWC replied that the intent for including the PCC was “an option for individuals who were continuing their pregnancy and wanted medical and tangible support. To our knowledge, the other resources listed do not provide these resources to support pregnancy.” This is somewhat true, as the Akron Women’s Medical Group and the Northeast Ohio Women’s Center both specialize in abortion, not counseling. However, Preterm does offer comprehensive “options counseling” as a first appointment requirement to explore pregnancy options, similarly to what the PCC offers. Another representative from LSWC explained that “the original four resources on the poster were provided to us by our contracted physicians from the Cleveland Clinic as these are resources they provided to their patients.” Cleveland Clinic has no direct affiliation with any reproductive health services beyond their internal services (OB/GYNs).  

Wooster is not the only college in the area to have issues arise regarding reproductive healthcare and religion within recent months. During the fall of 2022, Oberlin College transitioned to outsourcing all student health services to a Roman Catholic-run healthcare organization. This caused major outcry from students, as the major change within healthcare protocol for students was that there would be less flexibility for reception of the Plan B pill and prescriptions of birth control for students. 

Emily Hiner, Director of Prevention and Advocacy of LSWC, shared that the new posters are in the works of printing and should be beginning to circulate around campus later this week. The new edition of the poster is available in LSWC. They are actively searching for volunteers to replace the old posters.  

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