ST. LOUIS (Reuters) - Bristol Palin won’t be speaking to Washington University students about teen pregnancy and abstinence after an invitation was withdrawn on Friday because of protests.
The University Student Health Advisory Committee had proposed the appearance next month as part of Student Sexual Responsibility Week, and the Student Union Treasury had approved spending $20,000 to sponsor the panel featuring Palin.
But “because of the growing controversy among undergraduates over the decision to pay for her talk with student-generated funds” the committee and Palin decided against the appearance, the university said in a statement.
The daughter of Sarah Palin, the 2008 Republican vice presidential candidate and a relentless critic of the Obama administration, Bristol Palin, 20, became pregnant at 17 and is a single mom to a 2-year-old boy.
It was not revealed what share of the $20,000 would go to Palin.
A “No thanks, Bristol” Facebook petition against the appearance was started by College Democrats shortly after the plan was announced Wednesday and hundreds of students signed it Thursday. Others expressed displeasure during a packed meeting on the St. Louis campus.
Bristol Palin recently teamed up with Jersey Shore star “The Situation” for a public service announcement to prevent teen pregnancy, with Palin advocating abstinence.
The university has nearly 14,000 students and is among the Top 10 most expensive in the country, with costs of over $50,000 a year per student.
Writing by Bruce Olson, Editing by Mary Wisniewski and Greg McCune