University abortion course taught by woman identified as PP employee discussing selling fetal tissue in sting video

  • The University of Houston held a one-day course geared toward helping to "end abortion stigma."
  • One of the instructors for the course has previously been identified as having appeared in a 2015 viral sting video showing Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast employees discussing the selling of post-abortive body parts.
  • After a pro-life group contacted the university about a petition to cancel the course, it disappeared from the university website briefly. When Campus Reform questioned the school about this, it reposted the course description.

A course geared toward practicing clinicians at the University of Houston meant to "help end abortion stigma" was taught by two employees of a notorious Planned Parenthood location, one of whom has previously been identified as a Planned Parenthood employee caught on camera discussing the sale of fetal body parts.

Campus Reform spoke to the Houston Coalition for Life, which circulated a petition to the university to cancel the one day course, which took place on Nov. 1. The coalition told Campus Reform that it contacted the university about the petition on Oct. 28 and planned to visit the campus to meet with administrators the following day. 

The course description lists Tram Nguyen as one of the course instructors, boasting about Nguyen's "years on the front lines."   

The group claimed to have obtained more than 1,000 online signatures and more than 200 in-person petition signatures.

The course listing disappeared from the university website on Oct 29. When Campus Reform asked the university why it had removed the course listing, University of Houston Executive Director of Media Relations Shawn Elyse Lindsey told Campus Reform that the course had been removed in error when registration for the course closed and that it has now been reinstated on the website. When Campus Reform first viewed the active course listing, registration for the course had already been closed. 

[RELATED: Student proposes not funding abortions with student fees...and faces brutal backlash]

“UH offers continuing education courses to professionals across disciplines that are not part of or required under University curricula. The courses, which are purely optional, are taught by instructors who span a wide array of backgrounds, associations and experiences, some of whom are unaffiliated with UH,” Lindsey said, adding “Academic freedom is a cornerstone of American higher education. American universities are forums for expression, discussion and debate, and therefore do not discourage the discussion of divisive topics because the positions or affiliations of those involved may be objectionable to some audiences.”

“When registration closed, the CE course was temporarily removed from the Graduate College of Social Work professional continuing education webpage in error,” Lindsey claimed, confirming that “The course is scheduled and is listed online” and had “been moved to another location due to security concerns.”

[RELATED: Emory University hosts ‘abortion as a moral good’ lecture]

The course was taught by two Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast employees, one of whom has been previously identified as one of the individuals in a 2015 viral undercover sting video showing Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast employees discussing the selling of fetal body parts.

A woman who has been identified by multiple media outlets as Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast Ambulatory Surgery Center Director Tram Nguyen can be seen in the viral sting video discussing how easy eyeballs are to find within abortive remains, saying that eyeballs or "orbits" are "so easy [to find], like 95 percent of the time. … Yes, they come out, like firmer."

“This comes out, like I said, the organs come out really well,” she says as she and who she believes is a potential tissue buyer observe the remains of aborted twins. “See, you can see all the intestines, pretty much all of it’s intact."

[RELATED: Berkeley law dean: Alabama abortion ban ‘clearly unconstitutional’]

The course description lists Tram Nguyen as one of the course instructors, boasting about Nguyen's "years on the front lines" and explaining that "for Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast, Tram provides the leadership, direction and administration of the ambulatory surgical center’s activities to ensure quality patient care, compliance with state and national regulatory and accreditation standards. She is often sought out for her expertise and knowledge in regulatory policies surrounding abortion in Texas."

The Houston Coalition for Life told Campus Reform that it felt compelled to circulate the petition not only because of its general concerns about abortion but also because of issues related to Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast's facility particularly, claiming that there have been concerns for years over the location's operational procedures and accusations of profiting from fetal remains.

The University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work is offering students four "Continuing Education Units" for attending the one day course titled "Abortion: A Person's Right to Choose, which is described as meant to "educate practicing clinicians on providing unbiased pregnancy options counseling and resources," and "help develop skills to help the client exercise the right to choose."

[RELATED: Pro-life group warns Calif. universities after lawmakers pass abortion bill: 'You will get sued']

In addition to how to "help end abortion stigma," learning outcomes for the course include understanding "the importance of asking clients their preferred pronouns, affirming your understanding that not everyone who has a uterus identifies as a woman," and understanding "the history of abortion rights and access, including current Texas laws regarding abortion care."

In the 2015 video, the woman who answers to “Tram” in the video expresses confusion at the notion that selling or donating fetal tissue may be illegal. 

“Any idea why the other affiliates in Texas think it’s illegal?” another employee asks her.

“...really?” she answers.


 



The university describes the course as "addressing this deeply controversial issue at a time when legislatures nationwide have been passing extreme abortion laws with the goal of having the Supreme Court reconsider Roe v. Wade," which it claims would "take away the rights of individuals to decide for themselves how to exercise their reproductive rights."

"This course appears to be a one-sided pro-abortion event. Ironically, the abortion industry fights real choices, such as those offered by maternity homes and pregnancy resource centers, even trying [to] force them to promote abortion, as we saw in California,” Director of Communications for Students for Life of America Matt Lamb told Campus Reform.

“Meanwhile, the pro-life movement advocates for real options on campus, like affirming the rights of pregnant and parenting students, instead of stigmatizing pregnancy,” Lamb added.

Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @celinedryan



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Celine Ryan
Celine Ryan | Investigative Reporter

Celine Ryan is the Investigative Reporter for Campus Reform, reporting on liberal bias and abuse on campus for Campus Reform. Celine was previously a New Hampshire California Senior Campus Correspondent for Campus Reform.

20 Articles by Celine Ryan