Seventh-day Adventist University names new economics centre after abortionist

www.lifesitenews.com  – by Meaghen Hale

Riverside, California, January 16, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) – The Seventh-day Adventist website ADvindicate has recently drawn attention to the fact that La Sierra University has named a new economics centre after abortionist and gambling magnate Edward C. Allred, who in 1980 claimed to have personally aborted a quarter of a million babies in twelve years.

In 2010, La Sierra, a Seventh-day Adventist University in Riverside, California, established the Edward C. Allred Center to promote free market economics among high school students. The centre’s abortionist namesake founded the Family Planning Associates Medical Group in 1969, a chain of abortion clinics that reportedly makes $70 million in revenue and $5 million in profit annually.

“It hardly seems possible that La Sierra University, which still purports to be a Seventh-day Adventist school, would name anything after a man who has left such a trail of wreckage in his wake,” wrote David Read of ADVindicate. Read described Allred as “a man who made his fortune eliminating two generations of humanity, and now spends his days devising ways to separate gamblers from their money.”

The university issued a press release about the controversy stating that “La Sierra University benefits from the generosity of a wide variety of donors—Adventist and non-Adventist.”

University Relations Executive Director Larry Becker told LifeSiteNews that a proposal for naming a new building or centre of learning is considered “on its own merits.”

He quoted the university’s Naming Policy, which states, “Naming Opportunities provide a means to honor personal contributions, service, and achievement of the honoree as well as their contribution of resources to support the University.”  

When asked if it compromised the education of La Sierra students to name a centre of learning after an abortionist, Becker stated, “Students continue to learn important economic principles through the programs operated by the Center for Financial Literacy and developed by School of Business faculty members.”

According to their mission statement, La Sierra is a community “rooted in the Christian gospel and Seventh-day Adventist values and ideals.” The General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists states, “Prenatal human life is a magnificent gift of God. God’s ideal for human beings affirms the sanctity of human life, in God’s image, and requires respect for prenatal life.”

However, the Conference also says the fallen world must be taken into account and while “abortion is never an action of little moral consequence [and] prenatal life must not be thoughtlessly destroyed,” it may be performed, but “only for the most serious reasons.”

But not all of the abortions Allred performed would have been done for the “serious” reasons permitted under Seventh-day Adventist rule. The Family Planning Associates Medical Group states that when Allred co-founded the organization in 1969, in most places “abortion was legal only for cases in which continuance of the pregnancy would be life threatening.” However, “California law was relatively liberal and many women came from Arizona, Colorado, Texas, and other states to receive legal abortions.”

In an interview with the San Diego Union in 1980 (where Allred claimed to have personally aborted a quarter of a million babies in twelve years), he also spoke candidly of his reasons for advancing abortion.

“Population control is too important to be stopped by some right-wing pro-life types,” Allred said. “Take the new influx of Hispanic immigrants. Their lack of respect of democracy and social order is frightening. I hope I can do something to stem that tide; I’d set up a clinic in Mexico for free if I could. Maybe one in Calexico would help. The survival of our society could be at stake.”

“The Aid to Families with Dependent Children program is the worst boondoggle ever created. When a sullen black woman can decide to have a baby and get welfare and food stamps and become a burden to all of us it’s time to stop. In parts of South Los Angeles having babies for welfare is the only industry the people have.”

La Sierra noted that since the thirty-three-year-old article, Allred has distanced himself from that statement. In a 2002 article in the Los Angeles Times, staff writer David Wharton wrote, “Allred winces at the mention of these statements. He knows how racist they appear and says, ‘that’s just not the way I am.’”

The article continues: “He talks about his affection for California’s Mexican heritage, his appreciation for the growing number of Latinos who work at and frequent his track. At the same time, he stands by some of what was said. Overcrowding still concerns him. He still despises the welfare system, though critics point out that Medi-Cal has paid for many abortions at his clinics.”

The Times article described a sympathetic Allred who sees abortion “as a lawful procedure, a service people wanted, a shrewd business decision” and had “doubts about second-trimester abortions.”

“I’m not saying they shouldn’t be done at times,” Allred is quoted as saying, “but they should be given more thought.”

Apart from his history with abortion, Allred has strong ties to the gambling industry. He is the owner, president, and CEO of Los Alamitos Race Course and bought his first racehorse while attending the Seventh-day Adventist University Loma Linda (for which he was almost expelled).

The General Conference is stricter about gambling than abortion, stating, “Seventh-day Adventists have consistently opposed gambling as it is incompatible with Christian principles. It is not an appropriate form of entertainment or a legitimate means of raising funds.”

ADvindicate questions La Sierra’s Board of Directors, saying “it is difficult to understand how they could have allowed La Sierra to become associated with such a person as Edward C. Allred.”

Becker told LifeSiteNews, however, that Allred is a La Sierra alum “and has continued to follow the University’s activities through the years.”

“He remains active in the Seventh-day Adventist Church. La Sierra University is one of the many Seventh-day Adventist institutions and church organizations throughout North American that have benefited from his philanthropic giving. Dr. Allred provided financial support to the new Center for Financial Literacy and Entrepreneurship to help young people better meet the world’s economic challenges. His gift reflects his support for the quality of education offered through the School of Business.”

ADvindicate insists action is required. “If the church leadership in the region cannot reform La Sierra, world church leadership must take action. If La Sierra cannot be reformed, it must be clearly and publicly separated from the official church.”

To contact the university toll free, call 1-800-874-5587.

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