Nun backs pro-abortion club at Catholic university, claims to restrict pro-life students
An administrator at Viterbo University, a Catholic institution in La Crosse, Wisconsin, bragged about restricting a pro-life club’s ability to operate on campus.
Pro-Life Wisconsin obtained audio of an August faculty meeting in which the nun alleged pro-life students have to jump through 'hoops.'
An administrator at Viterbo University (VU), a Catholic institution in La Crosse, Wisconsin, bragged about restricting a pro-life club’s ability to operate on campus, according to The Daily Wire.
Pro-Life Wisconsin obtained audio of an August faculty in-service where Sister Laura Nettles, the university’s executive director for Mission and Social Justice, stated that V-Hawks for Life have to “jump through a lot of hoops to be able to do what they do.”
“We are significantly curtailing their activities,” Nettles said, according to the audio.
VU President Rick Trietley told Campus Reform in a prepared statement that the comment was meant to “be a reference to activities that didn’t follow university protocols.”
“We are not curtailing pro-life activities but enforcing university policy,” he wrote.
When questioned why the university did not have a pro-choice club, Nettles indicated that a student had been interested but the group could not be labeled as “pro-choice” due to conflict with Catholic doctrine.
Nettles also said she would be in favor of supporting a pro-abortion group under a different name such as “Health Club” or “Reproductive Rights Club.”
“What the student described he wanted to do in the club was to really advocate for women’s rights in healthcare to which I said, ‘amen’ to,” Needles reportedly said. “So the question was whether he would be willing to think of a different title for it but do much of the same work.”
Trietley said in the statement that VU would not accept “a pro-choice student organization on campus.”
“Regarding the recording, I will simply note that it was part of an informal discussion that doesn’t reflect the context of the presentation, which focused on why Catholic identity is so important at Viterbo University,” he stated.
He then supported Nettles and alleged she has “played a critical role in strengthening Catholic values at Viterbo.”
“Her years of service at the university, her demonstrated knowledge, theological expertise, and her dedication to our students’ success are testament to her commitment to the institution and the spiritual, emotional, and intellectual wellbeing of our students and employees,” he said.
Students for Life of America (SFLA) detailed that VU began restricting the pro-life chapter after it hosted the “No Woman Stands Alone in Post-Roe America” tour in May. The event provided pregnancy resources to women.
The university reportedly began implementing restrictions on what the chapter could do on campus. SFLA Regional Coordinator Matt Murphy was banned from campus.
V-Hawks for Life President Danielle Smits told SFLA in May that she “no longer [felt] safe walking around campus.”
Campus Reform has reported on similar attacks on pro-life students at colleges across the country.
Last December, Campus Reform obtained photos of University of San Diego students vandalizing pro-life posters and protesting SFLA president Kristin Hawkins speech.
At the University of Notre Dame, a professor pledged to help students access abortion despite Indiana law, which bans abortion in most cases.
Campus Reform contacted every organization listed for comment. This article will be updated accordingly.